Effective Relationships with Franchisee Associations - Legal and Practical Aspects

May 1, 2001 Published Work
IFA Legal Symposium, May 2001

Over the last fifteen years, franchisee associations have become a mainstay of the franchise community. Much like the development of labor unions in this country, franchise systems have witnessed the development and rise of franchisee associations as a powerful vehicle of franchisee representation and negotiation. While large franchise systems have co-existed with franchisee associations for decades, such associations were traditionally unusual for smaller franchises. Today, for better or worse, franchisee associations drive, or at least contribute to, many of the marketing or operations decisions made by franchisors. This paper will review some of the issues related to the formation of franchisee associations, the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee association, the costs and benefits of franchisee associations, and the recent activities of some franchisee associations, as well as present the individual experiences of a franchisor and a franchisee with respect to the formation and effectiveness of franchisee associations.