Franchise contracts have played a pivotal part in shaping the Polish economy, ever more so since the country’s transition into free-market economy. In 2020, before COVID-19, there were more than 1300 franchise chains in Poland – from small diners and repair shops to such giants as McDonald’s.
Unlike elsewhere across the EU (Italy, Holland, Latvia, Romania), let alone in franchise’s birthplace – the US, Polish franchise contracts (surprisingly, given their economic significance) are scarcely regulated and qualify as the so-called innominate contracts. This means that neither the language of the contract, nor the obligations of the parties are specifically regulated by statute. The existence and functioning of franchise contracts is based on the freedom of contract principle emanating from the Polish Civil Code. This means that the parties are free to structure them as they please, so long as the contract does not infringe on the appropriate legal relationship, or contradict the law and the community life rules.