A Checklist to Evaluate a Franchise

A Checklist to Evaluate a Franchise

This step, far more than any others, is one that the potential franchisee must take on his or her own. Yes, franchise consultants can help track down information on some of these topics but making the decision of which franchise to select ultimately falls to the franchisee.


No matter what franchise industry is under consideration, evaluate the franchises with answers to these questions:

  1. How old is the company? How many years did it work as an independent business before offering franchise business for sale?
  2. How many franchisees are there in the system? What kind of franchises do they offer?
  3. How many franchisees have left the system? Why?
  4. What is the franchise fee and what does it cover? (Don’t make a decision solely on the cheapest; know what the franchise fee covers as well.)
  5. How many multi-unit franchisees does it own? (This can be a huge signal that franchisees have worked one franchise and found success.)
  6. How many company-owned outlets are there?
  7. Who are the people behind the management of the franchise business for sale offers?
  8. What are their qualifications?
  9. Are there any legal cases pending against them?
  10. How many cases have the franchisor and franchisees fought with each other? (Again, an area that needs more exploration. Don’t discount a franchisor that may have had suits against it; there are two sides to every story, so ask questions if this area brings concern.)
  11. What training does the franchisor provide?
  12. What is the ongoing support?
  13. What is the brand position of the company?
  14. Does it provide protected territory?
  15. What is the territory size?
  16. Where are raw materials sourced? Do franchisees have the ability to choose their own suppliers?
  17. Does the designated supplier provide any discounts?
  18. Does the franchisor offer financial assistance?
  19. Does the franchisor provide real estate support?
  20. What is the marketing support?
  21. How many employees are needed?
  22. What employee recruitment is offered?
  23. Who will take care of the insurance and bonds of employees (especially in service sectors such as senior care or maid service)?
  24. What is the vision of the company?
  25. What is the royalty fee?
  26. What does the advertisement cost?
  27. What is the marketing plan and how much freedom do franchisees have to market on their own? Is there a fund for local marketing efforts?
  28. How many years is the franchise agreement for?

With answers to these questions in hand, it’s easier to compare — and to make sure the best opportunity is chosen.…