Four things to expect at FranTech

tech

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.

Networking
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

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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.

International Toolkit Webinar: Drafting and Negotiating an International Franchise Agreement

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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!

Business Leaders Urge Senate to Restore Full-Time Work Week

By Kevin Serafino

As the U.S. Senate prepares to adjourn for its August recess, business leaders and employers from across the country are urging their elected officials to consider a critical change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would restore the 40-hour full-time work week and put more pay in the pockets of American workers.

Yesterday, members of the More Time For Full Time coalition, led by the International Franchise Association and including more than 400 business trade associations from all 50 states, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid pressing them to consider S.B. 30, the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act, upon their return to Washington in September. The legislation would harmonize the definition of full-time employment in the ACA with the traditional 40 hours per week definition, benefiting employees by allowing for more hours and income and helping employers by removing a burdensome new regulation.

Under the ACA’s current definition of full-time employee, set at 30 hours per week, many employees are being hurt by lost wages and hours because this new standard makes it more expensive for employers to allow part-time employees to work more than 30 hours through picking up additional shifts and adding flexibility to their schedules.

The Forty Hours Is Full Time Act currently has 42 co-sponsors in the Senate, while 73 Senators have indicated their belief in restoring the 40-hour work week.  Franchise business owners will meet with their elected officials at home throughout the Congressional recess to advocate for policies that will allow their businesses to thrive and create jobs in their local communities.

To read the More Time For Full Time coalition’s letter to Senate leadership, click here.  To contact your elected officials and urge them to restore the 40-hour work week, click here.

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