General Membership Conditions of the British Franchise Association

In joining the British Franchise Association (abbreviated to BFA), Full Members and Associate Members commit themselves to comply with the terms of the following policies and procedures as published by the British Franchise Association:

  • The Code of Ethical Conduct
  • The Disciplinary Procedure
  • The Complaints Procedure
  • The Appeals Procedure

British Franchise Association Members agree to comply with the Code of Advertising Practice as published by the Advertising Standards Authority.

BFA Members agree to provide to the Association any non-confidential information relating to their franchise business or relating to the standing and qualifications of its Directors, as may be requested by an authorised official of the Association.

BFA Members also agree to provide a full-time official of the Association, so authorised by Council, access (at reasonable times and on reasonable notice) to confidential information relating to the franchise and its standing (on the understanding that such information remains confidential to the authorised official).

The British Franchise Association operates an informal concilliation scheme, and facilitates mediation and arbitration schemes. These services are available to franchisor members and franchisees who jointly agree to avail themselves of these schemes.

Members of the British Franchise Association also seek to comply with the spirit and intent of the Guidelines to Best Practice as published by the BFA from time to time.

In respect of both the foregoing general conditions of British Franchise Association Membership, and the following specific terms, whilst the Association will use its best endeavours to establish the eligibility of an applicant, the onus for demonstrating that the criteria have been met on initial accreditation or re-accreditation lies finally with the applicant.

Summary of Membership Criteria and British Franchise Association Categories

Associate and Full Members of the British Franchise Association will be:

  • Viable
  • Franchisable
  • Ethical
  • Disclosed

Full Members of the British Franchise Association will also have:

  • Proven trading, and franchising record

The following are the principles that are applied to franchisors applying for membership, and which underpin the accreditation process before British Franchise Association membership is granted. As part of their application, franchisors are expected to demonstrate how they meet these standards, and provide evidence of same where appropriate.

a. Viable: The business to be franchised must be viable. Evidence will show that the product or service is saleable, and at a level of profit that will sustain a franchised network.

b. Transferable: There is a means for the transfer of the know-how to a new operator at arm’s length, essential if the business is to be franchised.

c. Ethical: The franchise is structured and operated in accordance with the ethical principles set out in the European Code of Ethics for Franchising, which covers matters of advertising, recruiting, selecting, and dealing with franchisees. The applicant’s franchise agreement is formally assessed.

d. Disclosed: All information on the business that is material to the franchise proposition and contract is disclosed without ambiguity to prospective franchisees.

British Franchise Association Associate Membership

With these checks in place on viability, franchisability, ethical and disclosed conduct, franchisors can be admitted to associate membership of the association, providing also that they commit themselves to abide by the Advertising Standards Authority’s code of practice and also to the association’s own complaints and disciplinary, appeals and re-accreditation rules.

British Franchise Association Full Membership

To become full members, franchisors must meet one more objective.

A proven trading and franchising record: The length of time a franchised business has been in operation, and the changes in business and financial circumstances it must have survived before it can be said to be “established” will vary from sector to sector. The record of full members on openings, withdrawals, and failures (if any), as well as their trading and financial performance, is subject to an initial assessment and periodic checks.

British Franchise Association: New entrants and Provisional Listing

Provisional Listing is available to businesses with a track record of at least one year, but which are new to or in the process of developing a franchised business. They will have their documentation, including the franchise agreement (which meets the European Code of Ethics), already prepared, and will be taking appropriate professional advice in the development of the franchise. Provisionally Listed companies commit to complying with the conditions of BFA membership and to work to achieving the standards for Associate Membership.

British Franchise Association Affiliate Membership

Affiliation to the BFA is available to any organisation or individual offering professional advice to the franchising community who can also provide the following. They must show evidence of professional standing; they must submit evidence to show that staff qualified in the profession concerned are experienced in the application of that profession to franchising; and a commitment by a nominated responsible officer to the maintenance of the organisation’s arrangements for providing appropriately experienced advice on franchising to its clients. The majority of the BFA’s affiliates are lawyers, banks, franchise consultants, and accountants.