Franchise Agreements: What are they, and How they work

Are you considering starting a franchise business? If so, you will need to understand the basics of franchise agreements. A franchise agreement is an agreement between the franchisor (the company selling the franchise) and the franchisee (the person or business buying the franchise). The agreement outlines the obligations and rights of both parties and ensures that the franchisee understands the terms of the arrangement. In this article, we’ll explain what franchise agreements are and how they work.

What is a franchise agreement?

A franchise agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions under which a franchisee can use a franchisor’s intellectual property, business model, and operational systems. Simply put, it is a contract that governs the relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee.

Franchise agreements are typically used in industries such as fast food, retail, and hospitality, where franchisors have established successful brands and want to expand their reach through a network of franchisees. The franchisee pays a fee to the franchisor for the right to use their trademark, trade secrets, and other intellectual property, as well as receive ongoing training and support.

A franchise agreement typically covers a wide range of topics, including the duration of the agreement, the fees, and royalties the franchisee must pay, the franchisor’s obligations to provide training and support, the territory where the franchisee can operate, the standards the franchisee must follow in terms of branding, advertising, and customer service, and the conditions under which the agreement can be terminated.

The terms of a franchise agreement are negotiable, and franchisors may be willing to make some concessions depending on the experience and financial resources of the franchisee. However, franchise agreements are typically non-negotiable in many aspects, as they need to ensure consistency and quality across the franchise network.

In short, a franchise agreement is a crucial component of any franchise business, and both franchisors and franchisees should carefully review the terms and conditions of the agreement before signing.

How franchise agreements work

A franchise agreement is a legal contract between a franchisor and a franchisee. It sets out the terms and conditions under which the franchisee can use the franchisor’s business model, brand, and intellectual property.

Typically, the franchisee will pay the franchisor an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties in exchange for the right to use the franchisor’s name, systems, and support. The franchisor, in turn, agrees to provide training, marketing support, and ongoing assistance to the franchisee.

Franchise agreements also outline the obligations of both the franchisor and the franchisee. For example, the franchisor may require the franchisee to use specific suppliers or purchase certain products. Similarly, the franchisee may be required to follow specific rules regarding the operation of the franchise, such as hours of operation or the type of products sold.

It’s important to note that franchise agreements are typically for a fixed period of time, such as ten years, and may be renewable. Also, franchise agreements may include provisions for terminating the agreement if certain conditions are not met.

Overall, franchise agreements can be complex documents, and it’s essential for both parties to fully understand their obligations and responsibilities before signing. Seeking legal advice can be a good idea to ensure that both parties are protected and that the agreement is fair and reasonable for both parties.

What a franchise agreement should include

When drafting a franchise agreement, a few key components should be included to ensure that both the franchisor and franchisee are protected and fully understand their roles and responsibilities. Here are some crucial items to include in a franchise agreement:

  • Intellectual Property: The franchise agreement should clearly outline the intellectual property rights owned by the franchisor, including trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The franchisee must adhere to these guidelines and cannot use any of the franchisor’s intellectual property without prior approval.
  • Training and Support: Franchisors must provide training and support to franchisees to ensure they are adequately prepared to operate the business. The franchise agreement should detail the type and frequency of training provided and any ongoing support the franchisor offers.
  • Fees and Royalties: Franchise agreements will outline the franchisee’s initial fees to secure the rights to use the franchisor’s intellectual property. It will also include details on ongoing royalties and fees the franchisee must pay.
  • Operating Procedures: The franchisor should provide the franchisee with a comprehensive manual outlining operating procedures. This will include instructions on everything from marketing strategies to employee management to financial reporting requirements.
  • Territory Restrictions: The franchise agreement should outline the geographic territory where the franchisee can operate. This is important to prevent conflicts with other franchisees and protect the brand’s integrity.
  • Termination and Renewal: The franchise agreement should outline the terms of termination, including the circumstances that could lead to the franchisor ending the agreement early. It should also outline the renewal process if the franchisee wishes to renew the agreement at the end of the term.

By including these key items in a franchise agreement, both the franchisor and franchisee can feel secure in their roles and responsibilities. It is crucial to consult with legal and financial professionals before entering into any franchise agreement to ensure that you fully understand all of the terms and implications.


In summary, franchise agreements are legal documents that govern the relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee. These agreements define the terms and conditions under which the franchisee is authorized to operate a business under the franchisor’s brand name and system. The franchise agreement should include information about the franchise fees, training and support, marketing and advertising requirements, intellectual property rights, and termination provisions. It is vital for both the franchisor and the franchisee to carefully review and negotiate the terms of the franchise agreement before signing it. By understanding the rights and obligations outlined in the agreement, franchisees can successfully run their business and achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

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