FranchiseHound recently reported that the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) plans to unveil its newly drafted Franchisee "Bill of Rights" at its annual meeting  this June in Washington D.C.

The CFA was created three years ago to "leverage the collective strengths of franchisee associations for the benefit of the franchisee community.”  CFA membership has grown to include the franchisee member associations of Burger King, Little Caesar's, Supercuts, Dunkin' Donuts, Meineke, Subway, Hardee's, and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.  

The purpose of the Franchisee Bill of Rights is to address inequalities that franchisees believe exist in the hopes of resolving problems common to franchisees across industries.  The CFA intends to publish the Bill of Rights for public comment to generate support among franchisees.  The Franchisee Bill of Rights outlines protections for franchisees including:

  1. Territory Protection to guard against competing businesses opening up next door;
  2. Audited Disclosures to reveal vendor kickbacks;
  3. Trademark Protection; and
  4. A Guaranty of the Freedom to Associate.

For years, franchisees have argued that the lack of balance in franchise agreements has grown to unfair proportions while franchisors respond that they must have the power to sufficiently protect the franchise brand.   Whether the CFA has created the power and leverage it needs to advance its efforts remains to be seen.   We will check back soonto see how the franchise industry is responding to the Bill of Rights publication.