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Online Resources to Utilize When Buying a Franchise

With so many tools out there for prospective franchisees, here are several 1851 Franchise-approved places to start.

Buying a franchise is a huge personal and financial investment. Like any big decision, franchise buying should include as much research as possible. 

Luckily, the internet is home to many online resources that can be extremely helpful during the process. 

Of course, 1851 Franchise is a great place to begin. But there are a handful of other resources to take advantage of when buying a franchise. Here are our top picks: 

Franchise Portals

Franchise portals are generally understood to be web portals that provide a for-profit service, collecting and selling leads. This is typically done on a non-exclusive basis, and portals are known for producing a high number of leads for a lower cost compared to other lead generation methods and services.

Many prospective franchisees turn to franchise portals to begin their search. In fact, a study by Franchise Update Media in 2019 found that nearly one in seven franchise leads (13.2%) were coming from portals. 

There’s no shortage of options to browse. However, it is important to go with a trusted source. Several examples include Franchise DirectEntrepreneurFranchise and Franchise Opportunities


Franchise associations, or trade groups focused on government and public relations efforts for the franchise industry, can also supply a lot of good information when searching online. 

Reputable associations include: 

  • International Franchise Association: The world’s largest membership organization for franchisors, franchisees and franchise suppliers that provides industry-leading events, advocacy, education and growth opportunities for the community. 
  • Coalition of Franchisee Associations: a franchisee-focused organization with a mission “to leverage the collective strengths of franchisee associations for the benefit of the franchisee community.”
  • American Association of Franchisees & Dealers: a national non-profit trade association representing the rights and interests of franchisees and independent dealers. 
  • American Franchisee Association: an association that works to improve the industry while protecting its members’ economic investments in their businesses. 

Franchise Development Sites

One of the best places to look for information is by going right to the source. Most franchise brands will have a franchise development website (or tab on their brand website) which should disclose facts such as: 

  • Brand mission and vision
  • About the team
  • Why their product stands out among the competition
  • Why they want you as a franchisee
  • How they are going
  • Costs to open and earning potential
  • Testimonials from other franchisees

The website is meant to facilitate the research of a buyer, so browsing the sections should be an easy way to find answers to fundamental questions about the brand and franchise opportunity. 

Government Data

Examining government sites, such as the Small Business Administration and Federal Trade Commision can provide you with another side of the information needed before buying a franchise. 

These sites detail the regulations and laws that surround franchises, which is important for any business owner to know. The Small Business Administration gives visitors more of an overview of franchising, while the Federal Trade Commission includes key information on how to protect your investment.  

Research Sites 

Research websites are another great tool to utilize during the process. Franchise Business Review, for example, is a market research company focused on measuring franchisee satisfaction based on feedback.   

Meanwhile, FRANdata’s website includes business profile reports, industry data, financial assessments and Franchise Disclosure Documents.