Franchising Code

The Franchising Code of Conduct is a mandatory industry code across Australia that regulates the conduct of franchising participants towards each other.

Changes to the Franchising Code

The Franchising Code (the Code) has been amended, with many of the changes commencing on 1 July 2021. A summary of the key changes to the Code is available.

The Franchising Code

Compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct is mandatory.

On 1 June 2021, it was announced that the Franchising Code has been amended. Many of these changes will apply from 1 July 2021.

A copy of the Amending Regulations and Explanatory Statement can be found here.

The Franchising Code includes:

  • disclosure requirements
  • a good faith obligation
  • a dispute resolution mechanism
  • a cooling-off period
  • procedures for ending a franchise agreement.

The ACCC regulates the Code and can investigate alleged breaches if they meet our priorities. Decisions about which matters to pursue are made in line with the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy. Certain breaches of the Code could lead to the ACCC issuing an infringement notice or asking a court to impose a financial penalty.

Individuals also have the right to take their own legal action over an alleged breach of the Code.

Information statement and key facts sheet

From 1 July 2021 changes to the Code mean that franchisors must give prospective franchisees:

  • a copy of the new version of the information statement
  • a key facts sheet.

Information statement

The information statement must be given to a prospective franchisee before the franchisor gives them other disclosure related documents.

Information statement for prospective franchisees ( PDF 73.82 KB )

The information statement must be given as soon as practicable to anyone who expresses interest in or formally applies to buy a franchise, and before giving any of the documents listed in clause 9 of the Code.

Note: this publication is not maintained by the ACCC but is linked on our website for convenience.

Key facts sheet

The key facts sheet must be completed by the franchisor and provided to prospective franchisees, along with other disclosure related documents required by the Code. Prospective franchisees need to receive these at least 14 days before they enter into a franchise agreement or pay non-refundable money.

Franchisors must provide the same to prospective franchisees who are acquiring the business from an existing franchisee at least 14 days before the franchisor consents to the transfer.

The key facts sheet must be in the format of the key facts sheet form linked on the ACCC’s website (below) and include all the required information.

Key facts sheet - smart form

When you access the link to the key facts sheet you are leaving the ACCC’s website. The ACCC does not process, store or collect any information entered into the key facts sheet smart form. Questions about the key facts sheet should be directed to smallbusinessfranchising@treasury.gov.au.

This publication is not maintained by the ACCC but is linked on our website for convenience.

Note: the Government updated the key facts sheet on 26 August 2021.

Key ACCC publications

For further information about the Code, please see:

Note: These publications will be updated following the Franchising Code changes announced on 1 June 2021.

Rights and obligations

Your rights and obligations under the Code are in addition to those under the Australian Consumer Law and the Competition and Consumer Act.

If you are uncertain about your rights and obligations under the Code, you should consider seeking legal advice from a solicitor with franchising expertise.

Agreements prior to 1 January 2015

The Code imposes one set of obligations to all franchise agreements entered into, renewed, extended or transferred on or after 1 October 1998. However, a small number of Code provisions will not apply to agreements entered into prior to 1 January 2015. Visit the CommLaw website for more information.

Importantly, a franchise agreement entered into prior to 1 January 2015 will be covered by the entire Code if the agreement is renewed, transferred or varied in any way on or after 1 January 2015.

New Vehicle Dealership Agreements

On 1 June 2020, amendments to the Code were introduced for new vehicle dealership agreements. The new regulations do not apply to all motor vehicle dealerships, only those agreements for dealerships that predominantly deal in new passenger vehicles or new light goods vehicles (or both). The key changes relate to:

  • end of term obligations
  • capital expenditure
  • dispute resolution.

Other legislation

In addition to the Code, franchisors and franchisees may have obligations under various other pieces of legislation, such as:

  • the Fair Work Act
  • the Australian Securities and Investments Act
  • Australia’s tax laws and
  • state and territory licensing schemes.

You should take special consideration of your obligations by contacting the relevant agencies responsible for ensuring compliance with these laws. For instance, if you have questions about your workplace responsibilities under the Fair Work Act (e.g. calculating wages and entitlements, and keeping proper records), you should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Subscribe to the Franchising Information Network

Sign up to our Franchising Information Network to keep up with the latest news and events relevant to the small business and franchising sectors.

Related publications

Franchising: what you need to know factsheet

Quick guide to a franchise disclosure document

Note: These publications will be updated following the Franchising Code changes announced on 1 June 2021.

More information

Franchising investigations

ACCC industry code audits

Franchising Code frequently asked questions

Did you find what you need?

To help us improve, could you spare a few minutes to tell us what you came to the site to do today and how easy or difficult you found it?

Provide feedback