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 suggests that franchising does need regulating and that the economic determinants and the interparty dynamics of the franchisor/ franchisee relationship lead to a contractual environment that transcends sectoral divergence and the differing legal traditions of EU member states. This contractual environment tends to support and re-enforce the economic drivers that encourage franchisors to become involved in franchising and reduces their consequential inherent risk to a reasonable level. However, although it tends to re-enforce some of the economic drivers that encourage franchisees to become involved in franchising it does not re-enforce them all and it fails to reduce all the consequential inherent risks for franchisees to an adequate level. The regulatory environment in the EU within which franchising operates (which comprises a series of legal eco-systems) does not adequately protect and reinforce the economic attractions that drive franchisors and franchisees to become involved in franchising. Nor does it adequately reduce the consequen- tial risks. It is therefore to some extent responsible for the underachievement of franchising in the EU.

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