The prospective Franchisor who intends to grant a Franchise in Spain must register in the Spanish Franchisor Registry within three months from the date when it starts carrying out the franchising activity (obligation provided by article 62 of Spanish Act 7/1996 of 15 January on Regulation of Retail Trading and Royal Decree 201/2010 of 26 February 2010 on commercial activities of franchising and Registry of Franchisors). This obligation does not apply to franchisors who intends to grant other kind of agreements such as Master Franchise or Area Development Services agreements.
On April 18 the register communicated that some material technical problems emerged on its new website. Therefore, the Spanish Authorities have decided to suspend the obligation to register in the Spanish Franchisor Registry.
At that time, some doubts arose about whether companies that could not register could be sanctioned, so that on July 23, 2018 the registry has published a new message that we transcribe below:
"The Central Registries of Franchisors and Distance Sales Companies are having technical problems that impede their operation. Therefore, it is not possible to continue providing these services. The Subdirectorate General of Internal Commerce, with the approval of the General Directorate of Trade Policy and Competitiveness, as holders of the competition in the management and management of the same, reports that, given that the problem lies in the applications that support both registers, it is not possible at the moment to make registrations or updates, and therefore, no company may be subject to sanctions for this cause, with the exception of those registration obligations pertaining to registrations of an autonomous nature that are in operation".
As a result, foreign franchisors are not required to register nor can they be penalized for not registering in the franchisor register.
The Spanish Franchise Association (of which I'm honored to be the legal adviser and Chairman of the Committee of Experts) is working together with the Minister of Economy, Industry and Competition to sort out the Franchisor´s Registry System. According to the available information, it is expected that a law that repeals the obligation to register within a year will be approved. This new law will not affect the existing pre-contractual information obligations.
We strongly recommend to all foreign franchisors who are willing to grant franchise agreements in Spain to keep in touch with a local lawyer or at least with the Register of Franchisor itself to be notified when the register is definitely sort out.
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