Reading time: 3 minutes

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.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards