The franchise system should not be rigged against small business owners.
The Federal Trade Commission oversees the franchising industry, and we call on the FTC to investigate franchisors’ abusive practices. As franchisees, we’ve poured countless hours and, in many cases, our savings into successful businesses. But in most states franchisors have the legal right to take away this hard work on a whim for small violations of our franchise agreements.
Franchisors can retaliate against us for speaking out, or refusing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for “improvements” that don’t help sales. They can block our plans to sell our business and retire. An FTC investigation will reveal the need for reform of the industry at the national level.
The imbalance of power between small business owners and large franchisors often undermines our ability to succeed as franchisees and contributes to economic instability for many of the 780,000 franchised businesses across the country.
Right now, we have a chance to improve the franchise industry by asking the FTC to take much needed action to help restore balance to the franchise system.
The Franchise system desperately needs reform. The Federal Trade Commission needs to investigate on behalf of the small-business owners whose investments of sweat and savings make franchising work.
Former McDonald’s franchise owner, Daly City, CA
The Petition Letter
I urge the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation of the franchise industry. By exposing franchisors’ unfair business practices, the FTC will support efforts to reform franchising at the national level. The hundreds of thousands of small business owners who are the backbone of American franchising need the FTC to help protect them from aggressive practices that threaten their investment and economic security.