Franchise Breach Notice

 

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Franchise Breach Notice

If you have received a franchise breach notice you should seek advice from an experienced franchise lawyer as soon as possible.

While not all franchise breach notices are valid, if a franchise breach notice is valid there may be serious consequences if you do not comply with the notice.

For example, if  a franchise breach notice is valid and the breach is not remedied within the time required by the franchise breach notice, then the franchisor may terminate the franchise agreement.

 

FRANCHISE BREACH NOTICE REQUIREMENTS

A franchise breach notice may not be valid for a number of reasons including if it does not comply with the provisions of the Franchising Code of Conduct and, or your franchise agreement.

If the franchise breach notice is valid, the franchisor cannot terminate the franchise agreement if the breach is remedied as required by the franchise breach notice.

The requirements for a valid and enforeceable franchise breach notice are set out in the franchise agreement and the Franchising Code of Conduct (the Code).

Under the terms of the Code a franchisor must:

  1. give the franchisee reasonable notice in writing that the franchisor proposes to terminate the franchise agreement because of the breach;
  2. tell the franchisee what the franchisor requires to be done to remedy the breach; and
  3. allow the franchisee a reasonable time to remedy the breach.

 

 

WHAT IS A REASONABLE TIME ?

The Code provides that a franchisor does not have to allow more than 30 days for a franchisee to remedy the breach.

Prior to the inception of the Code franchise agreements generally provided that a breach was to be remedied within 14 days.

Many franchise agreements still provide that a breach must be remedied in a period less than 30 days.

If you have received a franchise breach notice which provides that you must remedy the breach in a period which is less than 30 days, you should first check the provisions of your franchise agreement to see what the specified period under the franchise agreement is.

If the specified period under the franchise agreement is less than 30 days, or the franchise agreement picks up the wording of the Code that the “franchisor does not have to allow more than 30 days” (and the Franchise Breach Notice complies with the franchise agreement), then a consideration will need to be undertaken of whether the relevant period is reasonable.

Factors to be taken into account in assessing whether any period is reasonable include:

  • the type of breach;
  • whether you have previously received a notice for the type of breach;
  • if the breach relates to outstanding monies, whether you have been given time to pay the outstanding monies before the issuing of the notice.

 

 

GOOD FAITH

Clause 6 of the Code provides that each party to a franchise agreement must act towards another party in good faith.

Any franchise breach notice or purported termination pursuant to a franchise breach notice must be subject to the overarching requirement that the parties act in good faith.

Whether the issuing of a franchise breach notice or a purported termination of a franchise based on a franchise breach notice is a breach of the requirement to act in good faith will depend on the circumstances of each case.

 

 

Disclaimer

The information in this article is general in nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any person or other entity. Although we do our best to provide timely and accurate information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

 

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