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A Guide To Selling Your Franchise in 5 Steps

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to finding potential buyers for your business and closing a deal in no time.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
2:14PM 01/18/24

If you’re a franchise owner who’s looking for ways to sell your business, you may be overwhelmed with where to start. It can be a difficult and tedious process. But if you follow these steps, you can be well on your way to selling your franchise and moving on to the next venture in your life.

Contact the Franchisor

The first step in selling your franchise is to go directly to your franchisor. They may already have ideas for potential buyers to take over your franchise, which can expedite the process compared to going at it alone. Not only that, but franchisors have valuable industry knowledge that they can pass on to you in regard to the selling process. 

Regardless of the support provided, it is essential to inform the franchisor of your intention to sell as soon as possible. Additionally, many franchise agreements contain strict rules and limits regarding how franchisees can sell their franchises, making it paramount to talk to your brand before selling. 

Position To Sell

To put yourself in the best position to sell, you should make it as easy as possible to step down from ownership. This means that you should have all your ducks in a row, starting with an evaluation of the status of your business. Start by determining the most accurate value of your franchise through thorough examination of your finances, evaluation of your customer base and where your growth potential stands. This will allow you to set the most realistic asking price. 

Another key component of the preparation process is making your business as attractive as possible. This not only means cleaning up the physical appearance of your franchise but making sure the back of the house is in tip-top shape. Organize your financial records, tax returns and balance sheets, and make sure everything is up to date so the buyer can go in with confidence. 

Market Your Franchise

When you’re ready for the sale, it's time to find a buyer. Marketing your franchise effectively will be important in making sure prospective buyers can see your opportunity. Start by creating a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes print marketing, social media and industry-specific websites. You should also put together a sales package that showcases your franchise’s history, key selling points, financial performance and potential for growth. 

Work With a Broker

This step is optional, but working with a franchise broker can help get the process going faster. 

Brokers have access to a wide network of interested buyers in your market and can help with negotiations and paperwork. 

Negotiate and Finalize the Deal

Have an interested buyer? It's time to negotiate. Use the selling points you created earlier in determining the accurate value of your franchise to come up with a fair selling price. Once that’s done, it’s time to get an agreement in place and sell your franchise. 

Finalizing the deal includes officially transferring your ownership rights, finishing any outstanding legal documents and completing all obligations on your end. Now you can officially enjoy the next step in your journey!