Franchise Industry Research: 

bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey

Beginning research on the franchising industry in 1994, the British Franchise Association (bfa), with the outstanding support of NatWest, has been building the most detailed long term franchise survey in the world. The full annual report can be purchased through the bfa’s online bookshop.

The following gives an overview from the last published report (January 2016) to give an overview of the UK franchise industry.

Management summary

Overall, the picture is of an industry sector in rude health which continues to prosper:

The contribution of franchising to the UK economy is now reckoned to be £15.1 billion, an increase of 46% over the past 10 years and up 10% since the last survey in 2013.

The total number of people employed in franchising in the UK is 621,000, of which 321,000 are in full-time employment.

  • This equates to an increase of 70% over the past 10 years

The number of franchisee-owned businesses has increased by 14% in two years, to 44,200. On average, those businesses are also becoming larger as the sector matures:

  • Average turnover continues to rise and over half now claim an annual turnover of more than £250,000
  • Employment per unit continues its upwards trajectory, with one-third now employing 10 or more staff

A record 97% of franchisee-owned units reported profitability, with 56% saying they are ‘quite’ or ‘very’ profitable.

  • Ownership changes in franchisee businesses are correspondingly low (4.6%), with failure rates much lower than for other SMEs generally

Franchisees’ satisfaction with their franchisor has never been higher, with 91% saying they are ‘mainly’ or ‘definitely’ satisfied.

Some 29% of franchisees now run multiple units.

80% of franchise brands in this country are UK-owned and developed.

One in five franchisees who launched their business in the last two years was under 30 years old when they did so.

Key Statistics

Generating Wealth

The total economic contribution of the franchise industry now stands at a record £15.1 billion, up 10 percent in the last two years.

Franchise turnover



Employment in Franchising

The number of jobs continues its strong growth, up 11 percent on 2013 levels.


Franchisee Business Numbers

Growth of 10 percent in the number of businesses run by franchisees since 2013 sees the sector reach new heights in this regard by some distance.


Success Rates

Failure rates

bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2015
bfa/NatWest Franchise Survey 2015 More information £95.00 Includes shipping
  • Neil Chapman
    Agency Express - Franchisee case study

    Neil Chapman became an Agency Express franchisee in November 2012. Previously a Hackney Proprietor based in Oldham, Neil was ready for a new challenge and a change of direction.

    Read the full case study View franchise details
The bfa website is sponsored by

HSBCNatWestLloyds BankThe Royal Bank of Scotland


You have 0 franchise information requests ready to send.

Personalise and submit requests