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AAFD 2022 Mid-Year Franchise Legislative Summary

By Published On: July 12th, 2022

We are halfway through 2022, and we wanted to give you a legislative summary on franchise bills AAFD has been engaged on, both federally and in states

Federal Legislation

Both these bills go directly to the issue of better disclosure, something that is foundational to successful franchising. The SBA loan programs are designed to be self-funding. The SBA attempts to charge enough in rate and fees to cover any loan charge-offs. Passing these bills, with the additional transparency, should lower the default rates of SBA loans, therefore lowering the rates and fees. In reality, brands with low default rates are currently subsidizing the poor performing/high default rate franchises by paying higher rates and fees on their SBA loans. S.2162 has a greater chance of moving forward, and if you have a Senator on the Senate Small Business Committee, especially a Republican Senator, we need to have you contact their office. AAFD has sent in letters of support on both these bills.

  • H.R.6551, the Franchisee Freedom Act (Schakowsky, D-IL). This legislation would allow individuals a private right of action on franchisor violations of the FTC Franchise Rule. Currently, franchisees do NOT have a private right of action if a franchisor violates the Rule. Unless they reside in a handful of states that allow for a private right on state investment law, or can prove the high bar of fraud, they can never have their day in court on Rule violations. We need franchisees to contact their House of Representatives member to gain cosponsors on this in hopes of having a subcommittee hearing. AAFD has sent in a letter of support on this bill.

State Legislation

  • New Jersey A.1958  (Mukherji, D). This legislation is a comprehensive update to the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act. It is specifically targeted to the hospitality industry. It requires franchisors to disclose all rebates/kickbacks and turn them over to the franchisees. It prohibits fees that were not previously disclosed. It also includes limitations on quotas, guest comments, capital investment, etc. This recently passed the Assembly Judiciary with great support from local hotel franchisees. While this bill only deals with the hospitality industry, passing it will set up a later opportunity to have the amendments to the franchise law cover all franchises. AAFD has sent a letter of support on this bill.

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Written by : Keith Miller

Keith is the AAFD preeminent voice for political action in support of franchisee rights at both the Federal and State level. Keith has been an active leader and voice for franchisee causes over the past twenty plus years, with a growing track record of bringing franchisee friendly legislation introduced and adopted throughout the USA. Keith is also a multi-unit Subway franchisee, and understands the challenges and opportunities that come with being in business for oneself. He is passionate about protecting the interests of franchisee business owners, and will work tirelessly to ensure that they are treated fairly under the law.

Keith Miller founded Franchisee Advocacy Consulting to fill a void. Franchise owners, as a class, are the largest investors in the franchise industry. However, franchisees also have the weakest voice with legislators, regulators, and leaders in the franchise industry. This gap, of investor size versus voice, means franchisees have little leverage over how policies directly impact the businesses they have invested in, especially policies that are unique to the franchise industry. Like it or not, special interest groups rule the political landscape. Franchisee Advocacy Consulting will assist franchisees, franchisee groups, and franchisee associations to better engage franchisees in gaining a stronger voice and become a special interest group to be reckoned with. Franchisee Advocacy Consulting only represents franchise owners, working towards their goals. We will not be conflicted by representing other interest groups or claiming we can equally represent all stakeholders in the franchise industry, because we know that is not possible.

Contact us to see how we can help you, or your organization. We are available to speak to your organizations and work with them toward their goals. As our slogan states, we are all about “advancing franchisee causes through engagement and advocacy”.