While there has been a lot of coverage recently of individuals in their 20s and 30s entering the world of franchising, a significant percentage of all franchisees are over the age of 50. As a recent article published by the International Franchise Association (IFA) explains, “[f]ranchising can be an attractive investment for experienced executives, prior business owners, retired military professionals and individuals with a variety of life experiences who have the proven leadership skills needed.”
But, buying a franchise later in life presents some special considerations as well. Franchisee lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein shares his insights:
Funding Your Franchise Opportunity
There are several options for funding a franchise opportunity. Two popular options among older franchisees in particular are utilizing home equity and pulling money out of their retirement savings. But, while these options can make sense under the right circumstances, they each carry their own set of risks. Before choosing one of these options, it is important to make sure you have a clear understanding of (and are comfortable with) the risks involved.
Operating Your Franchises Versus Hiring a Manager
If you buy a franchise, will you be prepared to spend your days working in the franchised business? Or, are you more interested in hiring a manager to oversee your franchise’s day-to-day operations? Many individuals over 50 go into franchising because they want to spend less of their time working. But, while this is a possibility with some franchises (some franchisors require their franchisees to be owner-operators), it entails additional costs, and relying on someone else entails its own set of risks as well.
Being Prepared for Franchisor Oversight
While it is true that you own your own business as a franchisee, you are still subject to your franchisor’s oversight. Thus, although being a franchisee is very different from having a boss in a traditional career, buying a franchise still does not provide the complete flexibility and freedom that many people desire.
If you want the freedom to do things your own way, then buying a franchise might not be the right option for you. However, if you want to buy into a well-known brand and are willing to take on the restrictions that go along with it, then it may make sense to consider a franchise opportunity.
Planning for Your Future Financial Needs
Finally, when you are in your 50s, it is important to make all financial decisions with your long-term needs in mind. If your franchise venture is not successful, will you still be okay financially? Small Business Association (SBA), Veterans Affairs (VA) and other loan options can help to mitigate the financial risks of franchise ownership to an extent. However, you must still be very careful to avoid taking on the risk of owing lost future royalties and other potentially devastating liabilities.
Schedule an Appointment with Franchisee Lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein
Franchisee lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein has more than three decades of experience representing current and prospective franchisees. If you have questions about buying a franchise after 50, we invite you to call 202-293-3947 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.