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ABOUT FRANCHISING

THE BRITISH FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION (BFA)

Friday 25th June 2010

The British Franchise Association (bfa) was established in 1977 and is the only voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector.

Its aim is to promote ethical franchising practice in the UK and help the industry develop credibility, influence and favourable circumstance for growth. It does this with a standards based approach to membership of the association. In addition the bfa works to increase the awareness of ethical franchising by communicating with government, academia, the media and the UK public on what constitutes franchising best practice.


As a result 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.


Membership of the bfa is divided into 3 levels of franchisor membership, plus Affiliate membership for professional advisors. The franchisor members have to meet the standards set by the Association in order to establish that their franchise represents a fair, ethical and disclosed opportunity.  The standards are adopted from the European Franchise Federation (EFF) Code of Ethics and set out in The bfa Ethics of Franchising.
 
Although the credibility of membership and the associated opportunity to promote an ethical and proper approach to franchising is one of the most obviously benefits to franchisors joining the bfa, there are also many other aspect of the membership. These include platforms to share best practice, raise profile, make new contacts and influence your business environment. 


For those who are looking to franchise their business, or are already franchising, looking into bfa membership is a highly recommended route to becoming an established franchise brand. The full bfa memberships can be broken down into four main areas:


Growth and Support
• Gain from your bfa accredited status and the ethics and standards that it stands for
• Gain free franchisee and client enquiries through your listing on the bfa website, which receives over 12 million hits per years and directs 130,000 visitors to the members’ websites every year
• Gain exclusive access to whichfranchise.com, one of the top websites to advertise your franchise business
• Access discounted exhibition space at the bfa accredited franchise exhibitions
• Access discounted advertising in industry and national press
• Gain eligibility for the national bfa Franchisor of the Year Awards and Franchisee of the Year Awards, providing high profile PR and huge industry recognition
• Access cost effective dispute resolution procedures
• Benefit from membership support via the bfa central office and a dedicated Business Development Managers


Market Profile
• Benefit from new levels of promotion to potential customers through the Proud to Franchise initiative
• Raise your profile by submitting news stories for consideration in the bfa’s Newsline publication
• Access bfa events for new networking opportunities
• Be considered for speaking opportunities across the UK
• Upload news stories and case studies to the bfa website for the public and media to see
•Gain profile and opportunities through association with bfa PR activities


Knowledge and Skills
• Receive free subscription to Newsline; the bi-monthly bfa news publication
• Access valuable knowledge sharing and guidance through the bfa forums
• Gain regular updates on news and events direct to your desktop

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