Franchise register offers free enrolment

By Sarah Stowe | 24 Sep 2019 View comments

The Australian Franchise Registry is offering franchise systems cost-free registration on its independent register that promotes transparency and compliance. The limited time offer aims to bring about industry led self-regulation that meets the recommendations of last year’s franchising inquiry and will prevent the sector facing imposed legislation.

Franchisors will need to upload their 2018 disclosure document by 7 October and then lodge their updated 2019 documentation before 31 December, 2019 to take advantage of this offer.

The register already holds more than 300 disclosure documents that cover nearly a third of the franchises estimated to be operating in the Australian sector.

Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata Australia, which runs the Australian Franchise Registry, said the register remains “a low cost and effective mechanism for franchise systems to promote their commitment to transparency and compliance”.

The registry lists all known Australian franchise brands and acknowledges registration (for qualifying brands) with the issue of a franchise registration number (FRUNS).  Information includes lodgement of compliance documents, bank funding information and identifying whether or not the brand has a Franchise Rating Scale rating.

Participating brands will be eligible to receive a complimentary copy of volume 4 of Australian Franchise Facts which will contain aggregated information extracted from the documentation participating brands.

Widespread industry reform

Dispute resolution, contract terms, exiting, franchisor rebates and regulatory compliance were listed as primary concerns for the sector in the franchising inquiry into the effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct.

The inquiry listed a total of 71 recommendations in its Fairness in Franchising report .

The Franchising Taskforce, assembled after the franchising inquiry suggested such a body to review its recommendations, has pointed to a possible industry-specific ombudsman as one way to handle conflict in the sector.

The franchising industry has had the opportunity to provide feedback on the suggestion.

The Australian Franchise Registry was launched on June 11, 2014 and is endorsed by the Franchise Council of Australia.