Set up over 40 years ago, the British Franchise Association (bfa) is the original and largest not-for-profit trade association for franchising in the UK. We are proud to be the only association to work in partnership with the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and World Franchise Council (WFC), influencing standards and legislation across Europe.
As the trusted partner in franchising, our core aim is to support and influence high quality ethical business format franchising in accordance with the European Code of Ethics. The bfa proactively collaborates with government, academia, the media, other trade associations and the UK public on what constitutes franchising best practice. We seek to educate, influence and provide advice and guidance about what franchising is and the fantastic opportunities available via this business model.
Here at the bfa, we are incredibly passionate about building and nurturing a strong, diverse and supportive community, recognising that we are stronger together. We work tirelessly to forge strong relationships through regular member forums, open discussion sessions, educational events, and innovative industry discussions.
We pride ourselves on working with a diverse range of franchise brands; from smaller, flexible opportunities to international blue-chip brands. We are committed to working with franchisors to develop their proposition, supporting them to reach bfa accreditation standards. You don’t have to be ‘bfa ready’ to begin your journey with us we’ll help you every step of the way to becoming an accredited member.
We are incredibly proud of our nurturing and ambitious bfa family. With our foundations based on strong ethics, we live by a clear set of values each day to take us closer to our vision and mission:
Joining the bfa community as a franchisor shows your commitment to ethical and sustainable franchising, acting as a tick of approval to show you meet the high standards we uphold. bfa Membership is an incredibly influential tool in recruiting franchisees to invest and join your network, adding credibility to your brand reputation.
Membership of the bfa is divided into 3 levels of Franchisor Membership, Affiliate Membership for Professional Advisors, Franchisee Membership for franchisees of bfa members and UK Developer for international franchisors looking to come to market in the UK.
To become Full Members, Franchisors must prove a sustained trading, financial and franchising record over a period of time. 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 reaccreditation.
The requirements for Associate Membership are the same as for Full Membership, except that the criteria relating to the length of time the franchise has been operating, the size of the network and the range of experiences, are less demanding. Associate Members are franchisors working their way towards Full Membership.
Provisional Listing is available to businesses with a successful trading record in the UK of at least one year and that are in the process of developing a franchised business. It will already have a franchise agreement that meets the bfa’s Code of Ethics and will be able to demonstrate that its development programme is founded on good franchising practice. Provisionally listed companies commit to work to achieving the standards for associate membership within two years.
The bfa’s Affiliate Membership offer businesses and Professional Advisors opportunity to participate in the active protection of UK Franchising and ongoing delivery of high-quality standards. There are various expectations on a company wishing to benefit from the credibility and representation of being members of the bfa.
He bfa’s Supplier Membership category offers businesses an opportunity to engage with the association and our members through several channels. A business that meets the criteria for any of the bfa Affiliate Categories cannot also become a bfa Supplier.
UK Developer is available to any established international brand that can evidence they have a proven business model that has traded successfully with an established network of franchisees in its country of origin. This category is open to any franchisor with a development interest in the UK and is keen to benefit from UK industry insights, high quality network and education, along with development support.
Franchisee Membership with the bfa is totally free and offers representation, educational and promotional opportunities as part of a large community of minded entrepreneurs. Franchisee Membership is open to all Franchisees of bfa members. We are delighted to have achieved 100% membership with several Franchisors.
The Franchise Industry has come such a long way in a short time, proving its strength and prosperity throughout the covid-19 pandemic. Today the franchise business model has been applied right across the spectrum of industries, from home-run dog walking businesses, through to multi-national retail businesses. It can be adapted for those wanting and able to work a full-time working week or for entrepreneurs wanting to make their business fit around them and working less than 25 hours a week.
With such a vast array of industry types, formats, markets and investment levels, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but we’re here to help. From helping you to understand the fundamentals of franchising, to finding the perfect brand for you (and everything in between!), together with our professional partners, we are here to guide and support you.
The key factor when identifying the franchise brand for you is ensuring you are buying into an ethical, proven and truly transferable business. You can find a full list of bfa accredited franchisors here.
Investing with a bfa member provides assurance that the brand has been independently reviewed and is actively committed to franchising ethically in accordance with the European Code of Ethics. Every member’s accreditation is subject to ongoing review, it IS NOT a one- time only process.
Please Note: The bfa accreditation is not a substitute for your independent due diligence of any investment or business proposition. Below offers some of the benefits that contracting with a bfa member can provide.
• Identification of companies offering an ethical business format franchise
• Commitment on the part of franchisors to act ethically and maintain standards
• Added value to your franchised businesses
• Increased access to preferential funding *dependent on personal circumstances*
• FREE access to your own bfa membership & representation
• Access To Low-Cost Support Mechanisms In The Case Of A Dispute
• Exclusive access to the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards.
• Protection from unwarranted legislation in the UK and Europe
We are always striving to further develop our activities, as an accrediting body promoting excellence in the industry and as an influential voice in parliament and to the general public.
As the only UK franchise trade association to be a member of the European Franchise Federation, we are a key representative with European Franchising. We own an extension to the code that is developed and upheld in collaboration with industry experts for the bfa and its members. This has enabled the bfa to effectively influence Ethical Business Format Franchising in the UK Since 1977 and support environment where franchising can thrive.
The only way to protect from costly and time-consuming legislation is to ensure standards continually evolve to deal with risks associated with these issues. By joining the bfa, Franchisees and Franchisors are making a commitment to work in partnership with the bfa to drive forward a sector that is committed to operating fair business models, promoting ethical and sustainable business opportunities for all.
We LOVE Franchising and are so proud of its strength, supportive community spirit and ability to transform people’s lives for the better – so we want everyone to know about it!
Many people will use franchised businesses on a weekly or even daily basis, and don’t even know it. That’s why it’s our mission to promote franchising to the world at large and provide a platform to promote success, share expertise and highlight human-interest stories from our members into regional and national media.
Our target groups include:
• The general public
• Special Interest Groups; Women In Business, The Next
Generation And Ex-Military
• International and sector trade associations
• Government And Legislative Bodies
The bfa’s educational portfolio is unparalleled across the industry. We believe continual learning is critical to ensuring you have all of the information to make informed decisions that are right for you and your business.
Together with our industry experts, we have developed and host the Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) training, along with specialist events, seminars, informal networking and bespoke workshops. Whether you’re looking to invest in a franchise or looking to franchise your business, our education resources are here to support you at the start of your journey. We offer e-learning courses to introduce you to the industry or live seminars where you can hear from those in the industry and get your questions answered.