Franchising in Scotland: an overview

An established franchise industry

Scotland already has a thriving established franchise industry. Every year the British Franchise Association hosts a Scottish Franchise Week, culminating in a Scotland Exhibition that showcases the opportunities available throughout the country.

Brands that already franchise in Scotland are diverse and range from pizza delivery franchises such as Domino’s Pizza to performing arts schools like Razzamataz Theatre Schools. Other franchisors who have a Scottish franchise network include Belvoir, Cafe2U, the streat, SUBWAY, and Card Connection.

Devolution of power

With the passing of the Scotland Act in 1998, Scotland gained devolved powers, meaning that it now has the right to create and legislate many of its own laws. Scotland now has its own Parliament, which is made up of MSPs, who are elected solely by the Scottish people, and a Scottish Government, which acts as the devolved Administration for Scotland. Ministers in the Scottish Government are made up of MSPs and its leader is the First Minster.

Some of the devolved powers include Economic Development, Agriculture, Transport, Health, Education and Training, Tourism, and Local Government.

The Scottish Government is keen to develop small businesses throughout the country and is encouraging business start-ups and the growth of existing businesses through financial support and advice.

Although able to decide many of its own laws, Scotland is still part of the UK and the British Parliament still holds much of the legislative power. The Scottish Government, however, intends to hold a referendum on Scottish independence before the end of 2014.

Territory sizes and population

When considering to franchise a business in Scotland, serious thought needs to be given on how to divide up your franchise territories. A vast majority of the country is rural, meaning that many franchise territories will be larger than in other parts of the UK and franchise owners must be prepared to travel further distances to meet clients.

Despite its large amount of rural land, most of the population in Scotland live in the country’s main cities especially Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

Scotland factfile:

Population: Around 5.2 million (2011)
Capital city: Edinburgh
Largest city: Glasgow
Currency: British Pound
Language: English (Gaelic is also spoken in some areas)