The popularity of the franchise business model has grown rapidly in mainland Southeast Asia in recent years, with some of the world’s top brands becoming common sights in the commercial districts and shopping malls of major regional cities in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Although these countries have not yet enacted franchising-specific laws, certain features of each country’s regulatory regime impact franchising. As such, well-prepared franchise business operations have comfortably adapted to each country’s regulatory framework, and the growth is poised to continue even as the global retail sector redesigns and redoubles its efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the franchise business model, which is both global and local at the same time, may offer retail entrepreneurs a solution in their quest to meet the challenges of the new retail economic realities.
This article explains the legal frameworks that impact the franchise business model in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. For each country, this article discusses relevant regulatory considerations for franchise agreements, how to protect intellectual property rights, and judicial and arbitral procedures for resolving disputes that might arise between a franchisor and a franchisee.
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© 2021. Originally published in the Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2, Fall 2021, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.