HISTORY & BACKGROUND

The Franchise Association of Southern Africa (FASA) is a trade association for franchisors, franchisees and the professional organizations that service the franchise industry. Its aim is to develop and safeguard the business environment for ethical franchising in South Africa. FASA is the only recognized representative body of the rapidly growing franchise industry. FASA's criteria for membership conform to international best practices and are acknowledged by government and the public at large. FASA is a full member of the World Franchise Council.

38 YEARS OF FRANCHISING SERVICE

South Africa can be proud to hold the torch for franchising in Africa. As the oldest internationally recognized franchise association on the continent, FASA has been responsible for the roll-out of ethical franchising in South Africa. It was founded in 1979 when the pioneers of franchising in South Africa, including such long-standing brands such as Wimpy, Mend-a-Bath, Steers, Milky Lane, Minit Print, Juicy Lucy, Mike's Kitchen and King Midas, got together to form an association that would set down ethical standards, become a forum for networking and promote the business format of franchising to both business and the public. In retrospect, the forced isolation brought on by many years of sanctions strengthened franchising and the role of FASA, which concentrated on encouraging home-grown concepts rather than bemoan the lack of foreign franchises and set about establishing a very strong franchising ethic. Over the years FASA's mandate has included various areas of development, in line with socio-economic, legal and political shifts.

VISION & MISSION

FASA's Vision and Mission of promoting self-employment and small business development is taking on new meaning as it joins forces with government and the business community to stimulate new business concepts, encourage entrepreneurship, create jobs and play a part in the skills development of all South Africans. One of its primary roles is to define the business of franchising and ensure that all parties adhere to the franchise business principles adopted and accepted internationally. With franchising universally accepted as one of the most successful business formats, FASA's role is to continually promote the advantages of franchising both to business entrepreneurs, to prospective franchisees and to the public at large.

PROMOTING THE CONCEPT OF FRANCHISING

FASA has been the guiding force of franchising in South Africa for over 36 years and the growth and stability of the sector is largely thanks to the work that FASA has done over the years to promote ethical franchising. Considering that most international franchise associations were started in the 60's (the USA, Canada), 70's (UK, Germany) and 80's (Australia), the formation of the Franchise Association in 1979 was testament to the integrity of those early South African franchisor members who voluntarily committed themselves to establishing a bone fide business format with high ethical standards. Their mandate then, and now is to:

  • Promote the concept of franchising as a viable business format to potential franchisors and franchisees.
  • Issue guidelines according to which sound franchise schemes should operate.
  • Apply a Code of Ethics to the industry and establish standards of international best practices.
  • Promote franchising in the small business sector with the aim to nurture entrepreneurship, contribute to skills transfer and create jobs.
  • Collect and disseminate information on franchising.
  • Provide education on franchise-related subjects
  • Represent the sector vis-a-vis government, legislation, the media and the general public.

FASA MEMBERSHIP CRITERIA

FASA membership is granted in the following categories:

  1. Franchisor Membership
    Full membership is awarded to companies who have a proven trading and franchise record. A thorough assessment of each applicant company is made before membership is granted. This would typically include a look at the viability of the concept as well as the presence of appropriate documentation, with the minimum requirements being:-
    • has a disclosure document that complies with FASA's stringent specifications
    • has a fair and reasonable franchise agreement that clearly reflects the spirit of FASA's Code of Ethics and Business Practices
    • has a comprehensive operations and procedures manual.
  1. Preliminary Membership: Developing or New Franchise Companies
    Preliminary Membership is offered to companies who are new to or in the process of developing a franchised business. Their preliminary status is valid for 24 months after which they can apply to be accepted for full membership subject to producing viable performance financials. A thorough assessment of each applicant company is made before membership is granted. Reduced membership fees are payable per annum on submission of the membership application documents plus a once-off legal fee. The legal fee is waived if the applicants franchise agreement was written by a franchise attorney member of FASA. 

  2. Professional Service Provider Membership
    This category is open to professional practices that wish to provide professional services of high ethical standards to the participants in the franchise sector. These include law firms, banks, insurance companies, franchise consultants, brand and marketing companies, IT companies, suppliers and many others. 

  3. Franchisee Membership
    FASA has recently extended its membership to include all franchisees representing their franchise brands - whether their franchisors are members of FASA or not. Extending the benefits of belonging to the FASA franchise family to all those involved in this dynamic business format results in a strengthening of the ties that bind those in the industry and allow all to benefit from the continual growth of this phenomenal business format. 

  4. Product Supplier Membership
    Product supplier companies do not offer franchises but are suppliers of product to the franchising industry and place great emphasis on meeting the special needs of franchised chains. 

  5. Individual Membership
    This category applies to individuals who wish to join the association in their personal capacity.

For more information visit the 'Join' link on the homepage or click here http://fasa.co.za/join.php.  Phone FASA on +27116150359

PROMOTING THE CONCEPT OF FRANCHISING

With franchising universally accepted as one of the most successful business formats, FASA's role is to continually promote the advantages of franchising both to business entrepreneurs, to prospective franchisees and to the public at large. Based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, FASA and its staff serve the needs of both the public and the franchise community in the following ways:-

Franchise Festival:
The International Franchise Exhibition - www.ife.co.za - which has enjoyed over 20 years as the flagship event for the Franchise Association of South Africa and the industry’s showcase for small business and franchising, was taken to new heights in 2017.  Whilst its success over the years has been inextricably linked to the ups and downs of the economy, it remains one of the key events on the franchise business calendar and the Franchise Association of South Africa’s main driving force in promoting franchising on all levels.

Franchise Awards
The FASA Awards for Excellence in Franchising, held since 1990, remains a highlight of the year's calendar and brings together the association's members and their guests in honouring the top achievers in the field of ethical franchising and business practices. Various categories of franchising are honoured, amongst them Franchisor of the Year, Franchisee of the Year, Franchisor: Leading Developer of Emerging Entrepreneur, Newcomer Franchisor of the Year, Brand Builder of the Year, Hall of Fame Award, Field Service Consultant of the Year Award and Job Creator of the Year Award. – all reflecting the diversity of franchising and allowing all sectors of the franchise industry to participate. The awards give franchisors, franchisees and service providers a welcome opportunity to network in a social atmosphere whilst celebrating the success of the business method. http://fasa.co.za/aboutawards.php

FASA's Publications
Educating the public about franchising remains one of FASA's priorities and to this end the association is by far the most prolific local publisher of expert literature on franchising. In addition to its annual Franchise Manual which lists all the FASA members, its affiliate members (such as law firms, banks, consultants and other professional providers) and gives details of their concepts, there is on sale a selection of publications like "How to Evaluate a Franchise" and"How to Franchise Your Business". http://fasa.co.za/payments.php

FASA's Website at www.fasa.co.za.
FASA has developed a website that is user-friendly and offers interesting data on franchising in Southern Africa as well as a list of its members and service providers and their respective business opportunities. There are also direct links to members' own websites. With more and more people using the internet to gain information and to "shop" around, the FASA website provides all that as well as articles of interest and franchise happenings.

International Networking:
As an active member of the World Franchise Council, FASA plays an important role in the international franchise arena, liaising and taking part in forums on franchising and participating in conferences and exhibitions. It is considered the doyenne of franchising in Africa and as such is the only true representative of Africa on the world franchising stage. With franchising spreading to the rest of the African continent, FASA is playing a crucial advisory role in helping other African countries set up ethical franchising and promoting the business format of franchising. http://www.worldfranchisecouncil.net/

Pan African Franchise Federation (PAFF)
The association together with stakeholders and strategic partners established the Pan African Franchise Federation in 2013. The PAFF's constitution was signed during 2015 and the Federation's objective is to promote collaboration and ethical franchising on the African Continent and to set down franchising practices and procedures across the continent. Its long term goal is to become an accredited member of the World Franchise Council. http://www.panafricanfranchisefederation.org/

Monthly networking seminars
With the sponsorship of Absa monthly seminars are being held around the country where everyone interested in franchising can attend to learn more about how to evaluate a franchise, what funding opportunities are available from Absa, ask questions and network with industry specialists. http://fasa.co.za/events.php

Annual Franchise Survey
Sponsored by Sanlam annual franchise surveys are conducted in respect of franchisors and franchisees. Results are shared with the industry at large through seminars and are also published in the annual Franchise Manual. The results are also made available through a link on the FASA website. http://fasa.co.za/survey.php

UPHOLDING ETHICAL FRANCHISING

FASA holds the distinction of being one of the first countries in the world to adopt a Code of Ethics and Business Practices that became amongst the most stringent in the world and which remains binding to this day. It is widely considered as being among the most stringent franchise codes in operation anywhere in the world and the South African government adopted many principles of that Code into the Consumer Protection Act which now has a section that deals with franchising. The Code of Ethics compels franchisors to provide a prospective franchisee with the three contractual pillars of franchising, namely a Disclosure Document that gives all the relevant information about the company and the franchise opportunity, a fair and equitable Franchise Agreement and an Operations Manual that sets out the company's policies and procedures and is the blue-print to operating a successful business. http://www.fasa.co.za/ethics.php

REPRESENTING FRANCHISING ON GOVERNMENT LEVEL

FASA continues to engage with government to assist with their mandate to develop entrepreneurship, tackle unemployment and ultimately grow the economy.

FASA'S DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Within franchisings' structure of a franchisor and many franchisees, the legal intricacies within the business system can sometimes result in disputes. FASA has a proud record in playing a facilitating role between franchisors and franchisees, often assisting in resolving disputes before they reach the legal courts. The Association is in the process of applying to have it's Code of Ethics accredited which could see FASA becoming the Dispute Resolution Arm of the Consumer Commission.http://www.fasa.co.za/complaints.php

Comments & Suggestions

Any member of the public wishing to send a message to FASA or make a comment or statement on any of the initiatives or discussion documents, please click here.