Franchise security

7 Essential Questions To Ask A Franchisor

For would-be entrepreneurs thinking of investing in a franchised brand, the range of businesses on offer may seem overwhelming.  First of all, you need to decide on the type of business that’s right for you, whether it’s a retail franchise, ‘man and van’ business, professional services, estate agency and so on.

Secondly, once you’ve decided which sector you want to operate in, you are then faced with choosing the right brand.  To help you, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions to ask your potential franchisor with a brief explanation as to why you need to know.

What is the owner’s background? Do they have a successful track record in their business sector or in franchising?

If the owner doesn’t have a successful track record either in their business sector or franchising or has not successfully operated a pilot business, they will not be able to help you in running your own business.

Are you members of the British Franchise Association?

The British Franchise Association is a voluntary association which vets its members to ensure their compliance within stringent ethical standards. We would strongly advise all potential franchisees to proceed with caution if considering a non-BFA member. Redstones is proud to be a member of the BFA.

Have you worked with BFA accredited franchise consultants and lawyers in drawing up your franchise agreement?

Franchising is a specialised business and most ethical franchisors work with accredited lawyers and consultants when setting up their franchise.

How will I be trained and what ongoing training is available?

Comprehensive training in all aspects of running the franchised business, together with ongoing support, is essential for long-term business success.

How long is the franchise agreement for?

The franchise agreement is a legally binding agreement. It is important to know the length of time you are committing to and whether or not you can sell the business or renew the agreement when it comes to an end. Franchise agreements typically run for five years depending on the sector.

What additional capital or working capital will be required to set up the franchise?

You must be clear on exactly what the initial franchise fee covers and how much additional working capital will be required to get your business up and running.

What are your ongoing fees?

Franchisors typically charge royalties or ongoing fees on a franchisee’s turnover which is reinvested back into the marketing of the brand and support of the franchisee. Understanding the exact level of ongoing fees will enable you to produce a viable business plan.

For additional advice we recommend the BFA website.