When working with candidates who are looking to start a franchise, sometimes they ask if there is an existing franchise for sale in their area. They want to take a quicker path to getting into business and also to get a bargain. Here are a couple of tips we suggest when looking at an existing franchise for sale.

1. Make sure the franchise is a business you want to own. Just because a business is up-an-running, flowing cash and ready for new owner, doesn’t mean that the business model fits your objectives.

Make sure you know what you want to accomplish in owning a franchise. If it’s flexibility and free-time, then a 24-hour pizza shop wouldn’t be a good choice, even though it may be a good value and cash flow.

2. Conduct thorough due-diligence. As you are researching franchises, you have to conduct your background research thoroughly. Reviewing the Franchise Disclosure Document, the Franchise Agreement, conducting validation calls and basically making sure you’re picking the right brands.

With an existing franchise business, there is a whole other level of research and fact checking. With an existing business there will be operating accounts, tax records, employee files and countless other areas that will need to be reviewed before making a final decision .

Some think buying an existing business requires less research, on the contrary, it requires more. Also, you’ll want to make sure you are buying the business based on your goals, not because you perceived bargain.

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