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There are no legal requirements related to how long you must be in business prior to starting a franchise; in fact, sometimes franchise companies start without any prior operating experience at all.
The reason for having prior operations is that it gives the startup franchise credibility in the eyes of the potential franchise buyers. Whether you've been in business for three months or 10 years, prospects will want to know why they should invest with you and how safe they will be if they do so.
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