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Can franchise agreements be different in the same network?
Whilst it is possible to have different franchise agreements in the same network, it is very unusual. The reason for this is that a franchise agreement is rarely negotiable and is usually offered to a franchisee on a take it or leave it basis. The exception to this rule may be where a franchisee will be operating a number of franchises in the same network or is the first or pilot franchisee. There are a number of reasons for this ‘take it or leave it’ attitude of franchisors, with one of the main reasons being to maintain uniformity across the whole of its franchise network. Uniformity is important, not only for the franchisor as it allows it to manage the franchise network more efficiently, but also protects the franchisees as it means that each franchisee will be aware that every other franchisee in the network has the same rights, but is also subject to the same obligations and restrictions. In practice, if there are different franchise agreements in the same network it may lead to bad feeling between franchisees, as one may feel that it is being treated less favourably than another. If this is allowed to happen, it can lead to additional management problems for the franchisor - something that most franchisors are keen to avoid.
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