Franchising Code of Conduct Background


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.

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has policy responsibility for the Franchising Code of Conduct, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Franchising Code.

The Inquiry and Franchising Taskforce

On 22 March 2018, the Senate referred an Inquiry into the Operation and Effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (the Committee). The Committee’s report on the findings of the Inquiry, titled Fairness in Franchising, was published on 14 March 2019.

The first recommendation of the Committee was for the Government to establish a Franchising Taskforce to examine the feasibility and implementation of a number of the report’s recommendations.

Visit the Franchising Taskforce page to see more information, including the Franchising Taskforce Terms of Reference.

The Franchising Mediation Adviser

The Franchising Mediation Adviser assists parties covered by the Franchising Code of Conduct by appointing a mediator when disputing parties cannot agree to one. The Franchising Mediation Adviser is a senior officer of the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The Mediation Adviser is supported by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s (ASBFEO) office. The ASBFEO office can provide free support on the Franchising Code of Conduct, options to resolve a dispute and access to mediation services.

If you need assistance with resolving a current franchise dispute or would like to know more about resolving franchise disputes visit the ASBFEO Franchising Disputes page. More information on the Franchising Mediation Adviser can be found on the Franchising Mediation Adviser page.

Penalties framework

The Competition and Consumer Amendment (Industry Code – Penalties) Act 2014 commenced on 1 January 2015 to work in conjunction with the Franchising Code.

The Franchising Code includes pecuniary penalties (up to $54,000) and allows the ACCC to issue infringement notices ($9000 for a body corporate and $1800 in any other case) for contravention of a civil penalty provision of that code.

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.