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A Franchise Lawyer’s twitter perspective @savoryed

When it comes to twitter, there is often an overwhelming temptation to write about what you want to write about, instead of what your target audience would like to read.

For those of you that follow me on twitter, you will know that I regularly tweet legal tips using #franchiselaw. The tweets represent my views on a range of legal and quasi-legal matters relating to franchising and are based on our team’s experience of advising franchises (from both a franchisor and franchise owner perspective) for over 30 years together with any other useful information and links I think are worth sharing.

The old Guinness advert famously declared that 88.2 per cent of statistics are made up on the spot. However, I have used Buffer analytics, which tells you how many of your followers have clicked on, favourited, quoted and/or re-tweeted each tweet. The results are in and here are my three most popular tweets, together with some commentary on their subject matter:

To be a successful franchise you need to understand franchising and operate lawfully. First resource: @bfa_uk

The British Franchise Association’s website and twitter feed (@BFA_UK) is an excellent resource from which to gather information for free. The website also provides contact details of specialist affiliated advisers who are experienced in advising on all things franchising. I would strongly recommend that, whether you are a franchisor, a franchise owner or an adviser, in the franchising industry, you engage with the bfa.

Take some time to understand the basic law around franchising – this will help you when taking legal advice

In a previous edition of The Franchise Magazine, I wrote an article on how to go about taking legal advice. The popularity of the above tweet indicates that people are interested in finding out more about the law around franchising. Places to look include the bfa website, The Franchise Magazine and accompanying website, the Leathes Prior website, my own twitter feed and various books that are available to purchase online.

In the UK, there is relatively little law relating specifically to franchising. Instead, existing law is applied to franchising specifically, which sometimes results in trying to force a cylindrical peg into a square hole. Examples of issues that franchised businesses need to address lawfully include protecting and licensing brand usage, duties of confidentiality, franchise agreement provision, obligation guarantee, customer data and lead distribution and the monitor of online content and leads. These examples really are just the tip of the iceberg of topics – the full list of which would go on for pages. Given the breadth of legal areas which franchising covers, you should take advice from specialists in franchising who are experienced in its legal nuances and, in particular, understand the unique relationship between franchisor and franchise owner. At the same time, it will pay to do some of your own research first.

Regulation of franchising in UK is minimal. At the very least franchises should comply with @bfa_uk Code of Ethics

Even though the Code is voluntary and does not strictly apply to non-bfa members, the English Courts have made it clear that the Code sets the bar for all franchised businesses in the UK. The Code is available on the bfa’s website together with useful guidance.

For further information please message me on twitter for my thoughts on a specific topic.