10 steps before you sign
Before you buy a franchise, or commit to payments, it's important to have done some checks and balances.
Here the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission advises 10 steps to take...
Assess your skills, strengths and weaknesses.
Complete a pre-entry franchise education program.
Obtain advice from an accountant, lawyer and business expert.
Ensure you receive an information statement, current disclosure document, franchise agreement in final form and a copy of the Code at least 14 days before entering into the agreement or making a non-refundable deposit. Read the documents carefully.
Take comprehensive notes of your meetings with the franchisor. Insist on the franchisor confirming any claims in writing.
Speak to current and previous franchisees.
Research the franchise and try to verify the information provided to you.
If you will occupy premises as part of your franchise, be sure you understand your rights and obligations under the lease or occupancy agreement.
Check clauses on termination, renewal, end of term and transfer of the franchise, and be sure you are willing to accept the terms.
If the deal is not acceptable, try to negotiate a better offer or look for a better deal.