Franchising is a business relationship where the owner of a business providing goods or services (the franchisor) grants a right to another person (the franchisee) to market and distribute the franchisor's goods or services in the marketplace.

The relationship between those two parties is usually covered by a franchise agreement.

The franchise sector in Australia is vibrant. There are almost 79,000 franchised businesses in Australia with a sales turnover estimated at $144billion (access the Report here).

The legal framework for franchising is complex. Bywaters Timms are business and commercial lawyers with an exceptional record which spans decades in providing advice on franchise law to both franchisors and franchisees. The firm's reputation is based on a proven depth of experience and expertise. Our lawyers see beyond legal issues, providing practical, coordinated and results driven commercial solutions. We take time to understand our clients business and issues and to develop close, long term relationships.

Our Brisbane franchise lawyers have advised many franchisors from the initial set up stage through to established systems. In addition we have acted for many master franchisees and franchisees involved in over 70 franchise systems. Bywaters Timms can assist clients in all aspects of franchise law including:

  • Advising you on what the appropriate structure would be for your business
  • Preparing any necessary documents such as licence agreements for intellectual property
  • Advising prospective franchisors about setting up a new franchise system including advice on the Franchising Code of Conduct and Competition and Consumer Law
  • Preparing Disclosure Documents and Franchise Agreements that comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct and all other documents to establish a franchise system
  • Submitting franchise documents to your franchisees for new grants, renewals or on transfer of an existing franchised business
  • Preparing and advising you on Leases and Licences to Occupy
  • Advising you on the protection of your intellectual property and arranging registration of trade marks nationally and internationally
  • Negotiating, mediating and resolving disputes between franchisors and franchisees
  • Advising you on Trade Practices issues and conducting seminars to inform you and your business regarding your obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act
  • Assisting you to implement Trade Practices Compliance Programs in your business
  • Reviewing and advising on Franchise Agreements if you are a new or renewing franchisee
  • Assisting in your due diligence 

We can also provide you with general business and commercial advice such as:

  • Advising you on Joint Ventures and preparing appropriate agreements
  • Preparing and advising you on Shareholders or Partnership Agreements
  • Advising you on trusts and setting up trusts
  • Stamp Duty advice
  • Company restructuring
  • Advising you on acquisition of franchise systems
  • Advising you on business acquisitions and negotiation of contracts and leases - see our article on the Steps involved in purchasing a franchise business.
  • Advising you on all aspects of acquisition of a supermarket


The firm is a member of the Franchise Council of Australia and Janice Bywaters is an active member of the Franchise Council legal committee, a past Queensland Chapter President and past National Board member.  Janice is the current member and past chair of the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee and a former member of the Business Law committee.

View our most popular Franchising Papers

New Penalties 

Take note that from 1 January 2015 amendments to the new Franchising Code of Conduct will take effect. Breaches for certain provisions may carry:

  • Penalties of up to $51,000
  • ACCC Infringement Notices of up to $8,500

Read our article on the new Code here

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation
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