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Winkworth mini-guide to franchising documents

No business undertaking is without its red tape, and franchising is no exception. This mini-guide to key documentation should help make it a bit clearer for anyone who is interested in starting a franchise.

No business undertaking is without its red tape, and franchising is no exception. Before getting started, franchisees will be asked to sign a number of legal documents. Yet there is no need to panic. The paperwork associated with setting up a franchise is just a necessary first stage in a commercial relationship which works for both parties.

This mini-guide to key documentation should help make it a bit clearer for anyone who is interested in starting a franchise.

The brochure provides the insight to the franchisor and is probably the first document would-be franchisees will read. It is one of the franchisor’s main marketing tools and will often be on display at franchisors’ exhibitions. The brochure sets out the general philosophy of franchising and gives an understanding into the particular model used by the franchisor.

The franchise agreement is the principal document setting out the terms of the relationship between the franchisor and the franchisee. Franchisors like to treat all their franchisees the same way, in order to achieve a level playing field. Any small variations, to take account of local circumstances, will be included in a separate schedule. But franchisees need to acquaint themselves with the sundry obligations.

These range from initial and ongoing training requirements to insurance and compliance with the business systems.

The operating manual is in essence the blueprint for the day-to-day operation of the franchise business. It usually covers all the practical information which the franchisee needs to run a successful business. This may also set out accounting systems and sales reporting that are essential when launching your new franchise.

Not every clause in every document will be immediately comprehensible. And you will, of course, want to take legal advice before signing documents of such importance. Yet the key thing to remember is that the documents provide all-important clarity in a two-way commercial process. This is beneficial to both parties for a successful new relationship.

Have you been thinking of starting a franchise?

Winkworth is looking for new franchisees to continue their successful growth.

Contact Gina Piper (Business Affairs Manager) via email at gpiper@winkworth.com to find out more about starting your own Winkworth franchise. All conversations will be strictly private and confidential.

Learn more about franchising with articles, tips and advice on taking the next step in franchising: www.winkworth.co.uk/estate-agent-franchise

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