Durham Law Office

Diamond View II, 280 South Mangum Street, Suite 130, Durham, NC 27701

(919) 787-8880 Contact

Raleigh Law Office

3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500, Raleigh, NC 27612

(919) 787-8880 Contact

Carlie Smith practices Franchise, Trademark, and General Corporate Law. She has experience with franchising in range of industries, including Retail, Hospitality, Education, Home Services, Business Services, and Medical or similarly regulated professional services.


Carlie works with franchisors and franchisees to grow their brands and businesses by helping them to comply with state and federal franchise regulations and navigate corporate transactions. She often assists hospitality and restaurant brands in navigating the regulatory permitting process. She also advises clients with a broad range of growth strategies, from business opportunities, licensing, to franchising.

Leading the firm’s trademark practice, Carlie helps businesses to protect their intellectual property through obtaining federal and state trademark registrations, licensing, and monitoring of the marketplace for infringement. Carlie manages a portfolio of hundreds of trademarks, and she advises businesses about strategic growth of their intellectual property portfolios.

Her dedication extends beyond individual client work as she regularly shares her expertise through contributing to the Franchise Feed blog, discussing current issues and key points for franchise leaders. She also presents at the firm’s annual Franchise Success Summit and has led multiple Women’s Franchise Business Network discussions to educate her franchise clients.




  • J. Reuben Clark Law School – J.D. 2019 – Summa Cum Laude – Order of the Coif
  • Brigham Young University – B.S. Secondary Education 2016 – Summa Cum Laude

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina
  • Utah

Professional Activities

  • Member, International Franchise Association
  • Chair, Women’s Franchise Network – Raleigh, NC Chapter
  • American Bar Association Member
  • North Carolina Bar Association Member
  • Wake County Bar Association Member
  • Hugh B. Brown Barristers Award – 2019
  • Utah Bar Association – 2019 to present
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society – 2016 to present

Prior Experience/Clerkships

  • Prior to joining Manning Fulton, Carlie worked as a law clerk at Kirton McConkie, a Salt Lake City law firm. During law school she interned with Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice Thomas R. Lee of the Utah Supreme Court.


Community Engagement

CARA Pro Bono Project at the South Texas Family Residential Center – Immigrant Representation – 2017 – 2018

Project Read – Literacy Tutor – 2016 – 2017

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

  • Teacher and Women’s Leader – 2018 – 2019
  • Volunteer Missionary in New Mexico – 2013 – 2014
  • Member – 2001 to present

Representative Transactions

  • Drafts and negotiates commercial contracts and vendor contracts, including for software as a service (SAAS), product development, independent contractor, and marketing services
  • Guides buyers and sellers through the acquisition of franchised businesses
  • Represents franchisees in reviewing franchise disclosure documents and negotiating the purchase of new franchise units
  • Provides training to franchisor leadership, sales staff, and field support regarding compliance and best practices
  • Works collaboratively with the firm’s litigation attorneys in resolving franchise disputes
  • Represents franchisors in converting accidental franchises to fully compliant franchise organizations
  • Manages intellectual property registrations for companies with marks in the United States, Europe, and Asia
  • Represents private equity investors during acquisitions for franchise due diligence
  • Represents franchisors in resolving state enforcement actions for non-compliance with franchise laws
  • Prepares initial franchise disclosure documents
  • Drafts renewal franchise disclosure documents and manages state registration renewal processes
  • Advises clients regarding growth through licensing, franchising, or business opportunity sales
  • Drafts and negotiates sponsorship agreements with brands and partners
  • Serves as counsel to franchisors of all sizes, from one franchisee to hundreds of franchisees

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