The role of the British Franchise Association

The British Franchise Association (BFA) is the only voluntary accreditation body for franchising in the UK, and plays a key role in maintaining ethical standards in the UK franchise industry.

One of the BFA’s main jobs is to help potential franchisees recognise the good, the bad, and the ugly for what they are. Another is to help businesses involved in franchising to secure their own position amongst the “good” operators.

This work is not just a philanthropic exercise for reputable and responsible franchisors. It makes good commercial sense. The ability of franchisors to attract potential franchisees to invest in their systems depends crucially on their own reputation, and on the reputation of franchising in general.

It was for these reasons that in 1977 the major franchising companies in the UK decided to set up their own association, the BFA, to act in the interests of the industry as a whole in assessing and accrediting franchising companies as those which meet its criteria for the structure of the business, the terms of the contract between franchisor and franchisee, the testing of the system and its success as a franchise.

In the early days, franchising was concentrated in a limited number of markets, predominantly fast food, motor distribution and hotels with a degree of uniformity in each section’s structure and operation. Now at least 20 different business sectors are represented with insurance services, hairdressing to quick print and design, and video rental to roof thatching. Each business has its own variety of characteristics and its own pitfalls. Against this changing background, the BFA has developed standards to ensure that potential franchisees can continue to give credence to BFA accreditation.

There are four different categories of membership of the British Franchise Association. To find out more visit the BFA’s website:

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