20 Questions Franchisees Must Ask When Interviewing a Franchisor Starting with: How much control will you have?

By Clarissa Buch Zilberman

You're at the point in your franchise journey where you've narrowed down the companies you can really, truly visualize yourself running. You've probably already submitted a franchise application or are getting ready to.

But before you leap into franchise ownership and invest a significant amount of money and time, it's important to get some questions answered.

One of the best ways to get a detailed look at the franchise you're interested in is by conducting a comprehensive interview. After all, you want to make sure you're investing in a business that aligns with your goals, values, and expectations. Not to mention, the franchisor is likely to put you through a similar set of questioning — so why not do the same?

What to look for when interviewing a franchisor

Asking a franchisor a set of targeted questions can help identify potential red flags or concerns. Or it simply might glean that the franchise — no matter how great — is just not right for you.

For instance, you might be looking for a franchise that allows you to have creative control. However, through a series of questioning, you learn that the franchisor provides strict guidelines and procedures that must be followed in terms of creative execution. Even though you could be successful with this specific company, you decide to pursue a different opportunity instead — helping to avoid potential problems in the long run.

Related: Which Franchise is Right For You? Follow These Steps

Example questions when interviewing a franchisor

Not sure where to start? Keep this list handy before walking into your next franchisor interview.

These questions should provide a solid foundation of the franchisor's business model, support structure and overall vision for the franchise system. Remember to take detailed notes and ask follow-up questions as needed.

Related: Owning a Franchise Could Be Your Fastest Route to Business Ownership. Here's What You Need to Know to Succeed.

  1. What inspired you to start this franchise system?
  2. What type of support do you offer to franchisees during the pre-opening process?
  3. What type of ongoing training and support do you offer to your franchisees?
  4. Can you describe the ideal candidate for this franchise?
  5. What goes into the location selection process for franchisees?
  6. Do you offer any assistance to franchisees to help them secure financing for their investment?
  7. How much control do you have over the day-to-day operations of the franchisee's business?
  8. Can you provide a detailed explanation of the fees and royalties that franchisees are required to pay?
  9. What type of advertising and marketing model do you offer to franchisees?
  10. How do you assist franchisees in customer retention and loyalty?
  11. How do you ensure consistency across all franchise locations?
  12. What type of technology or software systems are used to manage the franchise system?
  13. How long does it typically take for a franchisee to see a return on their investment?
  14. Can you provide a list of several current franchisees and their contact information?
  15. How frequently do you hold franchisee meetings and conferences?
  16. How do you measure and monitor the performance of franchisees and their businesses?
  17. How do you support franchisees when they encounter challenges or obstacles?
  18. What is a typical term length, and what is your policy on renewing franchise agreements?
  19. Can you provide an estimate of the total investment required to open a franchise location?
  20. What are the biggest challenges that you see facing the franchise industry in the next five years, and how do you plan to address them?

Related: We've analyzed mountains of data for thousands of franchises and found the best opportunities for you in 2023 in our 44th Annual Franchise 500 Ranking.

What to do next

Asking questions can help you make an informed and calculated decision about whether a particular franchise opportunity is right for you or not. You want to make sure you're investing in a business that has the potential to be successful and profitable and fits your personality.

After the interview, ask follow-ups, review your notes, talk to other franchisees and, finally, decide whether or not to move forward with the process.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

Wavy Line
Clarissa Buch Zilberman

Entrepreneur Staff

Freelance Writer, Editor & Content Marketing Consultant

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor based in Miami. Specializing in lifestyle, business, and travel, her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Realtor.com, Travel + Leisure, and Bon Appétit, among other print and digital titles. Through her content marketing consultancy, By Clarissa, she leverages her extensive editorial background and unique industry insights to support enterprise organizations and global creative agencies with their B2B, B2C, and B2E content initiatives. 

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