In Malaysia, franchising and licensing are governed under different laws. Franchising is governed under the Franchise Act 1998 (“the Act”) and is regulated by the Registrar of Franchises (“Registrar”) under the purview of Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. Licensing, on the other hand, is a form of private contract between parties and is governed under the law of contract. As such, if franchising is taken up as a mean of business expansion, then compliance with the Act is necessary and registration with the Registrar is also required. Licensing, on the other hand, is a contractual arrangement between parties and such contract has to be precisely drafted to reflect the parties’ intention and has to comply with the law of contract.
Franchising and licensing have always been mixed up by business owners, as both models share the similar elements. For instance, both franchising and licensing resemblance have the resemblance of granting rights to use a brand name to another party in running the business.