The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU

The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU

Elgar Intellectual Property Law and Practice series

Mark Abell

The Law and Regulation of Franchising in the EU provides an in-depth analysis of the regulatory environment for franchising in the EU. Franchising in the EU comprises nearly 10,000 franchised brands and over €215 billion (US$300 billion) turnover per annum. However, compared to its scale in the US and Australia, franchising is not realising its full potential in the EU and the author points to the lack of homogeneity across members states as a large part of the problem.


Mark Abell

Subjects: law - academic, commercial law, european law, intellectual property law, law -professional, commercial law, intellectual property law


This chapter seeks to show that although franchising is a specific, distinct and uniform type of commercial activity with a positive influence in the EU which stimulates economic activity by offering economic advantages to all those involved, improves distribution and gives business increased access to other member states, it is not fulfilling its full potential to contribute to the realisation of the single market. In order to understand the reasons for this underper- formance in the EU and the way in which the regulatory environment might be re-engineered to improve franchising’s contribution to the single market, this book endeavours to better understand what franchising is. It does this by analysing both the economic and legal features of the architecture of franchising, distinguishing it from agency and distribution, identifying the tensile stresses that arise within franchising and deconstructing the economic and sectoral contextualisation of franchising and its economic rationale and risks. It con- cludes that, despite the impact of variable determinants such as the value of the investment required from franchisees and the commercial sectors in which the business operates, the architecture of franchising comprises six fundamental features that are always present.These are independence of the parties, economic interest, use of a brand, use of a business format, control of the franchisee by the franchisor and assistance provided to the franchisee by the franchisor. This architecture withstands the tensile stresses placed upon franchising by its long term and dynamic nature.

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