Step in Rights Franchise Agreement

Step-In Rights Franchise Agreement: What is it and Why is it Important?

A franchise agreement is a crucial legal document that outlines the terms and conditions that govern the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. One important clause that every franchise agreement must have is the Step-In Rights clause. In this article, we will discuss what step-in rights are, and why they are essential.

What are Step-In Rights?

Step-in rights, also known as substitution rights, are provisions in a franchise agreement that allow the franchisor to take over the management and operation of a franchise location if the franchisee breaches the terms of the agreement. The franchisor can also step in if the franchisee is unable to run the business due to financial or operational difficulties.

Why are Step-in Rights Important?

Step-in rights protect the franchisor`s brand, reputation, and investment. If a franchisee is not operating the business according to the franchisor`s standards, it can harm the brand and the reputation of the franchise system. By exercising step-in rights, the franchisor can ensure that the franchise location is run correctly and in line with the franchise system`s policies.

Step-in rights also provide security to the franchisor`s investment. Franchisors invest significant amounts of money in their franchise system, including marketing, training, and ongoing support. If a franchisee is not meeting the requirements of the agreement, it can have a significant impact on the return on investment for both the franchisor and other franchisees within the system. With step-in rights, the franchisor can take over the location and ensure that it continues to operate successfully.

How do Step-in Rights Work?

Typically, a franchise agreement will outline the specific circumstances under which the franchisor can exercise step-in rights. These circumstances might include:

– Failure by the franchisee to pay fees or royalties

– Substantial breach of any of the terms of the agreement

– Failure by the franchisee to operate the business according to the franchisor`s standards

– The franchisee`s insolvency or bankruptcy

If any of these circumstances occur, the franchisor will usually provide written notice to the franchisee, giving them a chance to remedy the situation. If the franchisee is unable to address the issue, the franchisor can then exercise their step-in rights and take over the management and operation of the franchise location.


Step-in rights are a critical provision in every franchise agreement. They protect the franchisor`s investment, brand, and reputation, and ensure that the franchise system operates successfully. By understanding what step-in rights are and how they work, franchisees and franchisors can work together effectively to build and grow a successful franchise system.