dr Monika Behrens

Attorney at law (Poland)
Associate Partner
Phone: +48 22 244 00 26

Renata Kabas-Komorniczak

Tax adviser (Poland)
Branch manager
Phone: +48 22 696 28 00

The term ‘franchising’ has been already common in Poland and it may be well stated that this is the best-developed way to sell goods and services. The basic idea of franchising is very simple: to let independent entrepreneurs use a specific, tried and tested business concept. Within the standard frame of such a venture, an independent franchisee is regarded as a part of a renowned business chain. If purchased, a franchise license for a proven business provides good odds of success. Usually, a significant return on the capital invested and a bonus for commitment may as well be expected. Universal nature of franchising and its great success in the United States and Canada substantiates the conviction that it is a tried and tested way of business, successfully exploited by thousands of business people in various industries around the world.

At the same time it is worth remembering that neither franchisor nor franchisee are safe from wrong practices and failures. They may, however, minimise the business risk. The requisition of the franchisee for various information is high before signing as well as during effectiveness of a franchise agreement. The same applies to the franchisor who intends to draw on solutions of a Western franchising chain but often has little knowledge of doing business in the Polish legal system, and consequently encounters obstacles to develop such a chain system.

In principle, the Polish market does not differ much from other European markets, apart from some minor regulatory dissimilarities. Corporate consolidation, globalisation, acquisitions and the thus related failures of licensees happen around the world. Investment risks are similar too. Our market is not free of such threats either. There is unpredictable law which may sometimes hinder the development of franchise chains and the knowledge of franchising is still insufficient.

In addition, any franchisor who intends to expand abroad should take a close-up look at the legal solutions applied in the target country. Those regulations will at large determine the shape of the final expansion-related documents as well as the type of changes to be accounted for in an already existing system.

Rödl & Partner specialists advise clients on the issues which should receive special attention when concluding a franchise agreement and on the way in which competition and consumer protection is provided for under a given regulatory system. Our services in this area include also tax consultancy on franchise-related matters, i.e. taxation of know-how, granting licenses and rights to trademarks as well as advisory services.