Friday, March 6, 2015

What is the best franchise to buy?

While walking on the Ft. Meyers beach last week, a good friend asked: "Jim, what is the best franchise out there to buy?" This simple question often catches me off-guard. You would think after 30 + years of doing this stuff I would have a stock answer!

But I don't ... this is because one-size does not fit all.

The answer lies in your personal interests, business background and due diligence. Now, that does not mean that there are not lists of the largest, most popular, most franchise sales, etc. Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 is probably the best well known source.

The 2015 top five are listed as Hampton Hotels, Anytime Fitness, Subway, Jack in the Box and Supercuts. Click here for the top 10.

After referring my friend to the Franchise 500, I asked him what his interests are and how this may relate to his interest in owning a franchise. Anyone will tell you that most people succeed in business because it matches something they truly enjoy. It keeps the motivation level high. But, after identifying your interests, do not fall down on the due diligence.

First, if you do not know anything about franchising, you may want to read a book or guide about it. My book, How to Buy a Franchise, is one of many out there. The Franchise Disclosure Document is your next resource. Every franchisor has one and it gives you the A to Z of the company and its system. But, don't stop there - the FDD carries a list of franchisees with their contact information - call or visit them with a prepared list of questions. (And, in an upcoming post, we will discuss going beyond the items covered in the FDD)

As I told my friend Joe, tread carefully and learn as much as you can before deciding. The best franchise is the one that suits your interests, has a good operating system and track record, has a good following and reputation and respects the suggestions of its family of franchisees.

Good hunting!

Jim Meaney is a lawyer with the Zaino Law Group in Columbus, Ohio, who has represented franchisors and franchisees for 30 years. Jim is a co-author of “Starting a Franchise System: Practical Considerations, Planning and Development” and author of How to Buy a Franchise
Visit or for more information or contact Jim directly at 614.975.9876 or

1 comment:

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