Make us your home page

Want to buy a franchise?

If you're thinking of going into business for yourself, one option is to buy a franchise in a national or regional chain. Franchises are available for restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, cleaning companies and many other fields. It's not a decision to make lightly. Some things to consider:

Benefits: As a franchisee, the parent company will typically provide you with training, assistance in establishing your business, and help with marketing and advertising. Most franchisers will offer ongoing advice and support. You may also get the benefit of having an established brand name and using a business model that has been tried and tested.

Costs: You will have to pay a franchise fee at the start, which could be from several thousand dollars to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and may be nonrefundable. You will have to pay the parent company royalties based on your revenue. You may also have to pay into an advertising fund.

Control: As a franchisee, you will not have total control over your business. The franchiser may have the right to approve the site you select, control the look and design of your outlet, restrict the goods or services you sell, choose employee uniforms and designate store hours. You may also be limited in the territory in which you can operate.

Research: You can find franchise opportunities by searching online, visiting franchising trade shows or using middlemen, called franchise brokers. Be wary of any promises about expected income; ask for written documentation. "Visit franchised outlets in your area and talk to the owners about their experience with particular franchisors," says the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Disclosures: Before investing in any franchise, view the franchiser's disclosure document, which spells out all fees, requirements and contract termination rules and provides information on the company's financial status. Under federal law, the parent company must give you that document at least 14 days before you pay any money or sign a contract.

Want to buy a franchise? 11/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]