There is a basic minimum in the franchise industry when it comes to commercial dignity, equity and fairness.
The American Association of Franchisees and Dealers House of Delegates adopted and promulgated the Franchisee Bill of Rights on June 6, 1996, and works to promote awareness and acceptance of these rights among the franchising community and the general public.
They put this forth as the minimum requirements of a fair and equitable franchise system:
- The right to an equity in the franchised business, including the right to meaningful market protection.
- The right to engage in a trade or business, including a post-termination right to compete.
- The right to the franchisors loyalty, good faith and fair dealing, and due care in the performance of the franchisors duties, and a fiduciary relationship where one has been promised or created by conduct.
- The right to trademark protection.
- The right to full disclosure from the franchisor, including the right to earnings data available to the franchisor which is relevant to the franchisees decision to enter or remain in the franchise relationship.
- The right to initial and ongoing training and support.
- The right to competitive sourcing of inventory, product, service and supplies.
- The right to reasonable restraints upon the franchisors ability to require changes within the franchise system.
- The right to marketing assistance.
- The right to associate with other franchisees.
- The right to representation and access to the franchisor.
- The right to local dispute resolution and protection under the laws and the courts of the franchisee’s jurisdiction.
- A reasonable right to renew the franchise.
- The reciprocal right to terminate the franchise agreement for reasonable and just cause, and the right not to face termination, unless for cause.