Michael J. Cole


mcole@fsbrlaw.com | 517.381.0100
Practice Areas: Corporate & Business, Franchise, Liquor, Trademark, Litigation, Arbitration, Mediation & Other, Our Franchise Experience, International Development, Franchise Employment Matters, Brand Protection, Franchise Noncompete Agreement, Multi-Unit Franchising, Registration and Compliance, Franchise Disclosure Document, Defaults and Terminations, Franchisor Vicarious Liability, Income Reporting Audits, Insurance Risk Management, Franchisor-Franchisee Relations, Advertising Fund Management, Enforcing Franchise System Standards, Advertising Regulations

Overview & Experience

Michael works in FSBR’s business practice, specializing in franchising, intellectual property, liquor licensing, and general business law. He works with businesses of all sizes, offering legal advice regarding business decisions and helping clients manage risk and executive growth strategies through franchising.

Every time a client sells a franchise, Michael shares in their pride. He enjoys the relationships he builds with clients as their trusted legal and business advisor just as much as he likes digging into the details of industry specifics. Applying the nuances of business and franchise law drives his passion for the work he does, and he’s dedicated to helping clients make informed decisions about whatever legal risk or challenge lies in front of them, through every stage of their business growth.

Michael came to FSBR in 2013. Prior to that, he worked on a wide range of corporate, transactional, compliance, and regulatory matters with a Washington, D.C., law firm.

Outside of the office, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and rooting for MSU and Detroit sports teams.


  • Goldfish Swim School
  • Beyond Juicery + Eatery
  • Detroit Wing Company
  • Auto-Lab Complete Car care Center
  • Ellison Brewery + Spirits

Publications & Presentations

  • Mike has presented on topics including liquor licensing, trademarks, copyrights, business formation, real estate taxes, and franchising at seminars and conferences across the state, and he has co-authored articles in franchise publications, including on successor tax and Michigan specific franchise issues.

Honors & Education


  • Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D., 2011, magna cum laude
  • Michigan State University, B.A., general business administration, pre-law, 2008


  • Michigan
  • Commonwealth of Virginia, associate member
  • District of Columbia, inactive


  • Ingham County Bar Association: Top 5 Under 35
  • Super Lawyers: Rising Star for franchise/dealership law
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)

Professional Activities

  • Presenter, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, 2021
  • Presenter, Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2019
  • Presenter, Mid-Michigan Small Business Development Center, 2019