New Law on Franchising in Italy. On May 6, 2004 the Italian parliament approved the first law on franchising contracts in Italy (Law No. 129 of 6 May, 2004).

Silvia BORTOLOTTI | ITALY | 2005-07-26


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The definition of franchising contracts includes any agreement between two parties, legally and economically independent among one another, through which, on the one hand, one gives to the other the right to use some of its intellectual and industrial property rights specifically indicated (e.g. trademarks, know-how, technical assistance), against compensation. On the other hand, the franchisee becomes part of a network of franchisees established in a certain territory, with the aim of selling specific goods or services.

It would seem that franchising contracts which do not imply the transfer of substantial know-how or which do not foresee the payment of a specific remuneration by the franchisee are not covered by the new law.

The contract must be in writing and must contain certain provisions indicated in the law (e.g. the amount of investments required for the franchisee; the know-how supplied by the franchisor). If the contract is concluded for a definite period, it must provide a minimum duration of at least three years.

Law 129/2004, which has been inspired in part by the Unidroit model law provides for an obligation of the franchisors to disclose to the prospective franchisee, at least 30 days before signing the contract, the proposed contract and the information listed in the law itself.

Finally, the franchisor is required to have already experienced its trade formula, before signing the franchising agreement.

The text of the law (in Italian and in English) can be found in the legislation section of the website.

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