Why Do Some Companies Franchise Their Businesses?

how to franchise a business

Your Guide to Franchise Ownership

There is an estimated 775,000 franchise establishments in the U.S., and that number continues to grow. Why? Because the franchise model works! By leveraging a proven system, support and training, you can step right into a franchise business much more seamlessly than starting from scratch. But you have to do your due diligence... and that's where the IFPG Franchise Buyer's Guide comes in.

By arming yourself with knowledge and information, you can be well on the way to a new path as a franchise business owner. We have you covered every step of the way!

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Here is How to Franchise a Business

Franchising makes sense for entrepreneurs who are focusing on the long-term success of their business and are looking to expand it. But keeping up with a business’ daily operational and administrative requirements can make the idea of refining the business concept and replicating it on a national or international level seem out of reach. So, why do some companies franchise their businesses?

Franchising is a great way to scale a business, meaning that the business' size or scale can grow. This scalability will allow the business owner to yield faster growth and higher profitability, which will lead to higher valuations when the business is sold. This is true for resales, as well. Since franchise owners provide the capital required to open and operate franchise businesses, it allows companies to grow using the resources of others. When a business owner becomes a franchisor, he has the opportunity to help others go into business and enjoy certain benefits. These perks include staffing leverage, ease of supervision, having a built-in fan base, and more. Franchising leads to motivated management on both sides. Since franchisees have skin in the game, franchisors and franchisees work to help each other succeed.

What Are the Steps to Franchising a Business?  

Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise can appreciate the steps that franchisors take to franchise a business. These steps include:

Evaluate the Business

The franchisor must consider if the concept is worth franchising. Professionals suggest taking something familiar but putting a twist to it. 

Refine the Business Model

To ensure that a business is replicable, its systems must be streamlined. This allows anyone to come in and run the business in a different location since the system is proven to be successful. This is a very important factor when franchising a business. 

Access the Costs

The costs associated with franchising a business include: the FDD legal fee, which can cost between $15,000-$45,000; the operations manual development costs, which are estimated to be $0 - $30,000; financial preparation statement costs, which can cost between $2,500 - $5,000; and registration and filing fees, which can range anywhere from $1,000 - $4,500. 

Research the Market

It is critical to research the market before making the decision to franchise a company. Considerations include if there is widespread consumer demand for the business beyond its original location and if there's room for competitors.  

Prepare for a Mindset Change

When a business owner franchises his business, he has to change his mindset. He is no longer working the business but is responsible for the entire franchise system. Since the franchisee will focus on the daily operations of the business, the franchisor will focus primarily on selling franchises and providing franchisees with support and training. 

Become Educated About the Legal Requirements 

In order to sell franchises in the U.S., a franchisor must create and successfully register a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Beyond the FTC, individual states have their own rules.  

Finalize the Franchise Offering

Before franchising a business, a lot of details must be finalized: The franchise fee and royalty percentage, the terms of the franchise agreement, the territory sizes, and the geographic areas offered. It is important to know if the state you’re doing business in is a filing or registration state, as well. 

Look for Prospective Candidates to Invest in the Franchise Business

To connect with prospective franchise owners like yourself, franchisors rely on franchise brokers to streamline the franchise sales process.

Support Franchise Owners

The franchisor has the sole responsibility of providing franchisees with a working system plus ongoing support and training after the location is open. 

franchise a company

To do this, they provide entrepreneurs with an operations manual on how to properly run the business and conduct an initial training program prior to grand opening.

Protect the Franchise’s Intellectual Property

When franchising a business, intellectual property is an important consideration. Entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise are granted the right to the business’ intellectual property, allowing them to run the franchise according to the franchisor's guidelines. It also encourages the growth of the franchise business. But franchising can also expose the business to risks if its intellectual property is not correctly protected. It is essential for the franchisor to properly secure the business’ intellectual property before turning your business into one of the many franchising opportunities to consider.

Create a FDD

According to the FTC's Franchise Rule, all entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise must be provided with a FDD at least two weeks before the signing of the franchise agreement. This is a legal document with 23 items that gives those who are interested in buying franchises everything they need to know about the business. These items include the company’s history and business structure; territorial right protections; details about the franchise cost; and more. The franchisor has to update this document annually to ensure that every franchise owner in the system is provided with the most current and up-to-date information.

Draft the Franchise Agreement

A franchise agreement will also have to be drafted, along with the FDD. This legally binding agreement outlines how the franchise business will operate. There are several items that have to be included such as franchise fees, noncompete agreements, sale requirements, and more. To take the guesswork out of setting up a franchise business, a franchise attorney will assist in the drafting of the franchise agreement. 

Put Together an Operations Manual

The operations manual will detail the daily operations of the franchise business. It is confidential and can only be seen by the franchise owner. It is your guide on how to own a franchise business, and it is incorporated into your franchise agreement. It will also change over time and can be viewed digitally with supplemental videos and links. As a franchise owner, you are obligated to follow all of the instructions in this manual. 

Register the FDD

Once the FDD is completed, it should be registered with the government of the state that you are looking to do business in. There are registration states, filing states, and non-registration states. Each state has different requirements. For example, if a franchise business is looking to operate in a non-registration state, a registered trademark is required for the FDD.

It will also be beneficial to set sales goals in order to entice entrepreneurs who want to open a franchise. Working with a franchise attorney to register the FDD is also important.

Why Do Some Companies Franchise Their Businesses?

When a company decides to franchise, they have the long-term success of the business in mind. While you are just considering franchise ownership, it is beneficial to know the steps that franchisors take to franchise their business. To franchise a company, franchisors have to evaluate the business, refine the model, access the costs, research the market, and more. They also have to ensure that their FDD is compliant with regulations and put together an operations manual. Franchising is one of the most dynamic and widely used business growth strategies and contributes greatly to the economy. Franchise ownership will likely continue to be a good investment moving forward. 

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