Franchising

Franchising is the key business model for over $140 billion (approximately 9%) of Australia's GDP.

Since the introduction of the mandatory Franchising Code of Conduct over 20 years ago, the complex web of regulations affecting the franchise sector has only continued to increase.

Significant changes have been introduced over the past few years, creating new challenges for both Australian and international franchises expanding into Australia. Navigating the regulatory landscape requires sound, well-reasoned legal advice based on a strong understanding of the franchising sector in Australia.

How can we help?

We represent a diverse range of national and multinational clients in relation to their franchise interests in Australia, across a variety of industries including: restaurant and food; retail; motor vehicle; banking; and security services.

The range of services we offer is extensive, including advising on:

  • the establishment of franchises and sub-franchises;
  • compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct;
  • the drafting of disclosure documents and updates;
  • intellectual property issues, including the registration, use and protection of trade marks;
  • ongoing commercial issues including supply arrangements;
  • consumer and competition issues under the Trade Practices Act;
  • marketing issues, including advertising clearances and the establishment and management of advertising co-operative funds;
  • issues associated with online franchise arrangements;
  • taxation issues;
  • privacy issues; and
  • franchising disputes (including court proceedings and mediation).

Allens has extensive experience with sales and acquisitions of franchise systems, including due diligence, preparation and review of sale documentation and strategic advice. Allens also offers franchisors a free reminder service, keeping track of key Code-mandated and contractual deadlines.

As a member of the Franchising Council of Australia, we play an active role in keeping our clients abreast of developments in the franchising area.

Experience

New Horizon online education franchise refresh

We recently worked with California-based online educational platform franchisor, New Horizon, in a deep-dive refresh of its franchising arrangements in Australia. This was part of a global harmonisation of its contractual arrangements.

Helping SsangYong relaunch into the Australian market

Assisted with incorporating the company, leasing its new Australia headquarters, preparing the franchising documentation and establishing the dealer network, as well as providing employment and advertising advice.

Building IKEA's presence in Australia

Providing ongoing advice to Inter-IKEA in relation to compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct, as well as other obligations of franchisors under Australian law. We have also assisted in drafting IKEA's franchise agreements and disclosure documents.

Complex dispute resolution proceedings for Nissan

As part of a multi-disciplinary Allens team advising Nissan, we are representing it in disputes with some past Nissan dealers. Allens is supporting Nissan with strategic advice and guidance through the Code-mandated dispute resolution process.

Pizza Hut's first significant international master franchise arrangement

Allens advised Yum! Brands Inc. and Yum! Restaurants Australia on the sale of Pizza Hut in Australia. The deal represents one of the first master franchise arrangements in the world for Yum! Brands Inc. 

RAMS advice on all things franchising

Advised in relation to amending its franchise documentation to ensure compliance with the new Franchising Code of Conduct when it was introduced in 2015, the new Business-to-Business unfair contract terms regime and the vulnerable workers amendments to the Fair Work Act.

Reworked Nike's arrangements in ANZ

Acted in the reworking of its franchising agreements in Australia and New Zealand, as part of Nike's introduction of a new global agreement with its store licensees.

Strategic advice for Ford

Advised Ford on strategic issues arising from its decision to cease manufacturing operations in Australia in 2016. We also continue to advise Ford on its franchise agreements and obligations under the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Burson franchise systems acquisition

Advised leading automotive aftermarket parts specialist Burson Group Limited on its $275 million acquisition of Metcash Automotive Holdings, which operates well-known brands such as Midas, ABS, Autobarn and Autopro.

Advised BlueScope on new retail framework in South-East Asia

Provided guidance to BlueScope on how to transform its retail distribution arrangement in several countries throughout South-East Asia. This included advice on franchising in several jurisdictions, competition law issues, as well as data security and privacy concerns.

Provided an Australian perspective to Converse

Advised Converse on amendments to its franchising documentation, including on compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct, consumer law, privacy law and the recently introduced ipso facto reforms.

G-star franchising, financing and sale

Assisted in updating its franchising documentation to comply with Australian law, provided advice on complicated financing arrangements and acted in the sale of most of its Australian stores to a new franchisee, The Foschini Group.