Buying a franchise is one way to work for yourself. You’re buying a system that’s already developed. It might be great, or it might limit your choices about sales, training, and advertising.


  • Do your homework before you buy a franchise. Some franchise agreements last for five or 10 years.  How long do you want to stay in one area? Do you want to be in one business that long? Will your skills, education and experience help you manage the business? Does the franchise help you reach your goals?
  • Get financial and legal advice before you commit. Talk to a lawyer to understand your legal obligations, and an accountant to develop a business plan and assess earnings projections.
    • How much money can you afford to invest safely?
    • Do you need financing? If so, where will you get it?
    • Do you need a specific minimum annual income? 
  • Make sure the paperwork is in order.
    • At least 14 days before you sign a contract, a franchisor must give you the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). It spells out key details about the business and your relationship.
    • Your state may have disclosure laws meant to protect franchisees.  Contact your state Attorney General’s office if the FDD doesn’t provide information about that.
    • If you don’t get the FDD – or if you don’t have time to thoroughly review it – you may want to consider another opportunity.


Tools for Personal Financial Managers