Welcome to Franchising!
Franchising in Australia
The Franchise Council of Australia Limited (FCA) is a nationally incorporated not-for-profit association and the peak body for the $146 billion franchise sector in Australia, representing franchisors, franchisees, service providers and advisors to the sector.
The FCA aims to support, promote and develop Australian franchising to drive economic and entrepreneurial success within the sector.
These goals underpin the FCA’s core activities, which focus on the major themes of:
- A commitment to promoting the highest industry standards and best practice within the sector;
- Providing the education and other services necessary to ensure a healthy sector constantly striving to lift its own standards; and
- Building strong and productive relationships with governments, core regulators and stakeholders to ensure that the voice of franchising is being heard.
Whether offering advice on best practice franchising, educating government on policies affecting the sector, promoting franchising in the media or providing professional development services to its members, the FCA does its part to make the sector a positive, sustainable place to earn a living.
Membership of the FCA is voluntary, and is open to any individual or organisation involved in the franchising sector, including franchisees, franchisors, lawyers, accountants, banks, consultants, academics, publishers and many more.
The FCA is closely affiliated with franchising associations around the world, including the International Franchise Association (IFA), and is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC). It is also a member of the World Franchise Council (WFC) and for 1999 and 2000 was its secretariat.
Credibility - maintained through the FCA member standards and the Franchising Code of Conduct; Professional support – through education programs, networking opportunities and regular events;
Representation - ensuring members’ voices are heard by governments, regulators and other important groups. Membership also means solidarity. FCA members belong to an association where their peers work together for the betterment of the sector. FCA members share a common method of doing business – not a common business.
For this reason, franchisors, franchisees and suppliers can freely exchange ideas without fear of losing their competitive edge.
The FCA currently has more than 550 franchise systems and suppliers in its membership base. This strong commitment to belonging demonstrates the relevance and value brought to the sector by the FCA.
MAJOR SERVICES AND INITIATIVES
The FCA recognises that its members have different needs, and that different types of members should co-exist harmoniously. The success of franchising depends on successful franchisors, and this, in turn, depends on profitable and happy franchisees.
The FCA works constantly to ensure that all activities and services which benefit franchising will benefit the broader community – including franchisees, franchisors, employees and their local economies and communities.
In addition to a commitment to the highest industry standards, the FCA facilitates a number of services and initiatives to assist in promoting and advancing the role of franchise business in Australia, as well as supporting its members.
EDUCATION – CERTIFIED FRANCHISE EXECUTIVE PROGRAM
The FCA facilitates specialist franchising education through the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) program, which offers existing and aspiring franchise professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow professionally and reach a recognised standard of excellence within the local and international franchise community.
The FCA, in association with the American-based Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE), delivers the CFE program in Australia. The CFE is the only internationally recognised professional accreditation program for franchise executives. It is an educational framework designed to enhance the professionalism of franchising by certifying the highest standards of quality training and education.
Since launching in Australia in 2012, almost 60 Australian franchise professionals have so far gained CFE accreditation, including 25 franchise professionals from 22 different organisations who gained their CFE accreditation in 2017.
THE NATIONAL FRANCHISE CONVENTION
The FCA hosts the annual National Franchise Convention. The Convention brings together the Australian franchise community – including successful business people, key decision makers, CEOs, government officials and industry advisors – to enjoy education, networking and business development opportunities.
Traditionally a three-day event, the National Franchise Convention also includes a trade exhibition where suppliers to the franchise sector can showcase their products and services. The convention is open not only to those in franchising circles but also to the small business sector generally and it is not necessary to be an FCA member to attend.
FCA EXCELLENCE IN FRANCHISING AWARDS
The FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards recognise and reward companies and individuals within the Australian franchise sector and provide a platform for entrants to showcase their achievements on the national stage.
The Awards are only open to FCA member companies or individuals, and are committed to ensuring that franchisors, franchisees and suppliers to the sector are appropriately represented. Success at the Awards not only increases brand recognition, customer enquiries and media coverage, but it can also boost company morale and help attract the best talent to companies.
The Excellence in Franchising Awards ceremony is held in conjunction with the National Franchise Convention and is the pinnacle of the franchising year.
Past winners include 2017 Australian Established Franchisor of the Year, G.J. Gardner Homes; 2017 Australian Emerging Franchisor of the Year, Soul Origin; and 2017 Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year, Ryan Willsher of Finn Franchise Brokers; and many more.
HALL OF FAME
The Australian Franchise Hall of Fame was established in 2003. During its creation, the selection panel searched back to the origins of franchising in Australia and, by a meticulous process of elimination, identified the groundbreakers, influencers, quiet achievers, selfless contributors and outstanding performers who endured the trials and laid the foundations of the sector’s success.
Now, it is the members of the Hall of Fame themselves who induct new entrants. The sole criterion is an outstanding contribution to franchising – whether as a franchisor, franchisee, academic, lawyer, consultant, politician, financier – whomever.
The 2017 Hall of Fame inductee is Rod Young, one of the world’s foremost franchising consultants and current Chairman and Global CEO of the $250 million Cartridge World group.
WOMEN IN FRANCHISING COMMITTEE
In 2007, the FCA announced the introduction of the Women in Franchising Committee (WIF), dedicated to promoting and advancing the achievements of women in franchising and small business.
The aim of the WIF Committee is to increase female participation in franchising. It aims to be a professional, organised group within the FCA that will provide women inside and outside the sector with information and encouragement, as well as genuine opportunities for contribution, networking and professional development.
The FCA is closely affiliated with franchising associations around the world and actively participates in international conventions, expos and working groups to inform and educate countries on Australian franchising trends and opportunities. The FCA is a full member of the World Franchise Council (WFC), as well as a founding member of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC) which is a supranational regional group of the WFC.
The WFC membership recognises National Franchise Associations (NFA) which are not-for-profit organisations whose constitution requires and, in practice has:
- A subscribing membership which the majority is comprised of franchising companies.
- A governing body mainly comprised of franchising companies or their representatives.
- A code of ethics which franchising members must comply with and is consistent with the Code of Ethics promulgated by the International Franchise Association, or the European Franchise Federation or such other equivalent Code.
The objectives of the WFC are:
- To provide a forum for every National Franchise Association world-wide to meet as equals to promote and improve franchising.
- To represent international information on franchising and common views of the NFA to international bodies.
- To encourage development of NFA’s in all countries of the world as recognised by the United Nations.
The WFC meets twice a year, and the FCA is an active participant and member of the WFC Task Force – which is the Executive Committee of the WFC. Access to the NFA’s from across the globe provides FCA members with cross referrals to key advisors when looking to expand internationally and provides a source of referral for international franchisors looking at entering the Australian franchising sector.
FCA MEMBER STANDARDS
Members of the FCA receive many benefits which help businesses keep informed and connected with the franchise sector and facilitate education. One of the hallmarks of a reputable sector is a commitment to high standards of personal and professional conduct. This enhances public perceptions of franchising, helps safeguard the investments of franchisors and the businesses of franchisees, protects franchise networks from unfair or unethical attack and provides guidance for those seeking to commence their franchising journey.
The FCA encourages its members to maintain standards of conduct worthy of franchise sector professionals. The Member Standards are designed to provide members of the FCA with an authoritative guide on acceptable standards of conduct. The FCA believes the Australian franchise sector to be well regulated with the Franchising Code of Conduct (the Code) allowing for affordable, efficient dispute resolution procedures and disclosure provisions to assist and guide the sector. It also considers that the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee can be developed even further with best practice guidelines in the form of FCA Member Standards.
It is the FCA’s view that a member gains significant market benefit in identifying themselves with FCA membership and as such the business practice and activities of members should work towards franchise best practice.
All FCA members are expected to conduct their franchising activities professionally and in accordance with Australian law. They are expected to comply with agreed minimum standards of conduct. The FCA considers the following standards to be relevant to members:
- Members of the FCA shall abide by all relevant State and Federal laws including, in particular, the Franchising Code of Conduct and the Competition and Consumer Act. Within 14 days of a written request by the FCA, a member shall furnish to the FCA a copy of its current disclosure document, franchise agreement and any other documentation or advertising material used in connection with the appointment of a franchise.
- No member shall imitate the trademark, trade name, corporate name, slogan, or other mark of identification of another member of business in any manner or form that would have the tendency or capacity to mislead or deceive.
- Members will become familiar with the content of these Member Standards and draw them to the attention of clients as appropriate from time to time.
- A member, be they a franchisor, vendor, franchisee, franchise broker, or representative of a franchise system should not sell a franchise if at the time the franchisor or vendor franchisee knew or ought to know that a reasonably competent franchisee would be unlikely to be able to successfully operate the franchise.
- Members are expected to behave professionally and refrain from illegal, unethical or improper dealings or otherwise act contrary to the image of franchising or the FCA.
The FCA recognises that its members have different needs, and that different types of members should co-exist harmoniously. The success of franchising depends on successful franchisors, and this in turn, depends on profitable and happy franchisees. The FCA works constantly to ensure that all activities and services which benefit franchising will benefit the broader community - including franchisees, franchisors, employees and their local economies and communities.
This editorial appears in the 2018 Business Franchise Directory