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About The BFA - British Franchise Association

The British Franchise Association (BFA) was established in 1977 as a self-governing body to regulate the franchise industry after several years of poor publicity for franchising. At that point in time, it was becoming increasingly difficult for franchisors to recruit franchisees, due to their poor representation in mainstream media. Since then and still today, the BFA acts as a representative body for the franchise industry in the UK, to promote members and franchising as a whole. The BFA has a code of ethics and membership criteria to assess and accredit members against and to promote ethical franchising in the UK. These include criteria on contracts between franchisors and franchisees, the business structure and model of the franchise and more. Franchised businesses must reach these benchmarks and follow the BFA code of practice in order to become accredited by the BFA or become a BFA member.

The BFA code of practice, which is followed by all members, is the only recognised code of practice for ethical franchising in the UK, and is based on the European Code Of Ethical Franchising. The BFA also works closely with their members and affiliates to help develop their businesses, success and expertise in the industry overall.

Ethical Franchising with The BFA

Since the inception of the BFA, ethical franchising has been one of the core tenets of the organisation. By ensuring all member companies meet their high standards, the BFA has helped to promote and further ethical and responsible franchising for many years. The BFA represents franchises from a wide variety of different industries, and gives them help and guidance tailored to their industry to help them run a high-quality, successful and ethical franchise model. By subscribing to these ethical requirements, BFA members have a mark of quality for potential franchisees, making them more desirable when it comes to franchise recruitment.

The BFA works in many different capacities to help promote ethical franchising in the UK, including supporting research and development in the industry, including the annual BFA Natwest Franchise Survey*; developing marketing efforts and campaigning to educate the general public about franchise models and franchised organisations; creating industry qualifications and accreditations, including the QFP (Qualified Franchise Professional) qualification and putting together nationally recognised seminars and training for professionals in the franchise industry; presenting and creating national awards for the franchise industry and continuing to update benchmarks of quality and ethical practice to ensure continued success for members and affiliates.

The Franchise Company BFA Affiliation

The Franchise Company has been an Affiliate Member of the BFA for over 20 years, and has a strong working relationship with the organisation, including with several high-level 

members of the BFA governing bodies. We have seen the development and continued campaigns for ethical franchises by the BFA for many years, and our team of experts have a deep understanding of the benefits of BFA membership, how to help our clients become BFA members and of the added value BFA membership can give to your franchised business.

How Can The BFA Help Your Franchised Business?

Membership of the BFA is one of the best ways for new and established franchises alike to add value to their business, both for franchisors through continued ROI and added value from BFA membership perks, and also for potential franchisees when looking to buy into a franchise. BFA membership is open to a wide variety of different organisations and individuals working in the franchise sector, including:

  • Franchisors that can pass the BFAs stringent accreditation criteria.

  • Professional advisors to the franchise industry, such as The Franchise Company, that share the BFAs dedication to ethics in the franchise industry and also satisfy the accreditation guidelines of the BFA.

  • Franchisees of franchisors that work as a part of an accredited organisation or franchise network.

  • Suppliers who specialise in providing services to franchised businesses and the franchise industry.

The BFAs reputation of high-quality advice and services, ethical practice and successful franchised members is a massive part of why BFA membership can be such a useful thing for a new or established franchised business. Membership tells potential franchisees and other external stakeholders that your organisation recognises and complies with the high standards of the BFA, and that you subscribe to their ethical business principles. This puts BFA members in high demand when it comes to recruitment and funding drives, and differentiates them from non-member businesses when it comes to establishing your reliability and standards to external bodies.

The BFA also offers members many other benefits, including networking opportunities, access to high-quality and nationally recognised training, seminars and educational resources, opportunities to participate in BFA exclusive promotions and activities and give you access to the relationships and influence that comes with being a BFA member. These include relationships with major banks, other franchises, professional networks, companies in the franchise industries and more.

How The Franchise Company Can Help You Become BFA Affiliated

As an established franchise consultancy with a relationship of over 20 years with the BFA

The Franchise Company can help your franchised business become a BFA member and give you access to the advantages that membership has for organisations. The Franchise Company can help both new and established franchised business gain membership with the BFA and help you add value to There are several different membership options with the BFA, depending on your business size and type:

  • Full Member - This membership is for franchised organisations that can support themselves fully on ongoing network fees, and so is established and comfortable within its market and operations. For companies that are in the expansion or maturity stage of the franchising process.

  • Associate Member - This membership requires you to have at least 1 franchisee that has been operating their franchise unit for at least 12 months. This is perfect for franchises that have completed a pilot stage and are looking to begin growth, or for franchises that have been growing for some time but aren’t yet eligible for full membership.

  • Provisional List - This allows companies that are new to franchising, are in the process of franchising their business or are in the pilot stage of franchising the opportunity to access the credibility and resources of the BFA. To be added to the BFA’s Provisional List companies must be able to demonstrate 12 months of trading, though this doesn't have to be as a franchised business, and you don’t necessarily need to have any franchisees onboard yet.

  • Professional Affiliate - The Franchise Company is a BFA Professional Affiliate, showing our business provides high-quality, ethical and specialist professional services to businesses in the franchise industry.

To find out more about the BFA, The Franchise Company, our services and how we can help smooth the road to BFA membership for our clients, contact our team of experienced franchise consultants today.

*Document originally hosted on the BFA website.

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