Franchising

Franchising is a specialised area of law which requires particular knowledge and expertise. A successful franchise relies on a strong relationship between franchisor and franchisee and Riordan & Riordan has extensive experience advising both.

Our clients include:

Franchisees. From small, single-store or mobile franchisees to franchisees with over 40 outlets of well-known multinational brands.

Franchisors. From small, start-up franchise businesses to high profile, national brands with stores in all states in Australia.

With this experience, we have the expertise to provide the sound practical commercial advice, as well as the technical legal advice, needed on the extensive legislative aspects of your business, no matter what stage of franchising you are at.

 

Franchisees

If you are proposing to become a franchisee, you will be provided with an enormous amount of paperwork (prepared by and for the franchisor) which you are expected to sign. Understanding your rights and obligations set out in these documents, not to mention the extensive legislation which applies, can be daunting. For this reason, the Franchising Code of Conduct requires franchisors to advise you to obtain professional advice before entering into a franchise agreement.

We can advise you on all aspects of your existing or potential franchise, including:

  • Legislation – the Competition and Consumer Act and the Franchising Code of Conduct set out numerous rights and obligations for both franchisees and franchisors. We can ensure your rights are protected and that the franchisor complies with its obligations to protect your interests.
  • Franchise documentation – often long and confusing, we can explain the effect of the franchisor’s documents and ensure that you are adequately protected (including negotiating with the franchisor on your behalf).
  • Lease/Licence – an essential element of any franchise arrangement is the right to occupy the relevant premises and/or territory from which the franchise is to operate. This usually involves negotiation with numerous parties, including the franchisor and the relevant land owner. We can assist in this process and advise you on the relevant documentation and legislation.

Franchisors

If you are an existing franchisor or propose to establish a franchise, expert professional advice is essential to ensure that you comply with all relevant obligations and to ensure that your franchise system is adequately protected and controlled. This requires sound practical legal advice from professionals who understand the law and the commercial issues specific to a franchisor.

We can advise you on all aspects of your existing or potential franchise, including:

  • Legislation – in particular the Competition and Consumer Act and the Franchising Code of Conduct set out numerous rights and obligations for both franchisees and franchisors. In particular, there are extensive disclosure obligations which franchisors must comply with. We can ensure your rights are protected and that you comply with all your obligations.
  • Franchise documents – the Franchise Agreement, Operations Manual and related documentation provide the framework on which your franchise system will be built. It is essential that these documents adequately protect your intellectual property and clearly set out the rights and obligations of the franchisees, whilst at the same time ensuring that you comply with all relevant obligations. Above all, these documents must be drafted to suit the specific needs of your particular franchise system and to ensure that you maintain the necessary control of your brand.
  • Lease/Licence – an essential element of any franchise arrangement is the right to occupy the relevant premises and/or territory from which the franchise is to operate. Questions must be answered such as ‘how much control do you want?’ and ‘Should you be the tenant and licence the premises to the franchisee, or should you let the franchisee take the lease and enter into a Deed giving you rights against the franchisee and landlord?’ We can assist in answering these questions and prepare and advise you on the relevant documentation and legislation. This usually involves negotiation with numerous parties, including the franchisee and the relevant land owner, on your behalf.
  • Permits/Approvals – do you know what permits and approvals you and your franchisees are required to have to operate the franchise business? We can advise on what you need and assist you to obtain them.
  • Intellectual Property – what separates your business from others is your brand and your unique operating system. That intellectual property must be protected, using all available means (including, where appropriate, the franchise documents, trade marks, business names, copyright assignment, appropriate ownership structures, etc). We can advise you on how best to protect your most valuable asset.
  • Structures – we can ensure that you use the most appropriate structure to effectively manage your franchise system.