What should you do when disputes with your Franchisor arise?

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Disputes happen! It is likely you will have disputes in many areas of your life, from with your spouse and children to employees or suppliers. Sometimes that parking space that you know you got to first can end up in dispute. It is therefore fairly likely you will end up in a dispute with your Franchisor at some point. How we deal with those disputes is often the key to a successful resolution.

If you have a dispute with your Franchisor bring it up early and be clear about what you are disputing and the reasons why. It is good to put across the outcome you are hoping to achieve from the dispute and to put the details in writing so you both have a clear record of the discussion. Spelling out the dispute details and what you would like done to resolve it gives your Franchisor a clear pathway to what you believe is the outcome that should occur. If your Franchisor can accommodate your concerns and give you the outcome you are seeking they more than often will as long as they see it as reasonable.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) has a notice of dispute template online.

When you and your Franchisor cannot see eye to eye there are mechanisms in place to have the dispute mediated so a solution can be found. Contact the ASBFEO, they can arrange for the Franchising Mediation Adviser to appoint one for you.

Make sure you prepare prior to attending mediation, so you can present your case and show the outcome you would like to achieve.

There is more information about resolving franchising disputes on the ACCC website. You can also contact ASBFEO on 1300 650 460 or via their website. You can also contact your local Small Business Commissioner whom may also be able to provide a dispute resolution service.