IFA Statement on Amended Arkansas Franchise Relationship Bill
LITTLE ROCK – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today released the following statement on the final, amended version of Arkansas HB 1783, legislation that could have devastated franchise operations in the state and hurt consumer choice. The amended bill, which is now only a technical change to existing statute after significant local business opposition, passed last week and was signed into law today.
“The original bill was a solution in search of a problem that didn’t exist, pushed by one large individual business owner, to benefit their own company,” said Jeff Hanscom, IFA vice president of state and local government relations. “Fortunately, legislators listened to the concerns of local business owners, and the bill went from being the most comprehensive rewrite of franchise law in the country to a technical change. The significant opposition from Arkansas franchisees and franchisors made clear they did not want government interfering in private contracts. This should serve as a cautionary tale to other states attempting to damage their thousands of franchised businesses and the consumers who enjoy them each and every day.”
After HB 1783 was introduced in the Arkansas General Assembly on Thursday, March 30, 118 franchised brands sent a letter in opposition to the bill saying, “This legislation has far-reaching and harmful ramifications for franchisors, franchisees, and the contributions of these small and large businesses on the Arkansas economy. HB 1783 is a way to use the legislature to resolve a dispute between parties to private contracts in favor of one side.”
As originally written, HB 1783 would have created the most extreme franchising legislation in the country, significantly altering the franchise business model and making it harder for franchises to do business in the state of Arkansas.
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Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 790,492 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $825.4 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.