Five things to do in Dallas during IFA’s FranTech!

Register today for IFA’s #FranTech2015, October 26-28 in Dallas, TX!

Taking place at the InterContinental Dallas, this upscale hotel is close to the best attractions in the city, and here are five things you can do while you’re there!:

1. Shop.
The Galleria Dallas is a massive mall filled with high-end shops and restaurants, and even has an indoor ice skating rink!

2. Eat.
From premier barbeque to authentic Tex-Mex, dining in Dallas is one unique experience that you can’t miss.

3. Learn.
Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and experience the interactive “Decision Points Theater” that takes visitors “inside” the President’s decision-making process during major crises, see steel from the World Trade Center, and check out thousands of artifacts and archives.

4. Relax.
Tour the manicured gardens with breathtaking views at the world-class Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

5. Get inspired.
The largest urban arts district in the country is in the Dallas Arts District, filled with award-winning museums and galleries, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Crow Collection of Asian Art.

Don’t miss this engaging event happening in just a couple of weeks! View the brochure and register now!

CFE candidates: Earn 300 credits by attending this event!

The discounted hotel rate at the InterContinental Dallas ends this Friday, October 9.

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

Four things to expect at FranTech



Top-Notch Speakers
Get advice from professionals at innovative companies like Google, Facebook, the Dwyer Group, and FASTSIGNS. You’ll learn from the best about integrating technology into your digital marketing strategy, designing your business for the future, and much more.

Think Tank
Our “Think Tank” is where you can discover cutting-edge tools and creative solutions by meeting other attendees. You’ll leave FranTech with knowledge about how to help increase your franchise system’s productivity, brand awareness, customer engagement, generating qualified leads, and streamlining operations.

Up-to-Date Information
Technology is an ever-changing world, and it can be difficult to be on top of the new trends that can make or break your business. IFA’s FranTech is designed for professionals who need help in the rapidly-changing field of technology, security and digital marketing. FranTech’s Planning Task Force has developed this year’s event around digital marketing and the future of technology, which you will hear directly from our top technology experts in franchising.

It’s all about who you know. Reconnect with old friends and meet valuable new contacts at our opening welcome reception, in our Think Tank, and everywhere in between.

CFE candidates: Earn 300 credits by attending this event!

The discounted hotel rate at the InterContinental Dallas ends October 5.

View the brochure and register now!

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

Congressman Ellison’s Franchise Legislation: Harmful and Unnecessary

By Elizabeth Taylor, Vice President of Federal Government Relations & Public Policy, Counsel

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN-05) recently introduced the SBA Franchise Loan Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 3195). He claims the bill will help small business franchise owners by adding transparency to the process of applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans. In fact, the legislation will harm small businesses. Chock full of unnecessary regulations, the measure unfairly targets franchise loans and would deter small business growth and job creation.

Franchising is flourishing. There are currently more than 780,000 franchise businesses throughout the U.S. in over 300 different industries ranging from restaurants to in-home healthcare.  Franchising allows thousands of entrepreneurs to become small business owners, and supports 8.9 million jobs nationwide. Franchise growth has outpaced the growth of other small businesses for the past 5 years and the trend is expected to continue.

Franchisees aren’t just successful — they’re also satisfied.  A recent survey of franchisees published by the Franchise Business Review found that 80 percent would rate their franchisors highly and recommend their brand to others. Three-fourths of franchisees would “do it all over again.”

This is why imposing additional red tape on franchises would serve only to stifle business creation and employment opportunities for many Americans. The Ellison bill singles out franchise businesses by imposing burdens on the franchise loan process – even though franchise businesses account for only 6 percent of the SBA 7(a) loan portfolio. There is no evidence that franchise loan failure rates are significantly higher than other businesses.  In fact, according to a recent SBA loan study by FRANdata, franchise small business are less likely to default on their SBA loans than non-franchise businesses.  The default rate for franchise loans is 13.73 percent compared to 17.11 percent among non-franchise loans. In other words, the franchise loan default rate is 20 percent lower than non-franchise loans.

While defaults in business loans are unfortunate, they happen in all types of of businesses, not just franchising. The SBA 7(a) loan program has been overwhelmingly beneficial for franchise small business owners and the overall economy. Six out of seven franchises that receive SBA loans do not default and actually go on to grow their businesses.

For the relatively small percentage of franchise brands that do default, this legislation would be of no assistance. What’s more, singling out one or two franchise brands would be misguided. To the extent any problem can be identified, it would be with larger lenders. Big lenders like Banco Popular have a 40 percent default rate for franchise and non-franchise loans.  This rate is twice the average rate (16.8%) of the top 50 SBA lenders.

The Ellison bill would also create a conflict between two agencies, the SBA and the Federal Trade Commission because it would require changes to the FTC Franchise Rule. Although many franchisors disclose financial performance data to potential franchisees, the franchise rule does not require financial performance disclosure by the franchisor.  That would have to change under the Ellison bill, and the FTC no doubt would fight the alteration.

Mr. Ellison has a history of taking policy positions that would harm small businesses. It’s curious that a lawmaker with such a record would now take an interest in the arcane process of SBA loans for franchisees. Mr. Ellison does have one link to franchising – his largest campaign contributor has been the Service Employees International Union, which is on a well-documented mission to destroy the franchise business model. Perhaps the true motivation behind the Ellison bill isn’t to help franchising but to prevent more franchise small businesses from opening at all.

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