If you are considering joining a franchise you need to be aware of what is involved and how to identify which businesses may best suit your needs. Here are some key areas to consider:

Membership of the bfa: the bfa accredits franchisors using a stringent set of criteria based on operational procedures, franchisor/franchisee practices and the European Code of Ethics for Franchising. All members are listed on the bfa’s website to allow potential franchisees to check which ethical franchisors have passed these checks.

Financial commitment: levels of investment range from smaller amounts, that you may already have available, to larger amounts that you may need a bank loan for. There are three major banking groups that the bfa recognise as specialists in franchising: HSBC, Lloyds and RBS/NatWest. Make sure that you ask for their franchise departments from the outset.

Your financial requirements: consider not only realistic earning potential, but also working capital requirements while your business is establishing itself and may not be turning a profit.

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