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Franchise Arbitration Agreements – Everything You Should Know

Arbitration clauses are provisions within franchise agreements that require parties to resolve disputes through arbitration rather than traditional litigation. These agreements provide a more efficient dispute resolution alternative. 


Arbitration clauses detail the rules and procedures that will govern the dispute resolution. A skilled franchise arbitration attorney can act as an arbitrator and help parties resolve disputes amicably.

What Are the Advantages of Arbitration Over Other Dispute Resolution Mechanisms?

Arbitration offers several advantages over other dispute resolution strategies. It's a popular choice for parties seeking a fair and efficient resolution to their conflicts. Here are ten key benefits of arbitration:


Parties have the freedom to tailor arbitration proceedings according to their specific needs and preferences. They can select their arbitrators, determine the rules of procedure, and choose the language and location of the arbitration.


Arbitrators are experts in various fields. In other words, they must understand complex technical or commercial issues related to the subject matter.


Arbitrators are neutral and impartial third parties who shouldn't be related to the parties involved. The neutrality aspect reduces the chances of bias or favoritism.


Arbitration proceedings and the resulting awards are typically confidential. Consequently, parties can maintain privacy and protect sensitive business information from public disclosure.


Compared to traditional litigation, arbitration is more streamlined and time-efficient. Parties can avoid lengthy court procedures and delays caused by crowded court dockets.


Arbitration can be a cost-effective alternative to litigation. The process requires less formal discovery, fewer court appearances, and shorter overall proceedings. As a result, high legal fees and expenses can be avoided.


Arbitration awards are easier to enforce in different jurisdictions due to international conventions and treaties, such as the New York Convention. This agreement provides a framework for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in over 160 countries.


Arbitration awards are typically binding and final, providing parties with certainty and closure. This finality reduces the likelihood of lengthy appeals and protracted legal battles.

Maintaining Relationships 

Arbitration can help preserve business relationships, as it is generally perceived as a less adversarial process compared to litigation. Parties can choose to resolve their disputes in a more cooperative and less confrontational manner.

International Disputes 

Arbitration is particularly advantageous for resolving international disputes, as it provides a neutral forum and offers a level playing field for parties from different legal systems and cultures.

Franchise Arbitration Best Practices

Franchise arbitration best practices encompass a set of guidelines that facilitate fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness in the franchise dispute resolution process. These practices can help both franchisors and franchisees navigate potential conflicts and foster a healthier franchise system. Here are 10 key best practices to consider:

Clearly Define Arbitration Provisions

Franchise agreements should include well-drafted arbitration clauses that explicitly outline the parties' agreement to resolve disputes through arbitration, specifying the rules, procedures, and governing law.

Work With Reputable Arbitration Organizations 

Choosing a recognized arbitration organization, such as the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), can enhance credibility and ensure access to experienced arbitrators.

Specify Qualifications for Arbitrators

Establish criteria for arbitrator selection, including: 

  • Expertise in franchise law
  • Familiarity with the industry
  • Impartiality


Having a predefined criterion in place guarantees fair decision-making.

Establish a Fair Timeline

Set reasonable deadlines for each stage of the arbitration process. Having deadlines facilitates timely resolutions and adequate preparation for cases.

Promote Confidentiality

Confidentiality provisions should be incorporated into the arbitration agreement. By doing so, the transacting parties can safeguard sensitive business information and encourage open discussion during the arbitration proceedings.

Encourage Mediation as a First Step

Consider including a mediation clause that requires parties to attempt mediation before commencing arbitration. Doing so fosters a potential resolution through facilitated negotiation.

Provide Clear Notice and Communication 

Establish clear guidelines for providing notice of arbitration and ensure effective communication channels between the parties and the arbitration organization.

Address Cost Allocation

Specify how arbitration costs will be divided between the parties. Doing so will balance fairness and avoid potential financial burdens that could discourage franchisees from pursuing valid claims.

Preserve the Right to Injunctive Relief

Franchise arbitration agreements should clarify that parties can seek provisional or injunctive relief from a court if necessary to protect their rights during the arbitration process.

Stay Informed of Legal Developments

Franchisors and franchisees should stay updated on relevant franchise laws and precedents, working closely with franchise arbitration attorneys who can provide guidance on evolving legal landscapes and ensure compliance with applicable regulations.


With these vital insights, franchisees and franchisors can navigate conflicts wisely and safeguard the future of their business. To achieve a fair outcome when resolving franchise disputes through arbitration, parties can seek the assistance of a reputable franchise law attorney to act as an arbitrator.

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