What is the British Franchise Association?

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As a franchisor, receiving sufficient training and advice is critical to be both legal and ethical. The British Franchise Association is an association made to address these points.

The association’s purpose is to provide “ethical franchising in the UK” while working in tandem with the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and the World Franchise Council (WFC). The BFA was established in 1977 and is now the most prominent franchising association in the UK.

Let’s learn everything there is to know about the association and how it may apply to you and your franchise.

What does The BFA do?

The British Franchise Association is a nonprofit organization that promotes good franchising practices in the UK, following the European Code of Ethics.

They define themselves as “the self-regulatory body for the UK franchise sector” that “defines and promotes ethical franchising practice and standards in the UK.”

A BFA accreditation means elevated accessibility, reputability, and training for franchisors and franchisees.
Infographic showing British Franchise Association chart

How Does a Franchisor Become a Member?

In practice, the BFA places franchisors against strict criteria before they can offer to franchisees. These include examining the business model, a view of the franchise agreement, and proof that businesses can maintain profitability.

To break it down, the British Franchise Association looks at four overarching categories:

  1. Viable: Is the franchise financially profitable? Will it be able to support several franchisees? Before accepting a franchise, the BFA must know whether it has the steam to sustain itself.
  2. Transferrable: Can a franchise share its information with a franchisee with ease? Simplicity is crucial for getting the franchise off the ground.
  3. Ethical: Does the franchise comply with the European Code of Ethics? It is crucial when starting a franchise to abide by these codes.
  4. Disclosed: Can franchisees access data and information in a simple, sufficient format? The franchising community works best with a clear line of communication.

The BFA also ensures that a franchisor complies with the Code of Advertising Practice and can provide any non-confidential information relating to the company.

If a franchise passes these metrics, then and only then can it become BFA-accredited.

Why Franchisors Should Become BFA-Accredited

Whether you are a franchisor for vending-machine-based franchises, home goods, or fast food, you will likely find benefits in the BFA. Accreditation by the British Franchise Association may lead to elevated UK franchise opportunities.

A BFA-certified badge makes a franchise appear legal, ethical, and legitimate.

After accreditation, approved franchisors will appear on the BFA’s franchise directory – an important place for those looking for franchises for sale, which will likely lead to more business.

Franchisors receive attendance at five annual franchise exhibitions. At these conferences, franchisors are encouraged to network with potential clients and other franchisors.

The BFA’s accessibility, reputation, and notoriety will likely lead to higher business and franchise opportunities in the UK.

Why Franchisees Should Become BFA-Accredited

The British Franchise Association’s benefits do not only fall to the franchisors. Franchisees looking to buy a franchise also find sufficient value and business opportunities within the BFA.

The association offers training from financial skills to office management skills. These courses may provide all you need to get moving into your perfect franchise.

Franchisees can meet other business owners through the BFA-offered Local Franchise Networks and other events.

Non-Member Opportunities for the BFA

You don’t have to become a full member to gain value from the British Franchise Association. Individual franchisors can pursue becoming a Qualified Franchise Professional (‘QFP’) to showcase an ethical and professional slant to their franchise business.

For no charge at all, Individuals can also receive a Prospect Franchisee Certificate to help their reputation. To obtain the certificate, the franchisee must complete online video courses that provide the skill and knowledge needed to support a successful business.

BFA Meeting with Franchisor

The Four Types of BFA Membership

The BFA offers a variety of membership types.

  1. Full Membership: To become a full member, one must “prove a sustained trading, financial, and franchising record over a period of time.”
  2. Associate Membership: The requirements are the same as above but will vary depending on the franchise’s duration and depth of experience. This membership is for franchisors working their way up to a successful franchise.
  3. Provisional Membership: BFA offers this to businesses running for more than a year and an agreement meeting the Code of Ethics. They must aim to have an Associate Membership within two years.
  4. UK Developer: This membership is offered to any brand with successful networks in the UK and a proven business model.

While they have different qualifications, each tier will offer the potential to you and your business and will provide you with an excellent reputation.

Other Popular Franchise Associations

While the British Franchise Association is the most common, there are two other popular associations within the UK: the Approved Franchise Association and the Quality Franchise Association.

The US-based International Franchise Association is the most prominent worldwide and may also offer success for you and your business.

Start Your Franchise – Explore Franchise Local

Joining the British Franchise Association may be the ideal low-cost franchise opportunity for increased success. The association is the UK’s most prominent franchising association, with a wide range of franchisors and franchisees alike.

However, if you’re only beginning your process, it may be beneficial to look at franchise directories and guides.

At Franchise Local, we offer a wide range of BFA-approved franchises. If you’re looking for a part-time opportunity, franchising may be the perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door. From children’s franchises to van-based franchises, we offer a wealth of information and a customizable financial range to find something within your budget.

Even if you’re already in your franchise journey, it never hurts to remind yourself. Check out our Ultimate Franchising Guide for everything you need to know about franchising.

Remember to trust reputable, BFA-approved finances. We’ll help you sort through the rest.

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