Franchise agreements: 5 questions you need to ask

Congratulations, you’ve decided to franchise! You may be close to reviewing the franchise agreement in which the franchisor grants you, as a franchisee, the right to be part of the system. Franchise agreements are critical to your business success, outlining the partnership between the franchisor and franchisee in addition to how the business will be run. Before signing the agreement, it is important you look it over carefully and consider these points as you’re reviewing the document.

How long does the agreement last, and what are the terms of renewal?

There is no specific time required for a franchise term and they typically range from five to 20 years. Be sure to take the time to verify if the term of the agreement is long enough for you to recover your initial investment.

Do you have an Item 19?

The Item 19 is the ability for the franchisor to make financial claims. Not all franchisors provide this insight to the business opportunity. Though they are not equivalent in every agreement, they provide you financial information on the stability of your investment.

What fees will I be charged?

Common fees when franchising include an initial franchise purchase fee, a renewal fee, a transfer fee, royalties, advertising fees, technology fees, and training fees. Franchisees may also be required to use certain vendors at their own expense. Make sure you understand all fees and exactly what they’re for when making financial projections.

Is the agreement negotiable?

If the agreement is negotiable, this should be an immediate red flag. It is in your best interest for the company’s franchise agreement to be uniform to ensure fellow franchisees are required to operate by the same terms under which you are operating. This confirms the brand you’re investing in retains its quality and grows its value. Uniformity of franchise agreements also gives franchisees additional power as a group.

Is the agreement one-sided?

It is common for franchise agreements to contain provisions which may seem favorable to the franchisor, such as the ability for the franchisor to make enforceable changes to policies at any time or broad termination clauses. The most valuable asset you will receive when investing in a franchise is the brand itself. You do not want the hard work, time, and money put into your franchise to be undermined by the actions, or inactions, of a fellow franchisee. Franchise agreements must be strong to protect that investment.

Contracts are essential and the terms are important, but remember the foundation to good franchise systems is built on strong relationships and support throughout the franchise system. You want to be a part of a proven, successful system with happy franchisees. It is beneficial to talk with existing franchisees in the system you are considering franchising.

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

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