Use this as your check list to opening your franchise.
"In the beginning!" - This is how the procedure normally goes:
Your first step is going to be the Initial Phone call to your Franchise Adviser; My Franchise Man (MFM).
Next, MFM will send you a RFC (Request For Consideration); or (sometimes called a CQ - Confidential Questionnaire). This questionnaire shows you are serious about finding the right opportunity. It will also give specific insight into your skills, experience, resources, passions, goals, and income expectations. MFM will then be able to use this information to suggest what franchises best suit you. Fill this out and return as soon as you can. Nothing will move forward until the Franchiser knows you are a serious candidate and have the funds; (or you are capable of achieving the necessary financing). At this time of the process NO personal SOCIAL SECURITY #'s; or bank account checking or savings #'s are required; it's just a basic overview of you and your finances.
NOTE 1: NO credit or background checks are performed for this initial request.
NOTE 2: Once you have chosen the Franchise you wish to own, the Franchiser will require specifics and details on your financial information and background information.
Remember: They are willing to share information with you if you are willing to share with them.
After the RFC is returned, MFM will research the inventory and make 3-4 suggestions of Franchises for you to consider. You then review the websites of the franchisers suggested by MFM. Typically, you will have specific questions on 1 or more of the suggested Franchises that interest you; which MFM will be able to answer or get an answer. (If none of the Franchises suggested meets your approval for further consideration, then MFM will present a list of other franchises to consider.)
If there is an interest to know more about one of the suggested Franchises, MFM will arrange a conference call with any Franchiser you have an interest in knowing more about. (MFM will supply a list of questions for you to consider asking and will usually attend the call with you.)
It is important to note here that finding the right Franchise is like finding the right spouse! If, both you and the Franchiser acknowledge it's a good match; then the FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document explaining all the requirements of the Franchiser to operate your franchise) will be sent by email.2
NOW: IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE LAST PAGE OF THE FDD AND SIGN RECEIPT AND SEND IT BACK by scanned email or fax to the Franchiser. This is a requirement by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission - governing body for franchises)... and begins the 14+1 day delay period before any contract can be signed or any money exchanges hands. (This eliminates any hard sell tactics by Franchisers. It does NOT obligate you to purchase a franchise in any way; it is simply a verification of receipt of the FDD.3)
OK - Study the FDD thoroughly and make a list of any questions that come up as you read it. Then call or email MFM with your questions. Recommended but not required: If you wish, hire a Franchise Attorney to review it.
Have all questions answered and decide if you are satisfied it is the right opportunity for you.
If it seems like the right opportunity and you are satisfied with your due diligence on the franchise, go to a 'Discovery Day' at Franchiser's Corporate Headquarters. This is usually a one day meeting for you to meet the Franchiser Staff. Then return home the next day before your final decision. The Franchiser will then send you an invitation to join their Franchise. Now it is time for you to decide!
If you are ready, decide what legal entity you wish to operate the new franchise under; such as a sole- proprietorship, an 'C' or 'S' Corporation, or a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), or any other legal entity for ownership. The advice of your attorney and CPA is recommended to give you the best method of ownership. Once it is decided, establish the entity you will be operating your new franchise with.
Get an EIN from CPA (Employee Identification Number sometimes referred to as Tax I.D.#)
Open a checking account with new legal entity. Order corp checks, debit card, & credit card.
Sign the contract, (after initial 14+1 day wait period), and send in to Franchiser with Franchise Fee.3
If required, begin looking for the appropriate lease space; preferably with a corporate realtor (who costs you nothing and they are experts in commercial leasing & can negotiate a better deal than most).1
Sign your lease and begin build-out (if needed - some franchises do not require a location).1
Order your phones NOW!
Get appropriate licenses and permits for operation of new business.
Order utilities for the lease space to be turned on.1
Set up your training day schedules with the Franchiser.
Set up an itinerary to expedite as much as possible during build-out (if applicable); including meeting any installers of equipment, training, hiring personnel, setting up the store, training personnel, setting up pre-marketing campaign, ordering marketing material, opening date & when to start advertising.
NOTE: Your Franchiser Support Team should help you set all this up.1
Give notice on your job allowing enough time to attend to itinerary.
HANG OUT YOUR SHINGLE AND GO AFTER YOUR SUCCESS!
NOTES and REFERRENCES:
1 Certain Franchises do not require a location and can be operated as a home-based business, therefore eliminating these steps.
2 If you do not believe it to be the right match for you, then we continue the search! Once the Franchiser is informed by MFM that you don't wish to move forward; the Franchiser will not contact you again and we simply move on to other Franchises to best fit you.
3Please Note: You are not liable or obligated in any part of this process until you decide to sign the contract of the franchise you choose and send it in with the franchise fee.