Disclosure Register deadline today, with last minute changes introduced

Disclosure Register deadline
Today is the final day for franchisors to post their profiles on the Register. Image Bigstock.

Today is the deadline for franchisors to finalise their Franchise Disclosure Register listings, but an 11th hour change has franchisors scrambling to meet the requirements.

Franchisors who have already filed their profiles may need to revisit the website and add further information.

The changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct came into effect on Friday 11 November, three days before the listings deadline.

Franchisors now need to list certain information which was previously optional on the Register.

Stephen Giles, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, described the situation as chaotic.

He told Franchise Executives “The shambolic implementation of the Franchise Disclosure Register continued over the weekend, with franchisors that had not answered the “optional” questions being advised by official email on Saturday that they now needed to provide answers to these questions.  

“Although the email does not include a date, the legislation requires updating to occur by today, 14 November 2022.  As a consequence those franchisors will need to log on to the register and answer the additional questions, assuming they are able to do so in such a short time frame.”

Previous optional questions that are now mandatory

  • the years a franchise has operated in Australia
  • the number of current franchised businesses and franchisees, and businesses owned or operated by the franchisor or an associate of the franchisor
  • each state or territory in which a franchisee operates
  • whether there are restrictions on where franchisees can source goods or services 
  • if the franchisor requires payment before a franchise agreement is entered into—why the money is required, how the money is to be applied, who will hold the money, and the conditions under which a payment will be refunded
  • details of the costs payable by a franchisee to start operating the franchised business
  • details of payments payable by a franchisee to the franchisor, or an associate of the franchisor, during the term of the franchise agreement
  • details of payments payable by a franchisee to a person other than the franchisor or an associate of the franchisor
  • whether the franchise agreement may be varied, unilaterally, by the franchisor
  •  the term of the franchise agreement                
  • whether a franchisee has an option to renew the franchise agreement
  • whether a franchisee has any rights relating to any goodwill generated by the franchisee
  • whether the franchise agreement includes a restraint of trade or similar clause

Franchisors can access the Franchise Disclosure Register website here.

The Register is scheduled to launch to the public tomorrow.