More than the Franchise: The IREF is representative of all forms of independent organized commerce

Since 1981, IREF has represented and supported all forms of independent organized commerce.


The hallmark of this mode of organization: the transmission of the franchisor ‘s know-how .

This provides its franchisee with a concept, a sign and sales methods.

And to lead him on the path to success, he must offer him training, assistance with opening and support throughout the life of the contract.

The relationship is legally framed by the exemption regulation of 1988 and by the Doubin Law of 1989 which sets several obligations for the franchisor before signing the contract. It also implies constraints for the franchisee such as supply conditions dictated by the franchisor, strict respect for know-how and respect for the concept (non-competition and secrecy clause).

For more flexibility

Partnership is a development and management technique that unites partners through an agreement of common interests under the terms of which they undertake to cooperate on a long-term basis by sharing their respective knowledge and experience.

The main partner grants the independent partner, in exchange for direct or indirect financial compensation, the right to exploit its elements of intellectual property, its experience and its knowledge, with the aim of marketing the products and/or services of the that he conceptualized and developed beforehand.

The partners work together throughout the duration of the contract, with the aim of reciprocal and balanced development, in a spirit of partnership, exclusive of any hierarchical manifestation, while preserving the identity and reputation of the network.

There is no transmission of know-how, but an “exchange of experience and skills”.

The management of the network is therefore different from that of the franchise, the relationship is horizontal and not vertical.

for an exclusive territory

This contract allows the brand and therefore the licensor to grant geographically distributed resellers exclusive distribution limited to a specific territory.

The dealer (or exclusive distributor), independent trader, is the only one authorized to sell, on the territory granted and delimited by the contract, the supplier’s products.

The territorial exclusivity granted by the grantor to the concessionaire is here the heart of the contract, it is the characteristic and essential element of the exclusive concession contract.

(It is true that other contracts such as the franchise contract, may provide for territorial exclusivity; it is then in this case, unlike the concession contract, only an accessory clause).

To manage stock without financing

In this type of agreement, the affiliate, independent trader, sells, in his own goodwill, and under the sign of the network, the goods supplied by the sign which remains the owner until the sale (these contracts are very common in the world of fashion and ready-to-wear).
In this context, the “supplier” remains the owner of the stock, the affiliate merchant is then paid by commission; the latter is in fact only a simple commission agent who cannot intervene either on the choice or on the nature of the stock (i.e. an intermediary who acts in his own name but on behalf of a third party, it is the latter, the principal, who bears the commercial operations carried out).

This type of contract has the advantage of reducing the investment cost of affiliates, unlike franchisees, they do not have to finance their stock, they assume neither the management nor the risks. As for the brand, it must be efficient in the management of its stocks; it weighs on the chain of significant inventory risks if it makes errors of assessment on the composition of its assortment or on the sales forecast.

The forwarder’s access to the network is subject to payment by the latter of an entry fee and annual fees.


In this type of agreement, the holder of a mark grants to a third party (the licensee), the right to affix the mark on its own products and/or to make commercial use of it, in particular as a sign. .

The provision of a trademark only makes sense if it is legally valid and commercially sound.

The licensed trademark must have a distinctive character in relation to the products and services it designates. It must have been registered and must remain protected according to the legislation of the country where it is granted.

This is the most basic mode of organization, the main advantage of the license is to be inexpensive, especially if the brand has a low reputation.

But the network transmits neither know-how, nor tools, nor assistance.

THE COOPERATIVE - One man equals one vote

It brings together independent merchants who are shareholders of a group of which they are both associates and members.

All distribution sectors are concerned. The services provided by the cooperative to its members concern group purchases via a central office, the provision of a sign or brands and advertising resources.

Little by little, other services have emerged: training school, information system, etc.