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Key Insights from the BFA Legal and Ethics Seminar: From Roz Goldstein

In an ever-evolving legal landscape, staying informed is crucial for the success and integrity of your franchising venture. The BFA Legal and Ethics seminar provided a comprehensive update on regulatory changes, case law developments, and ethical considerations that are shaping the future of franchising. Here, I share my key takeaways and how they impact franchisors and franchisees alike.

Regulatory Updates: A New Legal Framework

Economic Crime & Corporate Transparency Act 2003: The disallowance of PO Boxes for company registered offices marks a significant shift towards transparency, affecting how franchises operate.

Carers Leave Act 2023: Introducing up to one week of unpaid leave for carers emphasises the need for business owners to adapt their HR policies to comply with new worker rights.

Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill: Still under review, this bill proposes changes that could affect operations online, including handling of fake reviews and subscription renewals. ‘Cooling off’ rights now also apply at renewal stage as well as the start of an online contract.

“Greenwashing” and Transparency: With an expected crackdown on misleading environmental claims, businesses must evaluate their marketing strategies to ensure authenticity and compliance.

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act) Act coming into force this year. It will place an obligation on franchisors to be actively training staff re the management of sexual harassment.

National Marketing Funds: The seminar stressed the flexibility franchisors have in managing marketing funds but advised against overcomplication in franchise agreements.

Technology and Future-Proofing: With technology driving changes in customer access and franchisee performance metrics, franchisors are encouraged to consider separate agreements for tech systems to maintain adaptability. How do you measure franchisee performance where franchisee does not directly control the inflow of customers?

Mediation: Embracing Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The rise in mediation as a preferred method for dispute resolution encourages franchisors and franchisees to consider non-court-based solutions, reflecting a shift towards collaborative conflict management.


The legal and ethical framework of franchising is intricate and constantly evolving. By staying informed and prepared to adapt, franchisors and franchisees can navigate these changes successfully. It’s about building a franchise model that not only complies with the law but also upholds the highest ethical standards, ensuring a sustainable and profitable future for all parties involved.

This seminar has been a valuable resource, and I hope my insights assist you in your franchising journey. For a deeper dive into how these updates may impact your franchise, feel free to email me at [email protected].