Legal Aspects of Franchising in the Philippines

Franchising is a popular business model in the Philippines that allows entrepreneurs to expand their brand and operations through partnerships with franchisees. However, franchising involves various legal considerations and compliance requirements. This guide outlines the key legal aspects of franchising in the Philippines.

1. Understanding Franchising

Definition: Franchising is a contractual relationship where the franchisor grants the franchisee the right to operate a business using the franchisor’s brand, systems, and support, in exchange for fees and royalties.

2. Key Legal Documents

  1. Franchise Agreement

    • Purpose: The main contract between the franchisor and franchisee outlining the terms and conditions of the franchise relationship.
    • Key Elements:
      • Grant of Franchise: Details the rights and obligations of both parties.
      • Territory: Specifies the geographic area where the franchisee can operate.
      • Term and Renewal: Defines the duration of the agreement and renewal conditions.
      • Fees and Payments: Outlines initial franchise fees, royalties, and other financial obligations.
      • Training and Support: Describes the training programs and ongoing support provided by the franchisor.
      • Operational Standards: Sets the standards and procedures for operating the franchise.
      • Advertising and Marketing: Details the franchisor’s and franchisee’s responsibilities for advertising and marketing.
      • Termination: Specifies the conditions under which the franchise agreement can be terminated.
      • Dispute Resolution: Outlines the mechanisms for resolving disputes.
  2. Disclosure Document (Franchise Disclosure Document – FDD)

    • Purpose: Provides comprehensive information about the franchisor and the franchise system to potential franchisees.
    • Key Elements:
      • Franchisor Information: Background, ownership, and business history.
      • Business Experience: Experience of the franchisor’s key executives.
      • Litigation History: Information on any litigation involving the franchisor.
      • Franchise Fees: Detailed breakdown of all fees and costs associated with the franchise.
      • Financial Statements: The franchisor’s audited financial statements.
      • Franchisee Obligations: Overview of the franchisee’s responsibilities and obligations.

3. Legal Compliance and Registration

1. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

  • Business Name Registration: Ensure the franchisor and franchisee register their business names with the DTI.

2. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

  • Franchisor Registration: If the franchisor is a corporation, it must be registered with the SEC.
  • Disclosure Requirements: While the Philippines does not have a specific franchise registration law, it’s advisable to follow best practices for disclosure and transparency.

3. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)

  • Tax Registration: Both franchisors and franchisees must register with the BIR for tax purposes.
  • Issuance of Receipts: Ensure compliance with BIR regulations on issuing official receipts and invoices.

4. Local Government Units (LGUs)

  • Business Permits: Obtain necessary business permits and licenses from the local city or municipal hall where the franchise will operate.
  • Zoning Clearances: Ensure that the business location complies with local zoning ordinances.

4. Intellectual Property Protection

1. Trademark Registration

  • Importance: Protects the franchisor’s brand and ensures that the franchisee can legally use the trademarks.
  • Process:
    • Application: File a trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
    • Maintenance: Monitor and renew trademark registrations as required.

2. Trade Secrets and Confidentiality

  • Confidentiality Agreements: Include confidentiality clauses in the franchise agreement to protect proprietary information and trade secrets.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs): Use NDAs to protect sensitive information shared with potential franchisees during the negotiation process.

5. Operational Compliance

1. Health and Safety Regulations

  • Compliance: Ensure that the franchise operations comply with national and local health and safety regulations, including sanitary permits and fire safety certifications.

2. Employment Laws

  • Labor Code Compliance: Adhere to the Labor Code of the Philippines regarding employee rights, benefits, and working conditions.
  • Employee Training: Provide training programs to ensure that franchise employees meet operational standards.

6. Financial Considerations

1. Initial Franchise Fee

  • Definition: A one-time fee paid by the franchisee to the franchisor for the right to operate the franchise.
  • Disclosure: Clearly disclose the initial franchise fee in the franchise agreement and disclosure document.

2. Royalties and Ongoing Fees

  • Structure: Define the structure for ongoing royalties, which may be a percentage of sales or a fixed fee.
  • Payment Terms: Specify the payment terms and conditions in the franchise agreement.

3. Marketing and Advertising Fees

  • Fund Contributions: Outline contributions to national or regional advertising funds.
  • Local Advertising: Detail the franchisee’s obligations for local advertising and promotions.

7. Dispute Resolution

1. Mediation and Arbitration

  • Preferred Methods: Include provisions for mediation and arbitration as the preferred methods for resolving disputes.
  • Arbitration Clauses: Specify the rules and procedures for arbitration, including the choice of arbitrators and the arbitration forum.

2. Legal Proceedings

  • Jurisdiction: Define the jurisdiction and venue for any legal proceedings related to the franchise agreement.
  • Governing Law: Specify the governing law for the franchise agreement, typically the laws of the Philippines.

Best Practices for Franchising

  1. Conduct Thorough Due Diligence

    • Ensure potential franchisees conduct due diligence on the franchisor’s business model, financial health, and operational standards.
  2. Provide Comprehensive Training and Support

    • Offer initial and ongoing training programs to ensure franchisees can operate the business successfully.
  3. Maintain Open Communication

    • Establish clear communication channels between the franchisor and franchisees to address issues and provide support.
  4. Regular Audits and Inspections

    • Conduct regular audits and inspections to ensure compliance with franchise standards and operational procedures.
  5. Update Legal Documents Regularly

    • Periodically review and update the franchise agreement and disclosure document to reflect changes in the business model, market conditions, and legal requirements.


Franchising in the Philippines involves navigating various legal and regulatory requirements to ensure compliance and protect the interests of both franchisors and franchisees. By understanding the key legal aspects and following best practices, businesses can successfully expand their operations through franchising.

Navigating the business landscape in the Philippines can be both rewarding and intricate. Whether you’re embarking on a new venture or scaling up, ensuring that your corporate endeavors are in line with local regulations is paramount.

At CBOS Business Solutions Inc., we pride ourselves on simplifying these processes for our clients. As a seasoned professional services company, we offer comprehensive assistance with SEC Registration, Visa processing, and a myriad of other essential business requirements. Our team of experts is dedicated to ensuring that your business is compliant, well-established, and ready to thrive in the Philippine market.

Why venture into the complexities of business registration and compliance alone? Allow our team to guide you every step of the way. After all, your success is our commitment.

Get in touch today and let us be your partner in achieving your business goals in the Philippines.

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Mobile No.: +639270032851

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