When selling a business in Victoria for less than $450,000, a disclosure statement must be provided to the purchaser. In May 2018, the Victorian Parliament increased the threshold purchase price of a business from $350,000 to $450,000, below which a disclosure statement must be provided by the vendor. Commonly known as a “section 52 statement”, the disclosure statement contains a summary of the recent trading and financial performance of the business to be sold.
The recent decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in BB Australia Pty Ltd v Danset Pty Ltd  NSWCA 101 found that while there had been a clear breach of the franchise agreement, the franchisor had failed to show that they had incurred a loss or that a fiduciary duty had been breached, and thus, was unable to recoup damages. This finding demonstrates how the circumstances of a case can affect the remedies available for any breach.
Since 2005, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in partnership with other Federal, State and New Zealand Government organisations have operated the Scam Awareness Network. The purpose of the network is to work alongside non-governmental and private sector bodies to protect consumers from fraud. Every year the Network runs ‘Scams Awareness Week’, which will be held 21-25 May this year.
Federal Parliament is currently accepting submissions for another inquiry into franchising and, in particular, the Franchising Code of Conduct. With the report due to be released in September 2018, some have argued that resources would be better aimed at enforcing compliance with existing franchise laws rather than trying to prevent unscrupulous conduct by amending existing laws.
Whatever your view, in the current media and political climate, franchisors are advised to review their franchise agreements and related agreements and the manner in which they deal with franchisees to mitigate the risk of disputes or claims raised by franchisees or regulators.