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Caring Senior Service Franchise Blog

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Franchise from Start to Finish?

Posted by Michelle Cemental on Oct 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

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When you come to the realization that owning a franchise is what is going to take you towards the career and life that you want for yourself, you are understandably going to want to get through the process as fast as possible. After all, the sooner you can open your franchise, the sooner you can find the fulfillment of being your own boss and controlling your own professional trajectory.

Of course, you can’t just snap your fingers and end up at a ribbon cutting. Opening a franchise takes a good deal of work, even before you sign on the dotted line. Let's walk through the process of opening and franchise and discuss how long each part takes. 

Choosing the Right Franchisor

Approximate Duration: Varies

Selecting the franchise you want to buy can take a good deal of time and depends on where you are when you start the process. For example, if you already know that you want to buy a franchise in the healthcare industry, you will have a lot less legwork to do than someone who has yet to select a sector. 

Doing Your Research

Approximate Duration: 2 to 4 weeks

Once you have selected the type of franchise, you want to buy or even the specific franchise, you will still have some work to do. You will want to spend at least a couple of weeks talking to the franchisor sales team as well as existing franchise owners. Having conversations with both owners and salespeople will help you to understand the franchise and what to expect from it in much better detail.

Obtaining Financing and Documentation

Approximate Duration: 2 to 4 weeks

Having your finances in order is essential when you approach a franchisor. How long this process will take depends on your individual situation. Obtaining a bank loan will obviously depend on getting approved for that loan and may require applying at multiple banks. If you will be borrowing from friends, family, or your own savings, that process may be faster.

Consulting with a Franchise Attorney

Approximate Duration: 2 weeks

When you have the necessary paperwork in hand, specifically the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), you will likely want to engage the services of a franchise attorney. It is important to note this attorney is separate from any legal team you may speak to from the franchise because she works for you. It should take a good franchise attorney about 2 weeks to give you a thorough review of the FDD and let you know about any questions you should ask or red flags that are apparent.

Franchisor Negotiations

Approximate Duration: 2 weeks

Once your attorney has reviewed the FDD, you will likely need to complete some negotiations with the franchisor to ensure that both parties are happy with the final agreement.

Opening Your Franchise

Approximate Duration: Varies

The type of franchise you open is what will have the biggest impact on how long you will need to go from signing your franchise agreement to opening your doors. For example, home-based franchises will require no time to find a location, secure a lease, and engage in the build out. A franchise that needs an office location, such as Caring Senior Service, will need some time to find the right space, while a franchise like a restaurant may require even more time to both find a space and complete all the construction necessary to open.

It is impossible to give an exact number as to how long it will take to open a franchise since every franchise varies so much. However, from the moment you commit to opening a franchise, you should expect to devote at least 6 to 12 months to the process. While this can seem like a very long time when you are eager to start your business, in the grand scheme of your new career, it is a small price to pay.

Are you cut out for franchising?

Topics: Franchise Ownership

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