In the suite of Franchise documents usually provided to franchisees is the Franchise Operations Manual. Think of this as the instruction manual to your franchise business, it will set out the detail as to exactly who, what, when, where and how to operate the franchise business.

Usually, the terms of the franchise manual are made binding by a relevant term in the Franchise Agreement, and, therefore, a breach of the Manual represents a breach of the Franchise Agreement. This includes updates to the Manual from time to time made by the franchisor.

But what actually goes in the Manuals?

Usually, these documents are prepared by the Franchisor themselves, as opposed to a Franchise Lawyer, however a lawyer should be utilised to check the ‘legalities’ of the contents.

Here is a checklist to use of potential ‘chapters’ that are commonly included in an operations Manual:

  1. Technology – the manual may prescribe which software or accounting systems must be adopted by the franchisee, and how they are to be set up, run and updated;
  2. Reporting – the manual may set out exactly what is required with respect to reporting, and may even include prescribed forms to be used by franchisees;
  3. Client/ customer interaction – we’re pretty sure the line ‘do you want fries with that?’ is contained in McDonald’s franchise Operations Manual. If you have specifics as to how customers are to be handled, the ops manual is the place to put this information.
  4. Presentation – particularly with retail or hospitality franchises, presentation is key! Here, such things as design, lay-out, colour schemes etc. may be included.
  5. Suppliers – it is common for franchisors to have a list of prescribed suppliers to maintain consistency across the franchise network. The details of those suppliers and the supply arrangements are included here.
  6. Pricing Structures – while the Franchise Agreement may set out the fees and/ or royalties’ payable by the franchisee, any updates to same or prescribed costs to end consumers will be included here.
  7. Complaint handling procedure – while the Code has a formal dispute resolution procedure that applies to all franchise relationships in Australia, it is a good idea to have an internal system too.
  8. Staff – it’s a good idea to provide contact details of, for example, line managers, IT workers and even the CEO within the Operations Manual.

There is no hard and fast rule as to what is to be included in an Operations Manual, and it will, of course, depend on the nature of the business being franchised. Because it’s a legal document, however, it’s important the Operations Manual is prepared consistently with your obligations as Franchisor. Your franchise lawyer will be able to review the document so as to detect any legal issues.

If you need help setting up a franchise, please call LegalVision’s franchise lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Emma Jervis

Get a Free Quote Now

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • We will be in touch shortly with a quote. By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at

View Privacy Policy