Questions to Ask Franchise Owners
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Questions to Ask Franchise Owners

Without a doubt, talking to and getting the opinions of several franchise owners in the same franchise business that you are considering investing in, is a vital part of evaluating a franchise. This first step is important not only to get much-needed insight into the positive aspects of operating a franchise, but also to protect you from investing in a franchise scam.

As a matter of fact, once you have developed an initial interest in a franchise, the first step should be to visit several actual franchisees and spend as much time as possible there. Some people might even go as far as seeking a job in the franchise in order to learn the business from the ground up. However, all you need to do is to approach the owner of the franchise and tell them that you are considering buying one of these franchises in a non-competing location and you’d like to get his/her opinion of the overall franchise experience.

See how forthcoming they are with some general questions before raising more specific, revealing issues.

Once you have studied the franchise agreement, you should approach franchisees and get some answers to basic questions such as the following:

  1. Did the company overstate the income that a person can make in their first year? Make sure you point to the exact income estimates in the brochure, so that the franchisee can compare that number with their own experience.
  2. Did the company underestimate the expenses that you had to incur? Similar to the first question and you might even ask if you could take a look at their income statement to see the categories of expenses that you might expect. That would be very revealing.
  3. Did the company provide adequate training for you as a novice to open and perform the services of the business? Were you subject to learning in a classroom or was their individual attention given to each franchisee? Is there ongoing training offered to keep you abreast of changes in the business?
  4. Did the franchisor keep its promise to support your franchise? When you have a question pertaining to the ongoing operation of your business, is there a person or department that you can call to answer your questions?
  5. What type of financing did you use to get started? Did you secure a bank loan, loans from friends and relatives, or borrow or cash in your retirement savings plan?
  6. Do you have plans to open a second, third or fourth franchise? If yes, what locations did you have in mind?
  7. Are you happy with your decision to invest? Would you recommend this company to others?
  8. What other types of franchises do you think would be good in our area?


Feel free to add to this list as you see fit. Every area of the country will be different and you’ll certainly have some more specific questions to add.

As a nationally recognized franchise attorney, I can help you in all aspects of selecting and setting up the franchise that you have found to be right for you.

Call franchisee lawyer Mario L. Herman today.