Navigating the legal landscape of franchise ownership in Australia

Franchising, a thriving business model in Australia, offers entrepreneurs the chance to run their own businesses under established brand names. While it provides numerous benefits, the legal aspects of franchise ownership are crucial to understand to ensure a fair and transparent business relationship between franchisors and franchisees. In this Legal Kitz blog, we’ll delve into the legal framework that governs franchise ownership in Australia, exploring key regulations and their implications for both parties.

The franchising code of conduct: ensuring fairness

The cornerstone of franchise regulation in Australia is the Franchising Code of Conduct, a mandatory industry code that sets out the rights and responsibilities of franchisors and franchisees. Administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), this code aims to promote fairness, transparency, and informed decision-making in franchise agreements.

Key provisions of the franchising code

  1. Pre-Contractual Disclosure: Franchisors are required to provide a Disclosure Document to potential franchisees at least 14 days before any agreement is signed. This document includes vital information about the franchise system, fees, royalties, and other relevant details.
  2. Cooling-Off Period: After signing a franchise agreement, franchisees have a 7-day cooling-off period during which they can withdraw from the agreement without penalty. This period allows time for thorough review and consideration.
  3. Ongoing Disclosure: Franchisors must provide updated disclosure information to existing franchisees annually and upon certain events. This ensures that franchisees are kept informed about any changes that might impact their business.
  4. Good Faith Obligation: Both parties must act in good faith and deal with each other fairly and reasonably. This provision prevents either party from taking unfair advantage of the other.
  5. Dispute Resolution: The code includes a mediation process to resolve disputes between franchisors and franchisees before resorting to legal action. This promotes cost-effective and efficient resolution.

Franchise agreement essentials

A franchise agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. It covers various aspects, including:

  1. Term and Renewal: The duration of the franchise relationship and the terms for renewal or extension.
  2. Territory: The geographic area where the franchisee can operate and any territorial restrictions.
  3. Fees and Payments: Details of initial franchise fees, ongoing royalties, advertising contributions, and other financial obligations.
  4. Training and Support: The training and support provided by the franchisor to ensure the franchisee’s successful operation.
  5. Intellectual Property: The use of trademarks, logos, and other intellectual property belonging to the franchisor.

Enforcement and Penalties

Failure to comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct can lead to significant consequences. The ACCC has the authority to investigate breaches and impose penalties for non-compliance, ranging from infringement notices to court-imposed fines.


Understanding the legal landscape of franchise ownership in Australia is paramount for both franchisors and franchisees. The Franchising Code of Conduct plays a vital role in ensuring a fair and transparent business relationship, protecting the interests of both parties. Aspiring franchisees should carefully review all documentation, seek legal advice if necessary, and be proactive in understanding their rights and obligations. For franchisors, adhering to the code not only fosters a positive relationship with franchisees but also contributes to a thriving and reputable franchise network in the country.

Legal advice

If you need further assistance or advice regarding franchising, Legal Kitz would love to help you. We offer free resources and the option to request a free 30-minute consultation for all of your commercial queries. Additionally, our sister company Business Kitz offers a subscription-based plan with over 150+ legally compliant documents.