Record-keeping is necessary to both monitor, and provide evidence of, compliance with the Code and any other applicable legislation. Under the Code you are required to generate or publish certain documents such as disclosure documents, franchise agreements and marketing fund statements.
In addition, if the Code requires, or allows, a franchisee or prospective franchisee to give something to you in writing, you are required to keep this type of document or a copy of it. This includes any documents provided electronically. For example, you must keep the following documents:
- confirmation of receipt of the disclosure document
- professional advice statement
- marketing fund audit votes
- request to transfer a franchise to a third party (and any additional information provided regarding the transfer)
- request for a disclosure document
- notice of dispute
- request not to disclose former franchisee’s details.
If you make any statements or claims in your disclosure document which rely on another document to support the statement or claim, you must keep that document. For example, if you provide a prospective franchisee with projected earnings for the franchised business, you must keep the documents that support those figures.
You must keep these documents for six years after they were created.
The ACCC has the power to obtain documents or information from a franchisor that the franchisor is required to keep, generate or publish under the Code. For more information, see The ACCC’s approach to non-compliance.