franchise lawyer Tag

  The Franchising Code of Conduct attempts to enhance Franchisee rights. Franchisees have had enhanced support under the Franchise Code of Conduct since 2015: 1. Franchisors must provide a short information for sheet to intending franchisees which gives an overview of the risks and benefits of Franchising.  The...

 

Even before a buyer obtains legal or accounting advice, a prospective Franchise Buyer should consider our Franchise Purchase Checklist of items.  This will save time and money and ultimately result in a better decision. We have set out some of these checklist items below:

  1. Research - Undertake some research to ensure that you understand the Franchising Industry and how it

Franchise disputes must be resolved in a particular way. Franchisors who are not prepared to be nice, should beware! There are good reasons why a franchisor should listen carefully to their franchisees and make genuine attempts to resolve any  franchise dispute.
A franchise agreement entered into on or after 1 October 1998 must provide for a complaint handling procedure that complies with Part 4 of the franchising code of conduct.
The Franchising Code also obliges both parties to act in good faith.  In order to decide if the parties have acted in good faith a court will look at whether the parties have acted honestly, and for genuine reasons and whether each party has cooperated to try to achieve the objective of the Franchise Agreement.

Riba Business Lawyers

Have you ever wondered whether licensing or franchising is the best model to grow your business?  Many people wanting to avoid the cost and regulation of franchising will consider licensing as an alternative. But is licensing your business model really an alternative to franchising? What is licensing anyway and what is the difference between a franchise and a licence?

Firstly you cannot convert a franchise to a licence simply by changing the name at the top of the document.  The label given to the arrangement has no influence over the legal effect of the arrangement.  Franchising is just a form of licensing.

Whether the relationship that you wish to establish is really a franchise or a licence can be determined only in one way.  The Franchising Code of Conduct defines certain arrangements as a franchise.  The code provides that if certain ingredients are present then a franchise exists.

It is quite common for Franchise Agreements to contain clauses which have a significant effect on the way in which the sale contract should be drafted.  If  a contract for the sale of a Franchised business is signed without first reading the Franchise Agreement and checking any requirements, then it may be difficult to unravel the resulting mess. There is a lengthy list of things that need to be checked.  If  steps are not taken to ensure compliance, then it is likely that any sale contract will be in conflict with the Franchise Agreement.  This problem can be difficult to resolve because the sale contract may oblige the seller to do one thing and the Franchise Agreement may prohibit the doing of that same thing.

There is no such thing as a standard Franchise Agreement.  However there are certain things that all Franchisors will try to control using their agreement.  This need for the Franchisor to maintain control gives all Franchise Agreements a common flavour. There is sometimes a misconception that the Franchise Agreement is designed to protect both Franchisor and Franchisee.   There is however little contained in a Franchise Agreement which is designed to protect a Franchisee and this is often a source of disappointment to the Franchisee once the documents are reviewed.  Franchisees do however enjoy significant protection given at common law, from legislation such as the Franchising Code.

Dealing firstly with whether it is possible to franchise your business.

If your business:

  • was only established in recent years,
  • has not been tested over time in a range of economic conditions,
  • is not a respected and recognizable brand in your local area,
  • does not utilize  operational documentation relating to the processes employed in that business,
  • is not strongly supported by employed managers who are fans of the business,
  • does not utilize a patent or other assets that other potential business owners would value and
  • does not produce a healthy profit after factoring in the franchisors anticipated administration and promotions costs

then you are probably not ready to franchise.

Section 51 AE of the Competition and Consumer Act (previously the Trade Practices Act) provides for industry codes such as the Franchising Code.

A breach of the Code constitutes a breach of the Competition and Consumer Act. Section 51 AD of the Competition and Consumer Act provides that "a corporation must not, in trade or commerce, contravene an applicable industry code" In a case known as Ketchell's case the court was asked to look at the consequences of a failure to breach the code. The facts of the case put simply are that the franchisor brought an action to recover money that the franchisee said was owning under the franchise agreement.

The cost of preparing legal documentation to turn a business into a franchised system is between $8000 and $20,000 plus GST .  This cost may be recovered by the sale of  franchises. Once the template documents are prepared the franchisee should pay the franchisor's costs to prepare and issue the documents, as well as the cost of negotiations. We set up franchise systems for clients throughout Australia. Please contact us for an instant quote.  The task of preparing this documentation is a routine legal engagement for us however it is a lengthy process where each step in the process must be respected. We can usually provide draft franchise documentation within 2 weeks of receiving instructions.

The cost and time involved is determined by the complexity of  the system, and the extent to which the client has resolved issues relating to the workings of the system.  For example if the franchise system relates to a home or vehicle based system, then the cost is generally not much more than $8000 plus GST. When it is necessary to incorporate procedures relating to retail shop leasing then this would normally add another level of  processes and cause cost increases.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against Sensaslim Australia Pty Ltd (Administrator Appointed) (Sensaslim), Mr Peter Clarence Foster, Mr Peter Leslie O’Brien, Mr Adam Troy Adams and Mr Michael Anthony Boyle.

The ACCC alleges that Sensaslim and several of its officers engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false representations in relation to the identity of Sensaslim officers, the Sensaslim Spray and the business opportunities offered by Sensaslim.

The alleged conduct includes:

· Failing to disclose the involvement of Peter Foster in the business of Sensaslim;

· Falsely representing that the Sensaslim Spray was the subject of a large worldwide clinical trial when in fact no such trial was conducted;

· Falsely representing that Dr Capehorn, an obesity specialist, gave unqualified support to the effectiveness of the Sensaslim Spray and the purported clinical trials;