History of Franchising

Franchising started with Isaac Singer way back in the 19th century!

Mr Singer wanted to distribute his sewing machines outside his geographical area and provide training on how to use the machines, as people wouldn’t buy them without training and retailers did not provide this service. Mr Singer started selling licenses to people in different parts of the country; this licence gave permission for the owner of that licence to sell and teach people how to use the Singer sewing machine. This brought the use of the sewing machine to the public where before it had only been available for commercial use.

In 1955 Ray Kroc, a milkshake mixer salesman, discovered the McDonald brothers on their hamburger stand. He found they were buying so many of his mixers because they had developed a high volume production system, which enabled them to provide fast service with consistent results at a low cost.

Ray Kroc became their licensing agent and recruited franchisees, starting in the Chicago area. In 1961, he bought out the McDonald brothers and now McDonalds is one of the biggest and most successful franchise organisation ever established, unleashing the wave of franchising as we know it today.

Quality Accreditation

The AFA provides the Franchise Industry within the United Kingdom with a voluntary, self-regulatory body; serving its members, potential new franchisees and the industry as a whole.

Ethical Values

Our Ethical Practises

Our Values & Principles ensure our organisation remains focused and driven to our collective objectives, surrounding the growth, development and awareness of the Franchise Industry within the United Kingdom.

Support and Information


Whether you are seeking a franchise opportunity or are an existing franchisor, the AFA provides you with guidance, support and straightforward advice.



We are committed to supporting the collective franchising community and ultimately contributing to the development of the UK franchising industry.

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