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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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We have a franchise (in Australia) term ending in Oct 2015.

Customer Question

Hi, We have a franchise (in Australia) term ending in Oct 2015. It has very recently come to light that the Master franchisor never got the contract signed or dated by anyone concerned 5yrs ago, for the current period due to end in three months. Unbeknownst to this fact, we have been operating as if a franchise with a signed agreement.
I've now been told it is still valid & binding as it would now become an Implied Contract (not a franchise contract).
We want out of this contract/agreement and may have cause for it to be void/invalid/rescinded,
The original pre-contract franchise assignment( which we got checked out legally) and the actual (unsigned) franchise contract sent out later, differ in their content in several significant areas. (Misrepresentation?)
Not actually having a signed contract could also be a Mutual Mistake?
The master franchisor is also in violation of the Federal franchise code of conduct in several areas, which have never been redressed or adhered to. We have good grounds to report them. But is that then consenting that we have an (unsigned) franchise contract that is binding?
We would like to exit this franchise with our business (operating for 12 yrs) and clients intact and be able to rebrand it and go it alone. Or sell it.
Any advise on contract law in this situation, would be helpful.
Thanks
John.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good Afternoon, The fact you have been operating as a franchise, even though there was not agreement signed by them the conduct shows that they were bound by itTo terminate may be hard as you signed it and have been operating under it for all this time. Your rights to termite would come under the Franchise agreement. If he has breached it by not doing what he has to then you can look at terminating. You are bound by all the agreement and confidentiality and cannot simply take the idea etc because he has not signed. Both his actions and your show that you intended to be bound and that is a binding agreement.