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Guide To Buying A Franchise




Additional Sources of Information

Before you invest in a franchise system, investigate the franchisor thoroughly. In addition to reading the company's disclosure document and speaking with current and former franchisees, you should speak with the following:

Lawyer and Accountant

Investing in a franchise is costly. An accountant can help you understand the company's financial statements, develop a business plan, and assess any earnings projections and the assumptions upon which they are based. An accountant can help you pick a franchise system that is best suited to your investment resources and your goals.

Franchise contracts are usually long and complex. A contract problem that arises after you have signed the contract may be impossible or very expensive to fix. A lawyer will help you to understand your obligations under the contract, so you will not be surprised later. Choose a lawyer who is experienced in franchise matters. It is best to rely upon your own lawyer or accountant, rather than those of the franchisor.

Banks and Other Financial Institutions

These organizations may provide an unbiased view of the franchise opportunity you are considering. Your banker should be able to get a Dun and Bradstreet report or similar reports on the franchisor.

Better Business Bureau

Check with the local Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the cities where the franchisor has its headquarters. Ask if any consumers have complained about the company's products, services, or personnel.

Government Departments

Several states regulate the sale of franchises. Check with your state Division of Securities or Office of Attorney General for more information about your rights as a franchise owner in your state.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC publishes other information that may be of interest to you, including business guides like Getting Business Credit and Buying by Phone.

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