10 Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Future Franchisor
When considering prospective franchise opportunities, it’s important to know the right questions to ask to get all of the details necessary to make an informed decision about your purchase. Researching the background of your franchisor, and determining the support and assistance they will be able to offer you as you get started are just two key elements that you will want to consider before you sign any contracts.
- Have you and your lawyer looked over all of the
franchise documents, and feel that the terms and conditions
are fair and equitable? Do you understand all of the terms and conditions set
out in the contract? Do you feel comfortable signing the contract?
- Will you have exclusive territory rights for the duration of your
contract, or is there a risk that your franchisor will allow other businesses
to start up within your chosen area?
- What will happen if you want to end your contract? Are there penalties
involved, or are there circumstances under which this is acceptable?
- Are there any requirements within your contract that would encourage you
to engage in illegal or questionable practices? This is a huge red flag that
you shouldn’t be involved with the business.
- How many years has your franchisor been in business, and how many other
franchises do they have within their chain?
- What kind of support will you receive as a new franchisor, and then as an
established franchise? Is there training, upgrading, and emergency support
available? Are there a series of scheduled visits throughout the year?
- Have you had an accountant review all of the figures released by the
franchisor, and have these numbers been independently verified?
- What kind of reputation does the franchise have within the business
community? Also, can you speak with other franchisees to see how they feel
about working with the company?
- How much money will be required to purchase a franchise, and keep it
running until it turns a profit?
- Has the franchisor investigated franchisees thoroughly enough? You will
want to ensure that they are doing their part to hire qualified people on
their teams to maintain brand standards before buying a franchise from the
Franchisor-Franchisee Independence and Joint Liability, Redux
In the Tilted Kilt case, the franchisor allegedly published an “employee handbook” for franchisees to distribute to their staff, and exerted significant control over the operation of the franchised outlet in question. If true, these are two factors that typically weigh in favor of finding the franchisor to be a “joint employer” with its franchisee, thereby potentially subjecting it to liability for the alleged harassment.
5 Things You Can Do With $30,000
Believe it or not, now that 2015 has come, the economic woes that began of 2008 are seven years old! Although the economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as we all would hope, Americans are finally to the point where things are looking up. (In December of 2014, the government announced that the economy is growing at a rate not seen in over a decade!)
Know Before you Go – Non-Compete Provisions in Franchise Agreements
In general, non-compete provisions state that the franchisee will not, during the term of the franchise agreement and for a reasonable period thereafter (typically two or three years), own or be involved in any “competitive business.” What constitutes a “competitive business” will vary from franchise system to franchise system, but most franchisees can generally expect to be prohibited from taking part in any business that offers goods/services that are either identical to or competitive with the goods/services offered under the franchise system. Non-compete provisions must be limited in geographic scope, and generally cover a set radius (usually somewhere around 5 to 25 miles) around the former franchised outlet, and possibly also the outlets of other existing franchisees.