What the ACCC does in franchising

  • We regulate the Franchising Code of Conduct and provide guidance for franchisors and franchisees.
  • We enforce competition and consumer laws and take action for breaches where it serves the public interest.
  • We do not give legal advice or resolve individual franchising disputes.

What we do in franchising

The ACCC is responsible for regulating the Competition and Consumer Act. This includes some of the laws that businesses in Australia must follow and the Franchising Code of Conduct. We do this through education, encouraging compliance, and sometimes investigating.

Our role is to focus on issues that will, or may, impact vulnerable consumers, harm the competitive process or result in widespread consumer or small business detriment.

We direct our resources to matters that provide the greatest overall benefit to consumers and the competitive process.

We educate and encourage compliance

The information from people who contact us with reports or questions, and information from other people, groups and government agencies, helps us to understand the big issues in franchising. 

This information and our Compliance and Enforcement Policy help us decide what to do to educate the franchising sector and what compliance areas to focus on.

We provide guidance

If you have a question about your rights or responsibilities in franchising, a great first step is the franchising guidance on our website, where we provide new and updated publications to encourage compliance.

Otherwise, you can ask us a question through our website. When you contact us to ask us a question, we can tell you about the relevant franchising and competition and consumer laws and what help is available. However, we can’t give you legal advice.

We can conduct compliance checks

We conduct compliance checks on franchisors.

The Franchising Code of Conduct requires franchisors to keep certain records. Compliance checks focus on whether the documents the franchisor is using comply with the code. You can read more about how we carry out these checks.

Depending on what we find, we may decide to educate the sector or take enforcement action, where appropriate.

We sometimes investigate

If you report a franchising issue to the ACCC it does not mean we will start an investigation about a franchise system or represent you in court.

If you want to always be able to protect all your rights in franchising, you will need to be able to get your own legal advice and legal representation.

We make decisions about what to do, including whether to start an investigation, based on our Compliance and Enforcement Policy. This policy is designed to make sure that the work we do has a positive impact, usually beyond a single trader who is doing the wrong thing. We want to encourage as many people or businesses as we can to comply with the law, so that more consumers and businesses are protected.

We publish the outcomes of some of our enforcement action on our website.

What the ACCC does not do in franchising

We do not:

  • assist in resolving individual disputes
  • take enforcement action in response to every report that we receive
  • give legal advice.

There are other places that can help or you can seek your own legal advice.

More information

Guidance about franchising

Part of the ACCC’s role is to help franchisees and franchisors understand their rights and responsibilities.

Examples of our work on franchising

The ACCC creates resources for franchisors and franchisees and conducts compliance checks. We also takes action to enforce the law.