Last week Uber and Lyft threatened to shut down in California if they were forced to comply with a law that would require them to classify their freelance drivers as employees. An appeals court granted the companies a temporary reprieve on Thursday, allowing them to operate with independent contractors while they fight the court order. However, the companies are already preparing for the day of reckoning should they lose their legal battle, and are reportedly considering switching to a franchise model. Under the plan, the companies would license their brand names and technology to owners of traditional taxi fleets. The fleet owners would employ the drivers, allowing Uber and Lyft to continue to avoid the costs associated with employment.