The legal side of things of running a physiotherapy business

Originally Published Aug 3, 2019

Franchising agreements and all the legal stuff that goes along with them can be daunting. There are many documents, many things to read, and a lot of terminology to manage and learn.

Here, we’re pulling back the curtain on the business legal information to assist you in understanding how we can create an agreement that shows our commitment to keeping each other’s families, our future, and our loved ones safe.

The Documents

Along the way, you will at some stage receive some, if not all, of the following documents:

  • Deed of Confidentiality
  • Disclosure Document
  • Licence to Occupy
  • Prior Representation Deed
  • Step-In Deed
  • Franchise Agreement
  • Solicitor’s Instruction Sheet
  • Statement of Independent Advice

We will break each of these documents down one by one so you can understand the human side of these documents.

But first, an important thing to understand is that everything in these documents is up for discussion. In effect, every word, every paragraph, every concept is negotiable. Both parties create these documents and they are collaborative efforts.

Deed of Confidentiality

The deed of confidentiality simply acknowledges that we are now in a place whereby we have engaged in exchanging valuable information of all types. Both parties will tell stories about ourselves, families, pasts. Trials and tribulations, lessons and journeys.

Negotiation of wills, documents, and legal stuff will be shared and there will be a lot of discussion around systems, processes, and the internal workings of Physio Inq and all of this needs to be respected and acknowledged as valuable and confidential by both parties.

Disclosure Document

The disclosure document outlines the history of Physio Inq Franchising Pty Ltd. It lets you know that we are not crooks, fraudulent, or shysters! We need to have our company audited to comply with the franchising code, keep a clean record, and have made all of our obligations, both past and present, to our franchisees and the government.

License to Occupy

A license to occupy is a simple document whereby if I am the head tenant of a property and I want to grant the tenancy to you, I will ask permission from the landlord to do so. If they agree, I grant you the tenancy!

A license to occupy is a simple version of a lease that has all the legal protection for you but doesn’t need to have a full lease rewritten.

Prior Representation Deed

The prior representation deed is an important document. It essentially is there to highlight any promises, outlandish claims, or comments that have been made to try to get you to commit. This protects you from a snake oil salesman promising the world to get in the door, sign over your life, and then not deliver on anything!

If any claims have been made, we need to clear them up first, discuss them, and when we agree that it is reality we are dealing with, the prior representation deed should essentially be clear.

Physio Inq doesn’t want to make any false representations to secure a deal. This document reflects that we are all on the same page and we have made a decision based on solid facts and figures, not false promises.

Step-In Deed

A step-in deed is a deed that mostly protects the landlord and Physio Inq. That may sound a bit harsh but if things go south and it doesn’t work out, you might walk away from your obligations. This deed allows the landlord the opportunity to grant us the lease if you terminate your contract with us.

It protects landlords, as they have a reputable brand to fall back on, and it protects Physio Inq, as we look for opportunities endlessly. If one falls apart, we might want to pick up the pieces and move in on the same premises you occupied.

Franchise Agreement

The franchise agreement is the big one. It is a commercial agreement between you and Physio Inq that outlines both of our roles and responsibilities in the business partnership. Essentially, it is the rules of the business game.

The franchise agreement is liquid in its negotiation process and is probably the most negotiated part of the entire suite of documents. The reason for this is that everyone is different, each deal is different, every area is different, and every opportunity that presents itself has a different value proposition.

Physiotherapy Legal Obligations

We want to acknowledge this and make sure we tailor a partnership to suit both of our needs, the opportunity, and the future in the best way possible.

Whilst everything is indeed negotiable, it, of course, doesn’t mean that everything will be agreed upon! There are some things that through the history of experience simply need to be there for interests of one party or the other.

The right people will always end up with a franchise agreement that they are happy with. It’s up to us to facilitate the conversation to ensure we get to that place.

Solicitor’s Instruction Sheet

A solicitor’s instruction sheet simply outlines what the solicitor needs to do during the process. This instruction sheet is important to us as solicitors often destroy deals! They always see the worst in people and advise to avoid deals from going forward. At the very least, you might give this instruction sheet so they are on the same page as us.

Statement of Independent Advice

A statement of independent advice ensures that you have received good advice from someone other than Physio Inq. We want you to go an explore the brains of other people, rather than simply engage with our team.

It is important for you to have independent advice to ensure you are surrounded by people who have your best interests at heart. There may be things that we just don’t know about that should be considered.

In Summary

These documents are written by solicitors to be thorough and to look at every event that may unfold. They are not intended to be scary.

Work with us on these documents, make them yours, and be proud of what you build. It is a two-way relationship, not a tyrannical company driving our business owners into the ground.

Good luck! We hope to work through the legal stuff together and get to the other side.


The information provided on this blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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