Terminating a Franchise Agreement: Understanding Australia’s Franchising Code of Conduct

As a business owner, venturing into the world of franchising can be both exciting and daunting. While the franchise model provides numerous benefits such as brand recognition, established systems and support, it also comes with its own set of legal obligations and responsibilities. One such responsibility is understanding whether it is permissible for a franchisee to terminate a franchise agreement. In this blog post, I will explore Australia’s Franchising Code of Conduct and the requirements that must be met for a franchisee to terminate a franchise agreement.

Understanding Franchise Agreements

Before delving into the requirements for terminating franchise agreements, it’s essential to understand what they are. A franchise agreement is essentially a legal contract between a franchisor and franchisee, outlining the terms and conditions under which the franchisee may operate the franchised business. The agreement covers everything from initial investments, operational guidelines, financial obligations, and termination conditions. Therefore, it’s essential for franchisees to review the agreement comprehensively and understand their obligations before signing.

Termination Requirements under the Franchising Code of Conduct

The Franchising Code of Conduct aims to regulate the relationship between franchisees and franchisors by implementing transparency and fairness in their dealings. The code sets specific requirements that must be met for a franchisee to terminate the franchise agreement. For example, a franchisee must provide written notice stating the reason for termination, giving the franchisor a reasonable time to rectify the breach leading to the termination. The code also stipulates that the franchisor must provide reasonable assistance to the franchisee during the termination process.

Grounds for Termination

The code outlines specific grounds upon which a franchise agreement can be terminated, including a breach of the agreement’s terms and conditions, a breach of consumer law, or by mutual agreement. A franchisee can also terminate an agreement if the franchisor becomes insolvent or breaches their obligations under the code. However, it’s important to note that terminating a franchise agreement can result in serious consequences such as financial penalties, loss of investment, and legal disputes. Therefore, it’s essential for franchisees to ensure they have legitimate grounds for terminating the agreement.

Seeking Legal Advice

As with any legal matter, it’s always advisable to seek professional legal advice before making any decisions. If you are considering terminating a franchise agreement, it’s best to engage a lawyer who specializes in franchising law to ensure that you are aware of the legal implications of your decision and assist you throughout the termination process. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have sufficient grounds to terminate, assess the implications of the termination, and provide guidance on the appropriate protocols to follow.


In conclusion, terminating a franchise agreement is not something to be taken lightly. As a franchisee, you have rights under Australia’s Franchising Code of Conduct that must be upheld, and proper procedures must be followed to avoid legal disputes and financial penalties. To ensure a smooth termination process, it’s important to understand your obligations under the franchise agreement and the code, seek professional legal advice, and ensure you have legitimate grounds for termination. By following these steps, you can confidently navigate the termination process and protect your interests as a franchisee.

Terminating a Franchise Agreement is a complex process that requires careful consideration, planning and legal guidance. As a franchisee, it’s important to understand your obligations under the Franchising Code of Conduct and to ensure that you have legitimate grounds for termination before taking any steps. The code is designed to protect the interests of both franchisors and franchisees, and by complying with its requirements, you can ensure a fair and equitable termination process. Engaging a lawyer who specialises in franchising law can also provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process. With the right approach, you can successfully terminate your franchise agreement and move on to other business opportunities.

For more information join our BFF Business Accelerator 12-week course, combining pre-recorded modules, interactive tasks, Network Masterminds, and optional 1-1 office hours, which is designed for soon to be & existing franchisees looking to get on the path to profitability.

About the Author

Ozzie Djemal from Bulletproof Franchising has lived through all of the pain points throughout his extensive 30-year career in Hospitality. Creating Milk Bar Style Takeaway shops, Turkish restaurants, setting up and operating a Franchise Model and Franchising numerous other businesses in the hospitality industry.

This firsthand knowledge coupled with 25 years’ experience in senior roles within the corporate environment, as well as completion of an Executive MBA with UNSW Business School & over 200 other courses – has equipped him with the skills, experience, and knowledge to implement real growth strategies for your Franchise Business.

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