How do you own a franchise?

How do you own a franchise?

By Dara White, Franchise Consultant, Franchise Marketing Systems Atlanta Georgia


There are two ways that an individual or company can own a franchise. A Franchisor is an owner of a franchise model which specifically controls the parent company, trademarks, and products. A franchisee is a company that owns a franchise location (s) for the sale of goods or the operation of a service. The Franchisor is the entity that allows rights to a franchisee to operate and own a franchise location, in return for an agreed-upon fee and/or royalty.  In both circumstances, as a Franchisor or Franchisee, an individual or company owns a franchise.

Franchising an already successful business model is one of the most powerful and dynamic growth opportunities for a company to expand their business. Similarly, developing then owning a franchise provides an extremely lucrative business opportunity for new entrepreneurs to quickly become successful after they own a franchise that is the right fit for their business goals.

Close your eyes and try to imagine your favorite restaurant. The smell, the taste and the ambiance associated with enjoying your most desired dish. Picture the well-lit sign in front of the location, does that sign say McDonald’s? I hope that your answer to that question is no. Aside from being clean and relatively affordable, their food is not known to be anyone’s absolute most desired place to enjoy their favorite dinner. However, McDonald’s is the most successful franchise model in the world and a very good point of reference for how the franchise model works. Unfortunately, McDonald’s is not one of the brands that Franchise Marketing Systems developed, but it is one the greatest success stories in the industry and a company that everyone can relate to as a point of reference. As you analyze the McDonald’s Corporation you can easily learn quickly what a franchise is and how you can own a franchise.

The two McDonald brothers, Maurice “Mac” and Richard “Dick” McDonald started the restaurant with an unbelievably innovative vision in the 1950’s known as fast food. Their unique vision was to provide a consistent quality burger which is not only affordably priced but also lightning fast service. The demand for their food was incredible so the brother’s experimented with franchising as an opportunity to grow their business. During the duration of their experiment, they learned quickly that absentee franchisees who were lackadaisical in upholding their system failed to deliver the McDonald’s Brother’s Brand Promise.

Once the McDonald Brother’s partnered with Ray Kroc they were able to develop their vision into a scalable model that could be operated accurately without the McDonald Brother’s involvement. Essentially, Ray and the McDonald Brother’s developed a system then documented it clearly via extremely well-written operations manuals and a defined business plan. As a result,  a 16 year old kid can effectively run a McDonald’s Restaurant as opposed to prior trial runs franchising in which the two brother’s quickly learned that when they were not present the business was broken. This is exactly what my firm, Franchise Marketing Systems (, does for business owners. As a Franchise Consultant, I take business owners and create franchise owners (franchisors). Franchise Marketing Systems is a full-service franchise consulting company that develops all of the necessary documents associated with legally developing a business owner into a franchise owner. Specifically, I work hand in hand with the Franchisor to develop all of the franchise documentation to include operations manuals and business plan. My role is to act as a project manager coordinating all of the components necessary to effectively and legally build a brand. Together our legal team, business analysists and strategic planners all have to work hand in hand in order to create a successful franchise model. An effective Franchise Consultant and Development Company will provide the following services to a Franchisor:


          Analyze whether your business has the concept strength to be a successful franchise.

          Review of current business practices and how that translates to franchising.

          Discussion of how marketable your franchise could be in today’s environment.

          Review of franchise training practices and overview of how you would be supporting franchisees of your business.

          What your potential return on investment is for your franchise concept.

          Timing and the competitive overview of similar or related franchises to you.

          Examples and results for franchise systems in businesses that are similar to yours.


The other way someone is able to own a franchise is by purchasing a franchise location. Some franchise consulting groups like Elite Franchise Sales (, takes developed franchise models and connects franchisors with franchisees. A franchise broker will help a buyer source a franchise opportunity that is the perfect fit for their skill set, interests, and budget.


Many people are drawn to the built-in security of the franchise model: There’s a track record, an established brand name, training programs – not to mention ongoing support and marketing assistance. As a professional consultant in this industry, I strongly advise entrepreneurs that are looking to become Franchisor’s and also business people that are looking to own their own franchise to do the following prior to investing in the franchise business model:


  1. Attend franchise events which typically have franchisor’s with locations available to sell, vendors that do franchise consulting and development and franchisee prospects that franchisor’s can share their idea with.
  2. Talk to franchisors and franchisees and ask questions. It is virtually always a productive use of time to visit with existing and former franchisees when looking into opportunities. Source as many franchisee’s as you can when looking to own a franchise, not just the ones a franchisor might recommend that you call. Ask franchisees about their experiences, including the support they’re received then ask them to impose upon shadowing them for a day.
  3. Consult with the Better Business Bureau and other agencies. You can see if there are consumer complaints against a particular franchisor by doing a search on the Better Business Bureau’s site or by making a request in writing to the FTC. It’s also important to research whether individual franchisees near your potential location have a record of complaints. If a franchisee near your area has a poor rating that will that will reflect on you ( “you are who you associate with”).
  4. Source an expert franchise consultant, broker or coach. Professional consultants provide excellent advice. The money may be well-spent if you are able to avoid issues down your journey of owning a franchise.
  5. Do a web search to obtain basic franchise information. Google Scholar, for example, will help you search legal documents, such as any lawsuits filed against a franchisor and/or consulting firm. Others include FranData, which claims to have the largest library of current FDDs, and the American Franchisee Association, a trade group that provides information on common problems that franchisees face. 


When considering Franchisor or Franchisee opportunities I strongly encourage you to consider my firm Franchise Marketing Systems. We have an immaculate track record, our rate structure for the services that we provide is competitive, and we always operate with the utmost level of integrity and ethics. As a leader in our industry, we have worked with numerous brands and built countless success stories. If you only do half as well as our typical client I assure you that you will be impressed and pleased with the money you will make partnering with our firm! Feel free to reach out to me anytime so that I can share an idea with you and provide you with our latest recommendation for you (the franchisee) or your company (as the franchisor).


Dara White

Franchise Consultant

Franchise Marketing Systems

Cell: 561-376-3860