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How long does it take to get a franchise up and running once the franchise agreement has been signed?
During the discovery and disclosure process, the franchisee should be told - and definitely ask - about the process from enquiry to becoming operational. Franchisors work differently in different sectors and signing the franchise agreement may come earlier in the launch process for some than others.
It would be unusual to sign an agreement the same day as launching a franchise business, but it will depend on the need for acquisition prior to operations, eg a vehicle, property, equipment and licences, etc.
Property-based franchises will typically process the acquisition of property post-signing to give security to all parties. A lot of the groundwork in identifying locations may have been done before signing the agreement, but agreeing a lease or purchasing a building for use while trading as a franchisee would require some security and the landlord may expect to see your franchise agreement.
Typically, once the agreement is signed there will be a period of induction training, mentoring, coaching, acquisition and operational issues to finalise. Franchisees would be advised not to invest more than is necessary before they have a signed agreement.
Louise Harris is an experienced franchisor, having built and sold an award winning franchise. She is now head of strategic partnerships at easyStorage.
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