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Can I buy a franchise from two different, non-competing brands?
The answer is possibly. All properly constructed franchise agreements will have a clause that will prevent a franchisee from operating any other business without prior approval. Permission would therefore be required from both franchisors in order for this to be able to happen.
For owner-operator or ownermanaged franchises, I would question why a franchisee may want to operate two different brands.
I can see an argument for it where the two businesses may have different seasonal peaks, gardening and Christmas decorating, for example. However, in most cases, diluting the time and effort anybody can put into building the business may have a detrimental effect. Giving 100 per cent to one business may yield a higher reward than giving 50 per cent each to two different brands.
Where the franchisee is an investor, owning multiple units and wanting to diversify into multi-brand franchising, the skill sets that have made one brand successful can be interchangeable between brands. In this situation, both franchisors may see a positive in the skills and experience the franchisee can bring to both brands and thus grant the right to operate as a multi-brand franchisee.
Alan Wilkinson is head of franchise development at The Franchising Centre and has been in franchising for over 24 years.
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