New registry to strengthen credibility in franchising sector
AUSTRALIA’S first franchise registry was launched Wednesday by Federal Small Business Minister Bruce Billson at a franchise industry event in Melbourne. ACCC Deputy Chair Michael Schaper and Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Chairman Michael Paul also spoke at the event, addressing a group of leading figures in franchising.
Minister Billson welcomed the establishment of The Franchise Registry™ and its ability to further enhance the credibility of Australian franchising, improve franchisor compliance and provide an excellent resource for people looking to invest in a franchise.
The Franchise Registry™ promotes greater transparency in the sector which boasts over 1,100 franchise systems and 70,000 franchised businesses. It requires franchise brands to provide a current Disclosure Document and current Franchise Agreement each year and to also confirm these documents comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct. Successfully registered franchise systems receive a unique franchise registration number which they can use in all dealings.
The registry will provide people looking to enter franchising, and their advisors, with a base level of assurance in identifying genuine and responsible brands, helping disperse the cloud of uncertainty that persists over the industry as a result of recent Government inquiries.
Officially launching The Franchise Registry™ before the ARA Retail Leaders Lunch at the RACV City Club, Minister Billson said the initiative would aid decision-making in the franchising sector.
“Federal Government has long had an appetite for better indicators of stability in franchising and we welcome any initiative that can generate more meaningful data that we can use to enhance our support of the sector,” he said.
Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Chairman Michael Paul said the registry would highlight credibility and strength in the $131 billion sector.
“It’s unfortunate that allegations of inappropriate franchisor behaviour from a small but vocal minority have the potential to impact the reputation of the wider franchising sector when Australia is the envy of global franchising, with the lowest rates of franchisee disputes in the world,” he said.
“We welcome the registry and its ability to generate broad and insightful data on our sector, allowing us to enhance the representation of our members by putting issues into context and proactively promoting our strengths.”
Darryn McAuliffe, CEO of FRANdata Australia, which administers The Franchise Registry™, said the registry allowed franchisors to protect and enhance the reputation of their industry.
“An information gap exists between the positive economic performance of franchising and the way people view individual franchise brands, but the publicly accessible registry gives responsible franchisors the opportunity to strengthen the credibility in franchising,” he said.
The former National Manager Franchise Banking at NAB added that the registry would also improve a franchise brand’s finance lending potential.
“Registration evidences a commitment to closing the current information gaps that hinder the identification and assessment of key lending risks, helping both franchisees and franchisors access finance,” McAuliffe said.
More than two hundred franchise systems are already listed on The Franchise Registry™.
The registry can be found at the website www.thefranchiseregistry.com.au.