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To Be or Not to Be - Franchisee or Franchisor?

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From coffee to keeping fit, pizza to printing - to say that franchising opportunities are diverse is a little bit of an understatement. Some of the most recognised names on the High Street, or even online, are actually franchises.

Always a popular choice for those wanting to make to start in business with a tried and tested service or product, the format also seems to attract attention and interest when employment opportunities are not as plentiful.

For those already in business and wanting to expand the reach of a proven and successful business model, regionally, nationally or even internationally, becoming a franchisor is also an option.

Rachel Neems of Yorkshire Law firm Keeble Hawson, who as part of their comprehensive range of corporate services offer specialist franchise advice, talks us through some of the key points for both opportunities.

"As an Affiliated Professional Advisor of the British Franchise Association (BFA), at Keeble Hawson we're accredited to give franchise advice and very familiar with the legal process."

"For franchisees that can involve looking at and reviewing the franchise agreement, advising on its terms and suggesting any changes that may be necessary - for peace of mind and budgeting a fixed fee is offered."

"A more bespoke service for the usually more complex work we complete for franchisors is also available including 'user friendly' tailored franchise agreements."

It's worth noting as well that the British Franchise Association publishes guidelines about how franchises should be run and offers help to both franchisees and franchisors.

As Rachel points out:

"With the franchising model there really are two sides to the story. For example a franchisee will be given training in running a business and usually receive ongoing support - one area might be in marketing."

"The franchisor however will of course want to protect their brand and good will through the day to day running of the business and usually sets in place conditions or controls to ensure that this is covered."

Before taking the leap into the world of franchising and taking out a franchise there are a few points it's worth thinking about - including the following:

  • Make sure the franchisor is registered with the BFA
  • Talk to existing franchisees - it's a good way to find out any negative or general feedback
  • Speak to your accountant - do the numbers add up?
  • Be territorial - make sure the area is exclusive to you
  • Check out the franchisor - their financial status and history is important
  • Don't get tunnel vision when it comes to running a particular type of franchise business. When your franchise has finished - they are typically granted for five years, with the possibility of an extension at the end - you will be restricted from running a similar business.
  • Last but not least - get advice from a lawyer on the contents of the franchise agreement.

Rachel Neems can be contacted on 0113 399 3405 of rachelneems@keeblehawson.co.uk

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