Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale


Understanding the Franchise Agreement

Here is a useful guide to learning all the elements that make up a franchise agreement. Knowing the main components of the agreement is important, so you can complete your franchise journey with confidence.

the franchise agreement

What is the Franchise Agreement?

The franchise agreement is simply a contract between you (the franchisee) and the franchisor, and it is legally binding. It outlines, in depth, what the franchisor expects of you regarding how you grow the business in every aspect. Because the terms, conditions, and methods of operation of various franchises vary greatly depending on the type of business, franchise agreements can look different. However, there are typical examples of them.

Different Types of Franchise Agreements:

what to expect


The franchisee is guaranteed the authority to establish and set up a single franchise unit under a single-unit agreement. This is the most basic and widely utilized sort of agreement. These franchise agreements are especially appealing to new franchisors because they provide a simple method to explore the field of franchising. If a franchisee succeeds over time, the franchisor may eventually expand the agreement to cover new units.


A multi-unit agreement is a contract that allows a franchisee to create and manage many franchise locations. A multi-unit setup isn't confined to a specific geographical area. Franchisees may have locations in various parts of town. In other circumstances, these franchise agreements include deadlines, requiring the franchisee to follow guidelines for building a certain number of units.

Area development

A multi-unit contract is comparable to an area development agreement in that the franchisee is granted the opportunity to develop and control many units within a specific period. However, the franchisor provides the exclusive franchisee privileges to expand in a specific territory under these franchise agreements. No other franchisees will operate units in that particular region during the contract duration.


Franchisees have even more powers under master franchise agreements than they have under area development agreements. A master franchisee can sell franchises within their particular region to other people and have the duty and authority to open a set quantity of units inside a specific territory.

Key Elements of the Agreement You Should Know

At its core, a franchise agreement establishes how the franchisor and franchisee will operate together. It also outlines how both sides must uphold duties and responsibilities. Following are some key elements found in a franchise agreement:

Usage of trademark

The trademark owner licenses the franchisee the right to use their trademarks under franchise agreements. According to the Canadian Trademarks Law, a trademark owner can authorize one or more people to use it by signing a signed and notarized contract. To illustrate this point, trademarks are an integral and important aspect of Burger King, Timothy's World Coffee, and Tim Hortons franchise models. Burger King has an array of trademarked services and products.

Location of the franchise (territory rights)

According to the franchise agreement, there will be a separate clause for the territory and locations of the outlet. The franchisor can help the franchisee choose the best location for its franchise to attract more customers. If the franchisor intends to give sole exclusivity to a franchisee in a specific geographic location, a language in the agreement must be included to that effect.

Terms of the franchise

The franchisor must share a copy of their operation manual, which contains proprietary and operational information. It includes specifications for the layout of the outlets, hiring policies, operating procedures, and a training manual that provides the technical know-how to perform business operations, such as the use of equipment, understanding of the methods, and so on. It is one of the franchisor’s responsibilities do so to maintain the standard of excellence.

Franchise fee and payments

This charge is paid to the franchisor in exchange for the right to sell their products and services using their trademark. The franchisor has set up a business structure and raised brand recognition. In exchange, franchisors ask for a franchise fee, depending on the franchise.


These franchise fees are usually computed as a percentage of weekly or monthly sales revenue, and they can be paid weekly, monthly, or quarterly during the franchise agreement's term.

Royalty payments usually cover things like operating manual updates and the franchisor's continuous assistance and other resources. Individual franchisee fees are also utilized to keep all of the present sites running smoothly and keep the brand alive and well.

Item 6 of a company's FDD (franchise disclosure document) and your franchise agreement specify the precise percentage you'll pay, how frequently you'll pay it, and whether it can grow or decrease. For example, those interested in purchasing a franchise with Tim Hortons would pay royalty fees of between 4.5% and 6% of gross sales.

Advertising standards

The franchisee commits to receive the franchisor's specific, signed permission for any advertising, marketing, or promotional items that may be utilized for the purpose of the franchise location under this section.

The franchise agreement will specify whether the franchisee is obligated to pay the franchisor any advertising costs. This money is intended to advertise the franchise system, not just your particular location.

Advertising costs may be set as a percentage of gross or net sales or as a fixed monthly payment, depending on the franchisor. The most frequent marketing cost charged by franchisors is known as a "brand development fund," to which a franchisee contributes.

The franchise agreement will specify whether a franchisee is expected to donate to a brand development fund and other duties relating to the franchisee's local advertising strategies.

Insurance requirements

According to the franchise agreement, the franchisee will be needed to maintain specified insurance coverage during the length of the franchise. You can also expect indemnity provisions. The franchisee, for instance, will indeed be obliged to "remunerate, protect, and safeguard" the franchisor against any lawsuits, fees, losses, or expenditures originating from the franchisee's activity.


Is there a possibility of renewal for franchisees?

No statutory law inidicates a right to renewal from a franchisee’s perspective. It will be the franchisor’s decision to approve the renewal.

On what conditions can a franchisor decline to renew a franchise agreement?

These are unique to the franchise agreement in concern and are entitled to any relevant statute or common law requirement of procedural fairness and good faith.

Are there any legal or practical prerequisites?

Renewals are typically done under Canadian franchise agreements by the franchisee notifying the franchisor within a certain period before the termination of the then-current agreed period. Renewal may be spontaneous in some cases, but only if either party notifies the other that renewal is not feasible or wanted.


A franchisor may cancel a franchise agreement for a variety of reasons. In terms of seeking redress as a franchisee, these situations will be unique to the franchise agreement and are susceptible to any appropriate statute or common law requirement of fair dealing and good faith. If the franchisor fails to comply with these obligations, the franchisee will have certain rights to take action.

Take the Next Step to Business Ownership

Franchising offers a world of possibilities and rewards. It provides more potential for development, lower hazards, and higher security and can be more affordable than starting and maintaining a business from scratch.

There are thousands of franchises out there, and you can explore the latest and most lucrative opportunities with at any time.

Don't hesitate to contact our support team if you need assistance or clarification on the franchising process. This is an exciting time in your business journey, and we wish you the best of luck.