FTC AND IFA Developing Online Courses for Franchisees

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Washington, DC-The International Franchise Association's Education Foundation is developing two online courses, one for prospective franchisees and one for franchise company executives and consultants, which will be unveiled February 26 during the group's annual conference taking place this year in Las Vegas. Eileen Harrington, the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection associate director of marketing practices, will be there for the unveiling.

Harrington leads the agency's consumer fraud law enforcement effort and oversees its Internet fraud program. Under her direction, the marketing practices program targets the use of various communications technologies to defraud consumers, including the sale of franchised businesses.

The investor awareness course, "Franchising Fundamentals," is designed as a comprehensive introduction to franchising, and includes a description of the concept, questions to ask, the laws and regulations that apply, the companies and types of businesses that comprise the franchising field and more.

The second course, "Franchise Sales Compliance," was created for franchise executives, managers, compliance officers, paralegals and attorneys, and franchise brokers and consultants who are primarily involved in the franchise sales and disclosure process. The course will provide a standards-based training program that is easily accessible by all IFA members, who will be encouraged to incorporate the course into their training and orientation programs for franchise sales and compliance officers.

Other subjects to be covered during the convention programs include franchise relations, minority market development and international expansion. -International Franchise Association

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