Search Results: due diligence
Franchise Due Diligence During the COVID-19 Era: How Can You Still Make an Informed Decision?
Jan 13, 2021
Attending large franchise conventions and visiting the franchisor’s headquarters are two hallmarks of the franchise due diligence process. They are also two events that have largely been put on hold during the COVID-19 era. But, franchisors are still selling – and franchisees are still buying – and those who are thinking about buying a franchise must still perform thorough due diligence in order to make an informed buying decision. Read more
Franchise Due Diligence: Getting the Most Out of the Item 20 Disclosure Tables
Feb 12, 2018
If you flip through a typical Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), most of what you will find is page after page of small, dense text that was clearly written by an attorney. However, things change (briefly) when you get to Item 20. In Item 20, franchisors are required to produce a series of five standardized tables that provide historical information, current information and future projections about the size and growth of the franchise system. Carefully reviewing the data in Item 20 can tell you a lot about a franchise system. Has it grown consistently over the past three years? Have franchisees been leaving the system on a regular basis? Is the franchisor focused on expanding through franchising or company-owned outlets? You can gain insight into these issues and more through Item 20 of the FDD. Breaking Down Item 20 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) 1. Systemwide Outlet Summary The first table in Item 20 is labeled, “Systemwide Outlet Summary,” and it simply compiles data from tables three and four. Here you will find: The total size of the franchise system (including franchised and company-owned outlets) The net change in franchised outlets for each of the past three years The net change in company-owned outlets for each of the past three years All of this information is important for assessing the health of the franchise system as a whole, and the later tables provide information that is specific to your state. 2. Transfers of Outlets from Franchisees to New Owners (other […] Read more
How to Gather Information from New and Existing Franchisees During Your Due Diligence
Jul 21, 2017
In a previous article, we highlighted the importance of asking questions during the due diligence process, and we discussed four types of issues that demonstrate why franchisees should not rely on franchisors’ Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDs) and marketing materials alone. We also mentioned the importance of talking to both current and former franchisees. This article covers some basic tips and questions to ask when contacting current and former franchise owners. How to Find Current and Former Franchisees But, before we get ahead of ourselves, how do you contact current and former franchisees? Fortunately, the requirements of Item 20 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) make this simple. In Item 20, franchisors must disclose contact information for: Current franchisees, Franchisees who have left the system within the past year, and Franchisees who have not communicated with the franchisor within the past 10 weeks. When contacting these individuals, keep in mind that they may have additional references as well. They may have an older version of the FDD that they are willing to share; or, they may know of other current or former franchisees who can impart particularly-valuable information. Questions to Ask Current and Former Franchisees During Due Diligence Once you start reaching out to current and former franchisees, what types of questions should you ask them? Here are some general recommendations: 10 Questions for Current Franchisees Has the franchise opportunity met your expectations? In what ways is operating your franchise different from what you expected? Are you consistently able to meet […] Read more
10 Key Considerations for Due Diligence in Purchasing a Franchise
Nov 1, 2016
When considering a franchise opportunity, it is critical to conduct your due diligence. Buying a franchise is a substantial, long-term investment, and your success or failure will hinge in large part on the actions, omissions and obligations of your franchisor. Franchise due diligence is an involved process that takes time, effort and a commitment to finding real answers instead of simply trying to validate your interest in the franchise. The following is a list of 10 examples of steps prospective franchisees can take to learn more about their potential franchise opportunities: Franchise Due Diligence: 10 Steps 1. Talk to Current Franchisees. How are their businesses doing? How long did it take them to become profitable? How supportive is the franchisor? Current franchisees can provide invaluable information to help you decide whether to pursue a particular franchise opportunity. 2. Talk to Former Franchisees. Former franchisees are a key source of information as well. Why did they leave the system? Would they do it again if they had the chance? What is their opinion of the franchisor? 3. Visit the Franchisor’s Headquarters or Company-Owned Location. The in-person visit is an important step in the due diligence process. You will want to meet the franchisor’s key personnel in person, and see if you think you will be a good fit for the way they do business. You should also try to visit several franchised locations. 4. Review the Franchisor’s Franchise Agreement and FDD. While you should hire an attorney to review the franchisor’s […] Read more
Are Health and Wellness Franchises Poised for Post-Pandemic Success?
Sep 15, 2021
Last month, franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein published an article discussing the resiliency of children’s franchises during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent article in Franchising World magazine suggests that while the health and wellness industry has struggled since March of 2020, franchises in the health and wellness industry might be poised for post-pandemic success. Read more
What Does It Mean to Be a “Recession-Proof” Franchise?
Aug 17, 2021
In February 2020, we published an article titled, Is There Really Such a Thing as a Recession-Proof Franchise? While we would like to say that this was prescient, the reality is that it was simply a coincidence. However, what is not a coincidence is that the Franchise Business Review recently published a list of its Top 100 Recession-Proof Franchises. As the publication explains, the list “look[s] at today’s top franchise brands with the highest owner satisfaction and the greatest opportunity to perform in these historic times.” Read more
Franchise Times Restaurant 200 Ranks the Biggest Franchisees
Aug 3, 2021
While most franchisees are individuals, couples or small groups business partners, some are not. In fact, the biggest franchisees are multi-billion-dollar corporations. The Franchise Times recently released its “Restaurant 200” list ranking the biggest franchisees in the restaurant sector. Here, franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein discusses some notable takeaways from the Franchise Times Restaurant 200. Read more
Buying a Franchise—Is It Worth It?
Jul 28, 2021
You want to own your own business, and you are considering a franchise as an alternative to starting from scratch. But, is buying a franchise worth it? Or, will the fees consume your profits (and potentially more)? Here are some insights from national franchise attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein: Read more
Coalition of Franchisee Associations Survey Highlights Concerns Among Franchise Owners
Jul 16, 2021
The Franchise Times recently reported on a survey conducted by the Coalition of Franchisee Associations. According to the publication, the Coalition of Franchisee Associations collected responses from “just shy of 700 franchisees,” the majority of whom own five or fewer locations. The survey responses shed light on a number of prevailing concerns, as well as some general trends in the franchise industry. Franchisee attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein shares his thoughts below: Read more
Do You Have These “5 Traits of Successful Franchisees”?
Jun 23, 2021
A recent article on FranchiseDirect.com, entitled 5 Traits of Successful Franchisees, discusses what it takes to grow a profitable franchised outlet. Here, franchisee attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein shares his thoughts based on more than 30 years of experience exclusively representing franchisees and dealers. Read more