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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Franchise Programs for Veterans

As franchisors look to recruit new franchisees, one viable segment of the population is veterans transitioning out of active duty. The International Franchise Association (“IFA”) has established the VetFran program that links veterans with franchisors willing to offer discounts and incentives to veteran franchisees.


If you, as a franchisor, are interested in participating in the IFA’s VetFran program, you must be a member of IFA. All members of IFA are eligible to participate and there is no fee to be listed as part of the VetFran program. If you are already a member of IFA, you can sign up for the VetFran program by going to: http://dev.vetfran.com/franchisors/signup/.

While there are no fees directly associated with joining the VetFran program, there are requirements that a franchisor discount fees. Each franchisor must offer an incentive to veterans of no less than a 10% reduction on the initial franchise fee. Beyond that, there is no restriction as to what types of discounts and/or benefits are offered to incentivize veterans. Several franchisors eliminate the franchise fee entirely or offer a lowered royalty rate.

Once the franchisor is part of the program, the franchise system is listed in a directory of franchise opportunities. If you desire to have a more prominent listing, for an additional fee, a franchisor can have their franchise system featured prominently in the directory and in certain advertising. It should be noted that the VetFran website receives over 40,000 hits per year and the IFA is constantly working to establish relationship with national veterans programs and groups to bring this program to their attention.

The advantages to joining VetFran are several. The franchisor is able to use the VetFran logo on all promotional material and can use it on their letterhead and website which can be a helpful marketing tool to let the public understand the franchise system supports veterans. It is a minimal investment (through membership in IFA) to have access to a group of prospective franchisees that may otherwise not be as accessible. In addition, the franchisor can create a “calibration” assessment to help the VetFran program locate ideal franchisees. The assessment helps match a prospective franchisee’s skills and experience with a particular franchise opportunity. Lastly, VetFran is part of the Veteran Job Bank that allows veterans to search for veteran-friendly job opportunities upon transitioning out of service.

Once a part of VetFran, there is no prohibition against the franchisor making direct contact with veterans programs to promote the franchisor’s discount and veteran-specific offering. A franchisor is not restricted to using only the advertising made available through the VetFran program.

Should you desire more information about the VetFran program, you can find information on their website at: www.vetfran.com.

(This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or an endorsement of any product, service, group, organization or program.)