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Don’t Go At it Alone: The People Who Can Help You Buy a Franchise

If you’re ready to take the plunge into franchising, there are people who can help.

Buying a franchise is no small feat. Luckily, there are plenty of pros who offer support and guidance for prospective franchisees.

There are countless ways that professionals in the industry can help when buying a franchise operation. From attorneys drafting documents to financial advisors combing through the numbers, you don’t have to go at it alone. 

Here are some of the people you can enlist along the way to assist in your franchise journey. 

Franchise Brokers 

Franchise brokers are intermediaries who function as a matchmaker for franchisors and franchisees. Franchise companies hire brokers to sell franchises for them, so the franchisors and franchisee candidates are considered clients. 

“We get quite a few people who partner with us through brokers,” said Bryan Lewis, Founder and Owner of Press Waffle Co. “Partnering with someone who is familiar with franchising is advantageous as it puts someone in your court. But remember, brokers are not attorneys; they are not going to help you negotiate the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).”  

Brokers can either work for a network or for themselves and represent a number of franchises trying to find candidates. As experts on franchise opportunities, brokers are able to tailor a prospective franchisee’s options based on their interests and values. They also have access to finding resources, franchise attorneys, account introductions and tools to access the back-end health of a franchise. 

Once a broker has a good understanding of the candidate, they will start the search process. The candidate will then review the options with the broker and whittle down the list. After the list is narrowed down to a final few, the broker will facilitate discussions between the franchisor and candidate to get things moving and all the way through signing. This process will repeat until a match is found. 

Franchise Attorneys 

When deciding whether to invest in a franchise, it is critical that prospective franchisees do everything possible to protect themselves legally. By providing expert advice and guidance, franchise attorneys serve as important partners for people interested in getting into the business. 

“Franchising is a very specific business model, so I think enlisting the help of attorneys is very essential to understanding what you are getting into,” said Lewis. 

A franchise lawyer will provide legal advice related to reviewing the FDD, reviewing and negotiating the franchise agreement and protecting the franchisees rights in the underlying franchised business.

“It would be very foolish to not work with a franchise lawyer,” said LaundroLab Director of Franchise Development Beck Miller. He noted that at LaundroLab, they even have a preferred lawyer that they will recommend if the prospective franchisee doesn’t have a local or preferred attorney.

Financial Advisors

A financial advisor can look at your company’s balance sheet to determine whether you have the capital to get through what can be a very long process. 

It can be easy for prospective franchisees to overlook the financial details if they really have their heart set on a brand, so advanced financial advice can help them work through the fine print and develop a long-term plan. Having this information early on is crucial to ensuring a franchisee does not buy into the wrong brand.