Franchise Trade Mission Explores Central America

From September 20th through 26th, 2015 a U.S. Franchise Trade Mission sponsored by IFA and Franchise Times visited Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.   13 IFA members joined the mission: Arby’s, Berlitz Franchising Corp., Bonchon Chicken, FASTSIGNS, Fuddruckers, Kona Grill, Mosquito Squad, Russo’s New York Pizzeria, Signal 88 Security, Sky Zone, Smashburger, Wayback Burgers and Xtreme Lashes.

Mission participants received market briefings, went on site visits and participated in matchmaking meetings with pre-screened prospective franchisees.  Many participants were impressed by the quality of investors with one executive calling the Guatemala meetings the best in his 35 year career.

Group CRThe Franchise Trade Mission Delegation gathers in San Jose, Costa Rica

Abby Daniell Costa Rica

Abby Daniell, Chief of Commercial Section at U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica welcomes the Mission to its first stop


Reed Nyffeler, CEO & Co-founder of Signal 88 Security addresses a reception in Costa Rica


Joe Hroch and Anthony Russo of Russo’s NY Pizzeria meet with prospective franchisees in Guatemala

J 10 IFA GUATE 2015 baja res

Leaders from the Guatemala Franchise Association and IFA Director of International Affairs, Josh Merin meet in Guatemala City


Charisse Phillips, the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala addresses the Franchise Mission

Juan Manuel Güiza

Juan Manuel Güiza entertains at a private dinner for Trade Mission participants in Guatemala City

el Salvador matchmaking

Xtreme Lashes and FASTSIGNS during matchmaking meetings in El Salvador

Multiplaza San Salvador

The Trade Mission receives a guided tour of Multiplaza Mall in San Salvador, El Salvador

Two IFA International Toolkit webinars from Gray Plant Mooty


The 3rd and 4th webinars in IFA’s International Toolkit series are “Legal and Regulatory Requirements of International Franchising” and “Legal Aspects of Bringing your Franchise to the U.S. – Myth v. Reality”.  Both will be presented by principals at Gray Plant Mooty.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements of International Franchising

An increasing number of franchisors are making international expansion part of their plans for growth. Successful international expansion requires that franchisors recognize and address a number of legal and regulatory issues. This webinar will identify the most common legal issues that franchisors seeking to expand globally face, and will address the most efficient ways of understanding and dealing with them:

1. How soon should a franchisor know about legal and regulatory issues before committing to franchising in a new country?

2. What is the most cost effective approach to learning about legal issues in a new country?

3. What types of laws should be of concern to franchisors?

4. Which country’s law should govern an international franchise agreement?

5. Where should international franchise disputes be resolved?

Click here to register now

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
1 hour 30 minutes

Presenters: Carl Zwisler, Gaylen Knack and Elizabeth Dillon

Legal Aspects of Bringing your Franchise to the U.S. – Myth v. Reality

The US market can seem complicated and even intimidating to international franchisors looking to expand there. This webinar will separate fact from fiction about US franchise laws and regulations, and will cover the following important issues facing international franchisors:
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of franchising in the U.S.?
2. Which factors increase a franchisors cost and time of complying with U.S. Franchise laws?
3. What must you know about U.S. Franchise laws before beginning discussions with a prospective U.S. Franchisee?
4. How do U.S. franchise laws affect the way franchises are sold?
5. What is the rate of litigation between franchisees and franchisors in the U.S?

Click here to register now

Tue, Oct 27, 2015
08:30 AM EDT
1 hour 30 minutes

Presenters: Carl Zwisler, Jan Gilbert and Mark Kirsch

International Toolkit Webinar: Drafting and Negotiating an International Franchise Agreement


The second webinar in IFA’s International Toolkit series is “Drafting and Negotiating an International Franchise Agreement”, presented by Ned Levitt, Partner, Dickinson Wright.  The webinar will take place Thursday August 20th from 11 to noon, ET. Levitt offers the following description of the webinar:

Like the siren’s song, many a franchisor has become intoxicated with the idea of expanding internationally, only to end up crushed on rocky foreign shores, with little to show for the experience but a new found wisdom. Learning the best practices in drafting and negotiating an international franchise agreement can go a long way to increasing a franchisor’s success in international markets. This exercise is one part technical, one part art and one part hard work.

This webinar will cover such crucial issues as:

  • What preliminary steps need to be taken?
  • Which countries and when?
  • How to choose the most appropriate franchise structure.
  • The value of letters of intent and how to prepare them.
  • The critical deal points and drafting options.
  • What is safely negotiable and how to settle the final document.
  • The role of foreign counsel.

Click here to register now!

Join the First IFA International Toolkit Webinar on June 23rd


The international articles by IFA supplier members in the June issue of Franchising World Magazine are the first manifestation of the “IFA International Toolkit”.  IFA is shaping the Toolkit with the intent of it becoming a core resource for franchisors and franchisees interested in international franchising.  The International Toolkit will feature webinar courses that collectively comprise a curriculum in international franchising.  The Toolkit will be branded and located prominently on the main international page of IFA’s website.

The first of these webinars “Choosing A Deal Structure For International Franchise Expansion” will be presented by DLA Piper on Tuesday, June 23rd from 2- 3:15 pm ET.

During the free webinar DLA partners with deep international experience will discuss one of the essential questions for franchisors expanding abroad – what expansion model should be used for entering a foreign market? This webinar will examine different scenarios, drawn from real world experience, designed to illustrate how the choice can be made most effectively, and what factors might be considered in choosing one vehicle over another.


Mike Brennan, Partner, DLA Piper
Erik Wulff, Partner, DLA Piper
Tao Xu, Partner, DLA Piper

    Click here to register

Explore Global Growth at the International Franchise Expo


The 2014 International Franchise Expo attracted 3,956 international visitors from 96 countries. Expectations of even bigger international numbers in 2015 give U.S. franchisors the chance to explore global growth without crossing a border.  The IFA sponsored Expo takes place June 18th to 20th, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York City.

A key reason that nearly one in five attendees at this year’s Expo will be international is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP).  As an IBP certified event, the commercial sections of U.S. Embassies and Consulates recruit pre-screened international buyers to attend the Expo and meet with U.S exhibitors.  The International Buyer Program produced 38 investor delegations to the International Franchise Expo in 2014 alone.

International franchising now also means franchisors entering the US.  As franchisors from outside the U.S. grow in scale and sophistication, many target the largest franchise economy in the world for expansion, seeking to follow the footsteps of IFA members like, InterContinental Hotels, Kumon, BoConcept, Tim Horton’s, Cartridge World, Yogen Fruz and Pollo Campero.  The 2015 International Franchise Expo will include 53 international franchisor exhibitors from 20 countries, including pavilions from the Brazil, Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates.

Educational programs related to international franchising enhance the value of participating.  Many of these educational sessions are for CFE credit.  Internationally oriented Seminars and Symposia at this year’s Expo include:

  • Master Franchising – Why do Some Succeed and Others Struggle
  • The Use of Master Franchising, Domestically and Internationally
  • Global Franchise Expansion:  Strategies for Lucrative & Planned Growth
  • An Overview of Key U.S. Trends and Regulatory Issues for International Franchisors
  • Strategies for Franchising into the U.S. Market
  • Navigating the US Marketplace
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program – Tool for Franchise Network Expansion

To learn more and participate visit: