The Franchising Code of Conduct regulates the conduct of franchisees and franchisors, including the obligation to act in good faith and for franchisors to disclose important information before a franchisee enters into a franchise agreement. Treasury has policy responsibility for the Franchising Code of Conduct. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Franchising Code. The new Franchising Code of Conduct commenced on 1 January 2015 and puts in place the franchising policy reforms outlined in the Government's Future of Franchising Statement.
New penalties framework
The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Industry Code - Penalties) Act 2014 also commenced on 1 January 2015 to work in conjunction with the new Franchising Code. The reforms to the Franchising Code have introduced pecuniary penalties (up to $54,000) and allow the ACCC to issue infringement notices ($9,000 for a body corporate and $1,800 in any other case) for contravention of a civil penalty provision of that code.
Office of the Franchising Mediation Adviser
The Office of the Franchising Mediation Adviser assists franchisors and franchisees resolve their problems and disputes by referring the parties to trained mediators with experience located across Australia. Find out more about the Office of the Franchising Mediation Adviser
Policy History - Reviews of the Franchising Code of Conduct
2006 Review of disclosure provisions
On 31 August 2006, the Review of the Disclosure Provisions of the Franchising Code of Conduct was released. The Review was chaired by Mr Graeme Matthews. On 1 February 2007, the Government released the its response to the 2006 review.
2008 Parliamentary Joint Committee Inquiry into Franchising
On 1 December 2008, The Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services Inquiry into Franchising tabled in Parliament its Report, Opportunity not opportunism: improving conduct in Australian franchising. On 5 November 2009, the Government tabled its response to the 2008 Inquiry. A Regulatory Impact Statement was prepared to inform the response. On 27 November 2009, an expert panel was established to report on franchising and unconscionable conduct.
2010 Report on unconscionable conduct
On 3 March 2010, the expert panel Report, Strengthening statutory unconscionable conduct and the Franchising Code of Conduct, was released. The expert panel examined proposals concerning unconscionable conduct and the regulation of the franchising sector.
2013 Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct
On 4 January 2013 Alan Wein commenced an independent review of the Franchising Code of Conduct. The review looked at the 2008 and 2010 amendments to the code and resulted in the development of the new 2015 Franchising Code of Conduct.