1. Select a franchising company that is primarily interested in distributing quality products and services to ultimate consumers. Although this rule may seem obvious, many (if not most) franchising companies are primarily interested in selling franchises and are less concerned with the quality of the products and services they are theoretically in business to sell.
2. Your franchising company should be dedicated to franchising as its primary mechanism of product and service distribution. Be wary of franchisers with a large number of company-owned stores or that distribute their products through other channels such as supermarkets or discount stores.
3. Your franchising company should produce and market quality goods and services for which there is an established market demand. The value of franchising emanates from the value of the franchiser. Too many prospective franchisees cannot qualify for a widely recognized franchise and settle for a lesser-known system, thinking the franchise concept is more important than the product and trade name.
4. Select a franchiser with a well-accepted trademark.
5. Evaluate your franchiser's business plan and marketing system. A well-established, well-designed marketing system promises substantial and complete training and overall franchisee support.
6. Your franchiser should have good relationships with its franchisees. Likewise, the franchisees should have a strong franchisee organization which has negotiating leverage with the franchising company. A franchiser that does not permit its franchisees to organize is a sure sign of trouble ahead. Strong franchisee associations, on the other hand, will pave the way to successful and cooperative franchising systems.
7. Only deal with franchising companies that provide sales and earnings projections that demonstrate an attractive return on your investment. Do not believe franchisers that claim they are forbidden by law to provide earnings projections and evidence of actual performance. To the contrary, all state and federal laws regulating franchising encourage franchisers to provide earnings claims to prospective franchisees.
8. Select a franchiser that supports the AAFD's "Franchisee Bill of Rights" and agrees to respect these rights as they apply to your franchise.
Source: The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers