To All Franchisees in Toronto, in Ontario, or Across Canada: Improve the Franchisee-Franchisor Relationship by Establishing a Franchisee Association

In a previous article, we discussed the establishment of a Franchisor Advisory Council (FAC) as a means of creating the open, informed communication is essential to the success of the franchisee-franchisor relationship.

An alternative means of establishing communication with the franchisor is through the use of a Franchisee Association. The name, Franchise Association, is essentially descriptive of its nature. It is a group of franchisees within a particular franchise system who associate with each other for a common purpose. That purpose is usually to create a common voice for the purpose of addressing concerns that franchisees have regarding the operation of the franchise system or the manner in which the franchisor is treating its franchisees. In other words, most of a Franchisee Associations are borne out of crisis or conflict between franchisees on the one hand, and the franchisor, on the other hand.

What Are The Differences Between A Franchise Advisory Council And A Franchise Association?

While FAC’s may offer franchisees an opportunity to meet and to discuss issues affecting their interests, the very nature and structure of an FAC favours the interests of franchisor. All proceedings are conducted in the presence of franchisor or its agent and do not provide a meaningful opportunity for confidential communications among franchisees. As such, FAC’s are limited in the kinds of support they can provide to franchisees, particularly in circumstances where one or more franchisees are in an adversarial position to franchisor.

Franchisee Associations operate with complete independence from franchisor. The funding, governing documents, and activities of the franchisee association are solely in the hands of franchisees. There are a number of reasons that you may want to join or form a franchisee association with the guidance and assistance of experienced counsel.
  • While a franchisee association may not be able to bind a franchisor to decisions made by the group, a collective has far more power to garner proper attention for important issues than does any individual franchisee
  • Franchisees that join together may have more influence over the operations of the franchise system
  • Within a franchisee association, a group identity is gained and frustrations of the individual can be discussed in a safe, supportive environment
The relationship between franchisees and the franchisor can be complex. We have the skills and experience to assist franchisees in navigating their relationship with the franchisor. Mr. David Kornhauser and Mr. Michael Kleinman have provided guidance and advice to numerous franchisees across Canada in the formation and organization of franchisee associations.

By David N. Kornhauser, MBA, LL.B. Mr. Kornhauser is corporate counsel at Macdonald Sager Manis, LLP, in Toronto, Ontario. Mr. Kornhauser’s and Mr. Kleinman’s practice includes representing franchisors, franchisee advisory councils and franchisee associations in all aspects of franchise law. David can be contacted at 416-862-6280 or 855-324-3944 or by e-mail at or; Michael can be reached at or by e-mail at or

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