Overcoming Franchise Funding Fears
Contributed by Franchise Financing Partner Guidant Financial Group.
You want to dip your toe into the waters of business ownership and have decided to jump into a franchise. Maybe you’ve zeroed in on which franchise is right for you or perhaps you’re still exploring the options. Whatever you decide, you’ll need a way to finance the venture, and that can be intimidating. Getting a business loan can be tricky… even as the economy begins to heal. If you’ve got money, banks and credit unions will line up to loan you even more. If you don’t have money? Well, take heart—here are some alternative funding options that can put you at the helm of your own franchise:
- 401(k) Rollover, or ROBS (Rollover as Business Startup) If you have a retirement account, there’s a way to use it to finance your entrepreneurial dreams. Here’s how it works: You form a C-Corp that will operate your new business. You create a new 401(k) into which you rollover your existing retirement account. Then the new 401(k) buys stock in the C-Corp, and you’re in business. The caveat is it needs to be set up meticulously to avoid tax and penalties. Our partners at Guidant Financial are the dream team for this sort of financing.
- Portfolio Stock Loans - Tapping the value of fully-paid stock can be a way to secure cash for your business. Investors are basically pledging the value of their stock portfolio as collateral for a loan. In the best case scenario, your stock’s value will increase over the loan period enough to cover the interest. If your money is tied up in your stock portfolio and you need cash to get your business off the ground, this is a viable option.
- Unsecured Credit It’s called “unsecured” because the debtor does not provide any collateral. If you don’t want—or are unable to—put property or equity in property up as collateral and your personal credit is very good, an unsecured line of business credit can be a good way to get your hands on start-up capital. For a new business your application will most likely include a business plan and up to three years of earnings projections.
If you’ve got ambition and drive, but lack the liquid funds to purchase your slice of the American Dream, one of these alternative funding options may be the right choice for you. Remember to investigate business opportunities and financing options diligently.
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The first point I made ties into this, but you need to make sure you’ve done your research before you go ahead and sign a franchising agreement. And that doesn’t just mean from a financial perspective. There are so many other aspects in running a franchise that you need to understand before you get started. Most of this information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Documents. Some of the most important things you should take a look at would be any legal issues the franchisor might have and the churn rate of franchises. Both of those could potentially be pretty significant red flags that might make you want to reconsider whether or not you want to open that franchise.