Should you join the Canadian Franchise Association?

When you join a franchise, you become part of a community, a network of professionals working toward a common set of goals and targets, striving for brand recognition and ultimately business success. But as soon as you begin researching franchises, you are often directed to the website of the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) and you may wonder whether membership in this organization will benefit you in achieving your franchise dreams.


What is the CFA?

The CFA was established in 1967 and is an independent organization that aims to educate franchisees, share best practices among franchise businesses, and advocate for its members in matters of legal and financial importance.


How does the CFA pursue these objectives?

The CFA works across four pillars of community, education, advocacy and access to capital.

  • Community - The CFA hosts a number of franchise conventions, exhibitions and events every year at which members can gain exposure to numerous different franchise brands and industry sectors, learn from experienced professionals, and access educational sessions and networking events. Being a CFA member can increase brand exposure, ease accessing new franchisees, and help you promote your business across its network.
  • Education - The CFA offers its members access to its publications, franchise leaders who will share their knowledge and experience, and training programs.
  • Advocacy - The CFA lobbies federal, provincial and municipal governments, fighting for the rights of franchisors and franchisees in Canada and helping to secure a fair outcome for franchise businesses in matters of international and local law.
  • Access to capital - The CFA is working with the government to help franchisors and franchisees benefit from government grants and loans to help them to establish, resource and grow their businesses.


Is CFA membership mandatory?

No. There is no requirement to join the CFA, even if you launch a new franchise brand or join an established franchise brand whose network includes CFA members.


Should you join the CFA?

This is an entirely personal decision. No one will mandate that you join the CFA, but some franchisors who have benefited from their membership may recommend it to their new franchisees as a way of establishing a professional and supportive network.

It is highly recommended that each individual takes the time to consider what the CFA could offer them on both a personal and professional basis, and what they could give back if they join. The CFA continues to grow based on the strength of its members and their feedback and experience, so joining the CFA should be seen as a two-way exchange of ideas and information. For many, the idea of learning from experienced franchisees and industry professionals and accessing training and networking opportunities will be very attractive, while others may not see the benefit in this support; both points of view are equally valid.