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Franchising regulations within Australia continue to evolve. In particular, the Australian Government has passed changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct, introducing a Franchise Disclosure Register (Disclosure Register).

Franchisors are required to provide key information to the Disclosure Register by 15 November 2022 or face hefty penalties. It is essential, therefore, that you understand the ongoing disclosure requirements. This article outlines what information you will need to provide on the Disclosure Register as a franchisor. 

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Who Needs to Provide Information for the Disclosure Register?

Franchisors will need to provide key information for the Disclosure Register to publish by no later than 14 November 2022. Furthermore, you must comply with the requirements for the Disclosure Register if you are a franchisor who:

  • has a disclosure document;
  • has issued the disclosure document to a potential franchisee; and
  • if you are a master franchisor, the master franchise system has two or more subfranchisors. 

What Information Do I Need to Provide for the Disclosure Register?

Franchisors must provide the following information for inclusion in the Disclosure Register:

  • the name of the franchisor;
  • the name under which the franchisor conducts business in Australia relevant to the franchise;
  • if the franchisor has an ABN—the franchisor’s ABN;
  • the address, or addresses, of the franchisor’s registered office and principal place of business in Australia;
  • the business telephone number and email address of the franchisor;
  •  the ANZSIC division and subdivision codes for the industry in which the business under the franchise operates; 
  • any information that clause 53C(4) of the Franchising Code of Conduct requires you to provide to the Secretary.

Furthermore, you must provide the above information in a form that the Secretary will need to approve. Unfortunately, it is currently unclear which format you must provide this information in. Additionally, you should be aware that requirements regarding what information you provide may be subject to change.

As a Franchisor, you can choose to provide additional documents for inclusion on the Disclosure Register, including your:

To be clear, you are not currently required to upload these additional documents to the Disclosure Register.

How Do I Publish the Necessary Information on the Disclosure Register?

There are a few key steps you will need to take so that you can publish the necessary information. Fortunately, they are not complex. However, as a franchisor, you will need to:

Once you complete these steps, you can publish the necessary information on the Disclosure Register. 

When Will the Disclosure Register Become Public?

The Disclosure Register is not available to the general public, including prospective franchisees, until it comes into effect on 15 November 2022.

Key Takeaways

Ultimately, it is a requirement for franchisors to submit key information to the Disclosure Register. Furthermore, all franchisors must comply with this obligation and upload the relevant information to the Disclosure Register by no later than 14 November 2022. You will likely face legal consequences, including significant penalties of up to $133,200 if you do not comply with these requirements. Therefore, you should set up a franchise profile and familiarise yourself with the platform as soon as possible. This will ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to comply with these new requirements. 

If you need assistance understanding your disclosure requirements as a franchisor, our experienced franchise lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 1300 544 755 or visit our membership page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it mandatory to provide information for the Franchise Disclosure Register?

Yes. It is a legal requirement for franchisors to disclose key information about their business on the Register. Further, franchisors will need to update this information annually. 

When will the Franchise Disclosure Register come into effect?

The Franchise Disclosure Register will come into effect on 15 November 2022. However, franchisors will need to provide up-to-date information by 14 November 2022.

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