If you are in a franchising dispute, our Assistance Team can provide free support including information on the Franchising Code of Conduct, options to resolve your dispute and access to mediation services.
The Franchising Code of Conduct is a mandatory code that applies to all businesses involved in a franchise agreement. The Code also describes the behaviours expected of franchisees and franchisors and includes a process for managing disputes.
The Code states that parties must act in good faith. This means parties must act honestly, and not arbitrarily, with each other and cooperate to resolve the dispute.
If you need help to resolve a franchising dispute, please lodge an online form and a case manager will get back to you within 24 hours.
Resolving your dispute under the Franchising Code of Conduct
Step One: Internal dispute resolution
The Code requires that franchisors develop internal procedures for handling disputes with franchisees. This procedure must be set out in the franchise agreement and meet minimum standards set by the Code.
The Code also provides a procedure for resolving disputes. If a dispute arises, either party may initiate the complaint handling procedure under the Code, or under the franchise agreement.
The Code requires you to first try to resolve your dispute with the other party by sending them a notice of dispute (Word 21KB) outlining:
- the nature of the dispute
- what outcome you want
- what action will settle the dispute.
If you can’t agree on an outcome within three weeks, either party may refer the matter to mediation, which involves an informal negotiation between the parties facilitated by an independent third party.
Step Two: Mediation
If the dispute is not resolved through the internal dispute resolution process, the parties may refer the matter to mediation.
This a cost-effective dispute resolution option for franchisees and franchisors under the Code. Appointed mediators help franchisors and franchisees to resolve their dispute without going to court.
Once mediation is requested, it becomes mandatory for both parties to attend and to genuinely try to resolve the dispute.
There is a specialist panel of franchise dispute mediators in each state and territory.
Phone: 1300 650 460