Franchising, Licensing & Distribution Lawyers

Peter Rouse

Special Counsel – Corporate and Commercial

Matthew Rouse

Managing Director – Corporate & Commercial and Mergers & Acquisitions

Experience counts. Franchising done right.

At Rouse Lawyers, our Brisbane franchise solicitors help both franchisors and franchisees achieve their goals with minimum stress and reassuring fee certainty.

If you’re looking for a franchise lawyer in Brisbane, experience counts. Franchising regulation is a complex legal minefield so it pays to put your trust in a commercial law firm that has seen it all when it comes to franchise law.

Most of our advice in franchise law is based on a fixed fee model to give you certainty and peace of mind when you budget your cost outlay.

Rouse Franchise Lawyers: We Mastered Both Sides of Franchising

The business lawyers in our Brisbane franchising team deliver pragmatic guidance on matters relating to both franchisors and franchisees.

We take the time to understand the unique details of your business as well as the network model to deliver smooth, timely transactions and accurate legal advice grounded in ‘real world’ business experience.

As experts in fast growing network businesses, we have developed a deep understanding of how you can leverage your intellectual property through licensing and distribution models.

What Can Our Franchise Lawyers Do For Franchisors?

Our franchise lawyers help franchisors with a range of regulatory, compliance and goal-oriented transactions, including:
  • Initial assessments and consultation on whether franchising is right for your business.
  • Strategic advice on franchising structures, licensing, reseller, agency and distribution arrangements. We work closely with our tax specialist and to advise our clients on taxation, GST, stamp duty and payroll tax.
  • Preparing the wide range of franchise documentation required for a new system. Our franchise solicitors who know the ins and outs of franchise law will create documents and structures for you designed to match your individual business model.
  • The protection of franchisor intellectual property rights including trade mark registration and enforcement (inside and outside of Australia).
  • Draft a review of compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct and dealing with the ACCC in respect of authorisations and notifications.
  • Pricing, supply, misleading conduct, unconscionable conduct and other aspects of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  • Documenting licensing and distribution arrangements that do not fall within the Franchising Code of Conduct. Talk to us about on- and off-shore manufacturing deals.
  • Advice on the issue of new franchises including the handling of all documents and negotiations.
  • Guidance with master franchising and area development.
  • Help with mediation and dispute resolution.
  • Advice on commercial property leasing including negotiation and preparation of premises leases, subleases and other real property matters.

We act for many franchisors across Australia and New Zealand. Many of our clients are household names with established national and international networks.

We assist new and emerging franchisors in the establishment process and regulatory framework.

Our typical engagement with a franchisor is a long-term business partnership. Some of this is spent issuing franchise documentation, dealing with franchisee transfers or renewals, and ensuring that updates to documentation are well-managed and compliant.

Our core role is to take away the compliance burden so you can focus on your business.

Strategic management of franchisee relations is crucial to the success of any franchise. Tactful management of franchisee issues is an integral part of our service. Whether that involves a thorough approach to ensure compliance or something more delicate, we work hand in hand with the decision-makers to ensure that we reduce the stress and cost of growing and maintaining a franchise network.

We have been involved in many franchise mediations and disputes. Our success rate speaks for itself. Read testimonials from satisfied clients.

At Rouse Lawyers, we believe in providing holistic advice for clients. With this in mind, we’ve developed strong relationships with reputable, professional franchise consulting and accounting firms.

This allows us to refer our clients to specialists for advice and services that are outside of those offered by a law firm. We’ll help you create a team that’s ‘got your back’ across all of your franchise enterprise.

What Can Our Franchise Lawyers Do For Franchisees?

Need help or advice about the franchising regulatory environment? Here are are just a few areas our franchise lawyers can assist you with:
  • Advising franchisees on franchise agreements and disclosure documentation for the grant of a franchise. We explain the mountain of paperwork to you in plain English.
  • Assisting franchisees (whether as sellers or buyers) in franchise sales and acquisitions from business sale contract negotiation to leasing, review of franchise and associated documentation.
  • Franchise transfers, renewals and terminations.
  • Leasing and licensing of premises, including the negotiation of real property leases, subleases and premises licenses.
  • Disputes resolutions and mediation.

Rouse Lawyers’ Process For Advising Our Franchisees

Most franchisees we advise look for a turnkey legal solution. We are often involved in business structuring and leasing matters at the same time as advising on the franchise documentation provided by a franchisee.

We have developed a unique process for advising franchisees.

Our franchise lawyers offer:

  • A comprehensive review of the franchise documentation by our franchise lawyers.
  • Preparation of a written ‘Franchise Summary Report’, which:
    • outlines, in plain English, the key terms of the agreement, your rights and obligations and other legal matters that are important to consider;
    • provides high level advice regarding franchising in general and the operation of the Franchising Code of Conduct; and
    • highlights our recommended changes.
  • A meeting with you to discuss our review and advice, along with your questions. While we prefer a face to face meetings, we offer alternative options such as teleconference or Skype.
  • A summary of our comments on the franchise documentation, including possible suggested changes.
  • Assistance with execution of the franchise agreement, including signing the independent legal advice report (if requested to do so), and other legal documents such as company or leasing documentation.
  • Alert for any peculiar or unfair provisions that appear out of the ordinary.
  • Independent solicitors certificates.

Franchise Agreements

Franchise agreements are the key element of the relationship between a franchisor and franchisee. The development and ongoing management of a franchise agreement requires an understanding of key areas such as:

The form of the franchise agreement must reflect the commercial intent of the business rather than structured purely on legal considerations.

A franchise agreement by its nature has enormous variety from one to the next and there are different structures such as master franchise agreements, multi-unit franchise agreements, area development franchise agreements and joint venture agreements.

Licensing and Distribution

Often it is the distinction between a licence, distribution or supply arrangement and franchise that needs first consideration.

There are different implications for clients depending on what they intend to do in the future and the level of regulation that applies.

When documenting a license or distribution agreement it is important to consider important matters such as:

  • territory
  • minimum performance criteria
  • product or service requirements
  • pricing
  • supply arrangements and delivery
  • obligations & responsibilities
  • termination
  • product recall
  • promotion & marketing
  • intellectual property.

We work closely with our clients to draft agreements and business relationships that reflect the specific commercial intent of the arrangement.

Why Choosing Rouse Lawyers?

We are committed to going ‘on the journey’ with you to ensure you are in control and fully-informed at every step.

Importantly, our ‘no surprises’ fee policy means you can feel completely comfortable to give us a call when you need us. Unlike many commercial law firms in Brisbane, we don’t ‘start the meter’ every time the phone rings.

We are as keen on your success as you are!

Rouse Lawyers is a member of the Franchise Council of Australia.


Latest Articles – Franchising, Licensing and Distribution

Peter Rouse

Special Counsel – Corporate and Commercial

Matthew Rouse

Managing Director – Corporate & Commercial and Mergers & Acquisitions

Client Reviews

“We highly recommend Rouse Lawyers.

Rouse Lawyers acted for us in the sale of our software business, Precision Mining, to Micromine, a global mining software company. It was a substantial transaction and one in which we (the founding owners) relied on the Rouse M&A team to guide us through the process. We were very impressed with their efforts and tenacity in what was a complex and extensive negotiation process. We highly recommend Rouse Lawyers not only for their M&A expertise but also generally for growing SME’s in the technology space.”

“It’s hard to find good lawyer that understands a “tech” business – Rouse Lawyers are that firm…

“A Big Thank You” to Matthew & the Team at Rouse Lawyers – have assisted me & my business in so many different legal items – from wills to buying property/structuring our business/trademarks/negotiating large deals/spam/privacy issues/lease on our 4 different offices… It’s hard to find good lawyer that understands a “tech” business – Rouse Lawyers are that firm… so skilled in many areas.”

“We have relied on good advice from Rouse Lawyers.

We believe software is driving the world forward. Disruption is happening in every industry and it is our clients who are proactively integrating software into their businesses, to set a whole new standard around the way business is done. We are a business that is growing rapidly and know the importance of good legal advice, which is why we have relied on Rouse Lawyers. Focusing on creating digital platforms on which our clients can innovate to ensure they are the ones modernising, is what gets us out of bed in the mornings.”

“I would recommend Rouse Lawyers for any business

Young Guns has engaged Rouse Lawyer for all legal requirement/advice for the past 10 years. They have been on our business journey from 10 employees to 450 employees. Matt and Peter have always showed a personal interest in our business success and therefore made many recommendations for short term and long term strategies. I would be happy to recommend Rouse Lawyers for any business looking for a legal partner who they can trust and can provide ongoing, up to date advice.”

“Their knowledge of franchising is comprehensive

I have tried several of the larger law firms at the big end of town but found their services to be quite bland and predictable. Rouse Lawyers’s style of operation suits me much better, their knowledge of franchising is comprehensive, and just as importantly, their thinking is distinctly street wise and entrepreneurial.”

Ready To Take The Next Step?

To see how we can guide you through your requirements, please contact us for more information.