The European Franchise Federation (www.eff-franchise.com) is a non-profit international organisation that represents, promotes and defends the interests and development of franchising in Europe. The EFF was founded in 1972, and its headquarters are in Brussels.
There are 17 national franchise associations that make up EFF’s membership. Each of these associations is the accredited represented organization for the franchising industry within its country. The 17 associations are:
• Austrian Franchising Association
• Belgian Franchise Federation
• British Franchise Association
• Czech Franchise Association
• Danish Franchise Association
• Finnish Franchising Association
• French Franchise Federation
• German Franchise Association
• Greek Franchise Association
• Hungarian Franchise Association
• Italian Franchise Federation
• Netherlands Franchise Association
• Portugese Franchise Association
• Slovenian Franchise Association
• Swedish Franchise Association
• Swiss Franchise Association
• Turkish National Franchise Association
The membership of these associations includes franchisors, franchisees, and professional experts from different industries who have an interest in franchising, such as lawyers, business consultants, marketing professionals, financial institutions and insurance companies.
The Europe Franchise Federation has a dedicated mission to promote and defend ethical commercial franchising (sometimes referred to as “business format franchising”). The EFF, though composed of many organizations from different countries, acts as a single representative of the franchising industry in Europe. It holds the role as spokesperson for explaining the meaning and implications of ethical franchising to concerned parties, such as commercial institutions, national authorities, the business community, the press, general public and consumers.
European Code of Ethics
The European Code of Ethics was first created by the EFF in 1972, and has since then been updated to reflect modern and ethical franchise business practices. The Code of Ethics is intended to be a compilation of provisions that define fair behaviour for franchises in Europe. Any adaptations to the Code must be approved by the EFF’s governing body, and cannot alter the original basic Code.
Based on this Code of Ethics, the EFF helps protect the franchise industry by ensuring that all of its members adhere to the Code. Compliance with the Code means that each member association upholds fair franchising practices in Europe, and that their individual members in each country agree to comply with the recommended practices.
The Code has several sections that provide guidance for:
1. The definition of franchising
2. Defined roles of franchisor and franchisee, and the expectations and obligations of each in their roles
3. Recruitment, advertising and disclosure practices
4. Selection processes for individual franchisees
5. Franchise Agreement terms and stipulations
6. Exemptions for Master Franchising arrangements
A franchisor who belongs to any of the EFF member associations therefore earns a reputation for pursuing responsible, ethical behaviour for its business format franchising.
The EFF works with and advises private franchise companies that are members of their national franchise associations. It also monitors any legislation that affects franchising; and in particular European operations, and makes recommendations about legislation to ensure that entrepreneurial pursuits and the right to establish business contracts are not impeded by new legislation relevant to franchising.
The influence of the EFF extends beyond Europe. As the respected representative and authority on ethical franchising in Europe, the EFF promotes and defends franchising through the World Franchise Council, which the EFF helped to co-found. The WFC has 35 members, half of which are from the EFF.