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Do I have to pay the full franchise fee at the time I make the decision to invest in a franchise?
Whether or not you pay the full franchise fee when you make your decision will depend on the franchisor and the franchise concept. It will also depend on what you mean by “decide to invest”. It is fairly common that a franchisee will be expected to pay a franchise fee as a show of commitment to the franchisor at the point the franchisee signs the franchise agreement, but not before. However, there are several points you should consider before you commit to paying it. Firstly, it is important that you are certain you wish to proceed with the franchise and that you obtain all the information you need from the franchisor to make an informed decision. Secondly, you should consider what happens once you have paid the fee. If you have to undertake and pass the franchisor’s initial training before you can operate your franchise business, you need to consider what happens if you do not pass the requisite training or if you change your mind about operating the franchise following the training. It is therefore important that before you pay any franchise fee you understand when and in what circumstances any franchise fee paid is refundable. Any details relating to the refund of any franchise fee must be clearly documented in writing or in the franchise agreement.
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