bfa Membership

bfa membership shows current and prospective franchisees, clients and staff your commitment to ethical franchising. As the UK’s largest and longest standing franchise association, we wrote the rulebook when it comes to franchise ethics and best practice in the UK. We are the only member of the European Franchise Federation and World Franchise Council, owned by our members and operating in the best interests of the industry we are the trusted partner in franchising for a reason!

What franchisor membership can offer you

We start with a review of your current model and aim to help you meet the standards required to adhere to the European Code of Ethics for franchising where required. This is a collaborative process between you, our accredited professional affiliate partners and our own guidance. Please be rest assured that you are in safe hands with people that are passionate about your success! It’s not an assessment followed by a yes or a no, we are committed to upholding the standards of franchising throughout the UK so will support you every step of the way to develop an ethical, sustainable and profitable business to be proud of.


bfa members benefit from: 

• National and international representation and influence
• Access to a Regional Franchise Support Manager
• Recognition that you are committed to operating an ethical business format franchise
• A FREE directory page on the bfa website & promotion through our social network
• Access to become a qualified franchise professional (QFP)
• Opportunity to innovate with your industry peers to help shape the future of UK franchising
• Exclusive access to industry wide stats and research
• Access to discounted initiatives negotiated by the bfa for the membership

• Member-exclusive educational event portfolio
• Member-exclusive access to an online resource library
• Member-exclusive, free and/or heavily subsidised promotional opportunities
• Access to mediation and arbitration support if ever needed
• Valuable member-to-member offers, together we are stronger
• Ongoing support from industry experts to evaluate and develop your franchise offering
• Entry to the prestigious bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards
• Being part of an extraordinary, supportive community

Membership breakdown and application forms

bfa membership is broken down into different categories. A brand’s membership level is dependent on criteria such as the age and size of the franchise. Fundamentally, all Full and Associate members of the bfa must meet four key criteria: that the business is viable, franchisable, ethical and fully disclosed.

These principles underpin the accreditation process before membership is granted. As part of their application, franchisors are expected to demonstrate how they meet these standards and provide evidence of the same, where appropriate.


The business will have evidence to show that the product or service is saleable, and at a level of profit that will sustain a franchised network.


There is a means for the transfer of the know-how to a new operator at arm’s length, essential if the business is to be franchised.


There is a means for the transfer of the know-how to a new operator at arm’s length, essential if the business is to be franchised.


All information on the business that is material to the franchise proposition and contract is disclosed without ambiguity to prospective franchisees.

All bfa members commit themselves to comply with the terms of the following bfa policies and procedures:

• The Code of Ethical Conduct
• The Disciplinary Procedure
• The Complaints Procedure
• The Appeals Procedure

Members also agree to:

• comply with the Code of Advertising Practice as published by the Advertising Standards Authority.
• provide to the association any non-confidential information relating to their franchise business or relating to the standing and qualifications of its directors, as may be requested by an authorised official of the association.
• provide a full-time official of the association access (at
reasonable times and on reasonable notice) to confidential information relating to the franchise and its standing (on the understanding that such information remains confidential to the authorised official).

Membership Types & Criteria

Full member:

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. Full membership is often granted to more established franchisors due to the nature of the evidence required.

Associate member:

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. The bfa will determine whether a franchisor applying for membership is suitable for Associate or Full Membership.

Provisional member:

Provisional Membership 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. The business 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. Provisional Member companies commit to complying with the conditions of membership and to work to achieving the standards for Associate Membership within two years.

UK Developer:

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.

Find an advisor

It is essential that those offering you professional guidance understand the franchise industry and how to operate ethically and sustainably. We are proud to have a diverse network of trusted industry partners to support you throughout your franchise journey. Explore your support opportunities here: Professional Advisor Directory

Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels Co-op
“To grow the business, increase our profile and access new levels of insight and expertise. By having the bfa accreditation franchisees, and the public, will recognise that as a business we are credible franchisers and we operate to strict industry standards and therefore want to work with us. It’s always good practice to measure yourself against the industry benchmark.”
Mark Witter, Partner Window to the Womb
“There are 2 main reasons I was keen to have Window to the Womb as members of the bfa. Firstly the fact that our franchise partners can be confident that the franchise model they have invested in is operating according to an established set of standards, ethics and values. An independent validation of the franchise model. Secondly, the opportunity for the brand to have independent accreditation of being full members of the UK’s recognised franchise association.”
Cristina Grancea, Director of SylvianCare, Franchisor
"We decided to join the British Franchise Association due to the advantages that the affiliation brings and because of the expert support and training provided. We consider the resources that can be accessed through the bfa membership as invaluable, especially for a business that is new to the franchising world."

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