Fiona Boswell

Partner, Head of Franchising and Commercial Services


2018 legal issues for the franchise sector

Fiona Boswell

In this article we will highlight some of the main legal matters which franchise owners should ensure they know as we settle into the new year. 


The General Data Protection Regulation will come into effect on 25 May. There is also a new Data Protection Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament. The Bill will go on to form a new Data Protection Act.

These new regulations will apply to any organisations, which hold and process data and impose significant greater penalties for noncompliance and give individuals greater control over how their data is used. It is vital franchise businesses ensure they are GDPR ready prior to this deadline.


The UK will be leaving the European Union in 2019. This will impact business contracts and brand portfolios that are covered currently by EU rights that may require UK protection instead.

Franchise Businesses should ensure that contracts and brand portfolios  are in so far as possible Brexit proof.

Social media, E and M- Commerce

E and M Commerce is a vital data source. When receiving any information from individuals, businesses should ensure that such information is only used and stored strictly in accordance with the current data protection regulations at that time.

Brand protection is also vital when operating online. Businesses should ensure that their brand is protected by way of a trademark registration. An online presence means that your information, including business model and logo, is available for all to access freely/copy. By ensuring your brand is protected, you will be able to take enforcement action against any infringements.

Consumer rights

Consumer rights should be at the forefront of retail franchise business’ priorities, due to Christmas returns and new year sales. New rules come into effect on 13 January which mean that traders will no longer be able to impose a surcharge for use of a credit or debit card to make payment, provided that both parties are using ‘payment service providers’ located in Member States.

Retailers should ensure their terms and conditions reflect the requirements of these new laws.

If you're interested in any of the topics raised in this article, or for further information, please contact Fiona. Alternatively, you can call to speak to one of the team on 0115 9888 777. 


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