Individual Franchise Agreement

and other main types….

Stephen S. Raines
President, National Franchise Associates
Atlanta-based Specialists in Franchise Consulting & Franchise Development Success

In my over three decades of experience as a franchise consultant, I am often asked “What makes one company succeed in franchising while another doesn’t?”

Rarely is there a single reason for success or failure in franchising. Here, I will examine some of the many factors that can help you create a successful franchise program.

As a franchise consultant, I often address with potential Franchisors the different types of franchises, each requiring its own Franchise Agreement.

There are three main types:

  1. Individual Franchise Agreements
  2. Area Development Franchise Agreements
  3. Master Franchise Agreements

Each of these Franchise Agreements has pros and cons.

With individual unit franchising, you sign a Franchise Agreement granting one franchise operation, usually within a specific territory.

With an Area Development Franchise Agreement, you and the Area Developer negotiate a territory, the number of franchise operations to be opened and a timetable for opening those franchises. If the Area Developer does not meet the terms of the Franchise Agreement, the territory reverts back to the Franchisor.

With a Master Franchise Agreement, the Master Franchisee is granted a territory in which to sell franchises, assist the franchises sold and receive the bulk of the funds generated from initial franchise fees and royalties.

Again, if the terms of the Master Franchise Agreement are not met, the territory reverts back to the Franchisor.

The pros of an Individual Franchise Agreement include:

  • It gives you the ability to manage your franchise growth.
  • Individual Franchise Agreements allow you to make sure the Franchisee can effectively operate multiple locations before granting them.
  • A committed owner-operator frequently is the most motivated manager.
  • Franchisee-operated units can be more profitable because they eliminate a manager’s compensation package.
  • There is a much larger pool of candidates who can qualify to open and operate one franchise as opposed to multi-unit owners.
  • If there is a problem Franchisee, it is limited to one location.
  • Individual Franchise Agreements allow a new Franchisor to learn the ins and outs of franchising with less risk due to large numbers of Franchisees.
  • If the Franchisee proves to be capable, you can always sell him/her additional units, using your Individual Franchise Agreement.

The cons of the Individual Franchise Agreement include the following:

  • This strategy may lead to slower growth overall.
  • It can be more complicated to operate a franchise company with more Franchisees.
  • It is less efficient to sell, train and service individual units.

You must carefully explore which type of Franchise Agreement(s) best meets your goals for franchising your business.

To be continued…