Buying a Franchise

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Legal representation when buying a Franchise

Rather than starting your own business, you can purchase an established successful business franchise. Buying a franchise has it’s advantages and disadvantages, but it is at least a path to self employment. Before you invest, make sure you do a lot of investigating and preparation.

To find out if the franchise represents a sound business opportunity, you need to find out:

  • what the nature of the business is
  • the location of the franchise store
  • the success of the franchise concept and how financially successful they are
  • the amount of competition from other businesses at a local and national level
  • the public perception of the franchise
  • levels of initial and ongoing costs
  • how much training and support you’ll get
  • conditions and restrictions in the franchise agreement

The franchisor will probably give you an franchise information pack but you shouldn’t just rely on this. Make sure that you have legal backup and look for evidence of their claims. Some of the most successful franchise industries include food, beverages, travel, stationary, furniture, fitness, spas, personal care services and cleaning services. Many entrepreneurs decide to start a small business by purchasing a franchise. Buying a franchise is a big investment, and the process can be complicated. You need to find the right franchise business for you and then find out how much the franchise and royalty fees will be. Every decision you are going to make as a franchise owner will be impacted by the franchise agreement. If you don’t follow the agreement’s requirements, you could lose your franchise and your investment. If you don’t agree with some of the terms and conditions of a franchise agreement, will there be room to negotiate with the franchisor? Franchise attorneys can negotiate the franchise agreement terms.

Franchise Fees

The franchisor sets the fees and franchise fees can vary greatly. The franchise fee is an up-front, one-time fee charged at the beginning of the process. The franchise fee will be due when you sign the franchise agreement. A cash down payment is common, with a loan financing the balance. The franchise fee is usually non-refundable unless the franchise agreement states otherwise.

Royalty Fees

The franchise agreement will include continuing fees or continuing royalties made over the life of the franchise contract. Royalties are a key element when you’re looking at a franchise or negotiating your contract. Royalty fees will impact all business operations and profits. Royalty fees are paid to the franchisor periodically. The franchise agreement states how much you’ll pay and when. Royalty fees are tied to your sales of products or services. For every item sold, you pay the franchisor R2.00 for example. Payments may be due weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Why pay Royalties?

Royalties often cover items such as ongoing training, updates to manuals, advertising and promotions.

Advice and Services

Smit & Van Wyk legal services include drafting franchise agreements and franchise licenses. We also provide professional advice on how to start a new franchise, and buying from an existing franchise corporation.