The pre-contract obligations regarding the franchising agreement

AuthorDan-Alexandru Sitaru
PositionLecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University of Bucharest
LESIJ NO. XX, VOL. 2/2013
Dan-Alexandru SITARU*
The current paper puts into context the Government Or dinance no. 52/1997 regarding franchising
with the new concepts of the Civil Code. Thus, under the old Civil Code there were no specific regulations
that could be a pplied to a pre-contr actual obliga tion of the parties. Dur ing any negotia tion, because the
parties sent each other a ser ies of offers, counter offers, and in the end decided whether to agree or not, some
parts of a professional secret, know-how, or any other important information for one or both might be
revealed to the other. Under i nternational laws, such as the one in F rance, or by using inter nationally
established unwritten law, such as the Fra nchising Model Contr act by the Inter national Chamber of
Commerce and Arbitration in Paris, such a disclosure of important or secret information is pr otected from
future unauthorized usage by any par ty or a ffiliate if the contract is not signed. In the view of the new Civil
Code, this stage in the development of an agr eement, not yet binding, is now regulated and protected.
Keywords: franchising, fra nchisor, franchisee, business model, professional secret.
The new civil code did not also include to its regulations the franchising agreement. Despite
the same includes most of the civil and commercial agreements, the franchising agreement
remains specifically regulated by the Govern Ordinance no. 52/1997 regarding the legal treatment
of the franchising.
Under the law the franchising is a trading system based on continued collaboration between
individuals or legal entities that are financially independent, by which a person named franchisor
grants another person named beneficiary the right to operate or to develop a business, a product,
a technology, or a service
By encompassin g the particularities set by the lawmaker the franchising may be
comprehensively defined as the economic and legal operation by which a professional trader, the
franchisor, being an individual or a legal entity, who is holding the title over tangible and/or
intangible assets and the title over a successful business, allows another person or several persons,
the franchisees (beneficiaries), to manufacture goods or trade them under their mark, using the
know-how developed by the same, within a franchise network wherein the parties are independent
from a legal perspective, but are operating the franchisable concept in a homogenous and
collective manner.
As we stated in previous works2 the conclusion of the franchising agreement involves going
through three stages. The first of them, wh ich also represents the subject matter of our study, is
the pre-contract stage. The same is followed by the contract or proper stage, and after the expiry
* Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Nicolae Titulescu” University of Űucharest (e-mail:
1 The Govern Ordinance no. 52/1997 regarding the legal treatment of the franchising, published with the
Official Journal of Romania (“Monitorul Oficial al României”), part I, no. 224 of the 30/08/1997, approved
as modified by the Law no. 79/1998 (O.J. part I no. 147 of the 13/04/1998) and republished, with the texts
being given a new numbering, with the Official Journal, part I, no. 180 of the 14/05/1998.
2 Dan-Alexandru Sitaru, Contractul de franciz în dreptul intern şi comparat (The Franchising
Agreement within the Domestic and Compared Law), Ed. Lumina Lex, 2007, Bucharest.

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