As a franchisor, you know that the franchise industry has been under some pretty heavy scrutiny over the past few years, resulting in the 2018 Inquiry into the operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct. In response to the inquiry into the Franchising Code of Conduct, the Federal Government recently released the final draft of the proposed reforms with changes commencing as of 1 July.
Following the Code updates, there were many changes to get across and many questions. Our franchising experts submitted a list of your most pressing questions through to the Treasury and are pleased to offer clarification on the changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct below.
How is the ‘Key Facts Sheet’ Distributed Between Franchisors and Franchisees?
The Key Facts Sheet has been designed to be a business-to-business service. Upon finalising the form, the franchisor will receive an email receipt with a PDF of the completed Key Facts Sheet. From there, the PDF can then be passed on to the relevant franchisee.
How is Privacy and Security Maintained in the Key Facts Sheet?
The SmartForms Service is bound by relevant privacy policies and legislation. As such, any data that is entered on the form is unable to be accessed by any government agency or third parties, except for the purposes of incident diagnosis where appropriate permissions have been granted.
Who is Responsible for the Information in the Key Facts Sheet?
Franchisors are responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the information in the Key Facts Sheet, including updating the Key Facts Sheet in the same way as a disclosure document. This ensures that the two documents remain consistent.
Details are outlined in the Franchising Code of Conduct, including clause 9A of Schedule 1 and Schedule 12 related to transition arrangements.
However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for matters relating to compliance. The ACCC also provides franchisors with further information on compliance and updates to the Key Facts Sheet and disclosure documents.
Are There Plans for a Non Web-Based Key Facts Sheet?
The Department has announced they are currently in the process of creating a fillable PDF version of the Key Facts Sheet. This version can be used to create a base template for your business and different business models with information updated and corrected as necessary.
The Department plans to release the PDF version shortly.
For further support relating to franchising, or the changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct, reach out to our Melbourne-based Franchising Team for a free consultation. Alternatively, please get in contact with experienced franchise lawyer and CEO of BlueRock, Bruce McFarlane at firstname.lastname@example.org