The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that franchisors in the take-away food and fitness industries will be audited to ensure compliance with the Franchising Code of Conduct.
The ACCC frequently runs compliance campaigns to ensure standards are being met, and operators will be largely selected at random.
That said, traders with a history of complaints or non-compliance (including prior dealings with the ACCC), are likely to be selected.
The consumer watchdog also targets its selection on which industries to audit based on those which generate a disproportionate number of complaints. The ACCC has said it may broaden the scope of its selection process in future.
Within the current audit campaign, the ACCC has the power to compel a trader to provide information or documents, which they are required to keep, generate or publish under a prescribed code.
For franchisors, this includes:
- disclosure documents
- marketing fund statements
- franchise agreements.
For selected operators, an audit notice will be sent which clearly sets out the information and documents needed.
More information on ACCC audits is available here.