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5. At this stage you will probably be asked to sign the franchise agreement. You should be guided by your solicitor as to the timing of signing the franchise agreement, which should be conditional on your securing satisfactory premises and a bank loan.

6. Where retail premises are involved, at this stage serious effort should be made to secure satisfactory premises and you should start talking to your franchisor about the details of converting the premises into a franchised outlet.

7. By this time your bank should have responded to your application for a loan and if the answer is yes you will be in a position to push those involved into finalising the lease for the premises. It is important that you do not enter into a binding commitment to take on premises unless and until you have your bank’s agreement to the loan and you have signed the franchise agreement.

8. Once you have completed the acquisition of the premises you can go about converting the premises into a franchised outlet and going on the franchisor’s training course.

From stage 5 the sequence of events up to when you are ready to open for business will vary depending upon the nature of the franchise.

The important thing to remember is that there will come a time when you have to make 3 significant commitments to 3 different parties

1. To the franchisor by signing a franchise agreement or an agreement to purchase a franchise;

2. To your landlord by signing a lease or an agreement to take a lease of the premises (or in the case of a mobile franchise, signing a lease, hire purchase or purchase agreement for a vehicle); and

3. To the bank to take up the loan. Wherever possible you should aim to synchronise these different transactions so that you undertake the three commitments simultaneously.