When you buy a franchise, you pay handsomely for the privilege. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what you are getting into, what you will get for your money, and that you get what you pay for.
A current court case against the fast-food chain Burgerim is a stark reminder that this is not always the case.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought the case after several Burgermin franchisees complained that the company did not give them everything it should have.
The complaint comes after only around 130 of the 1,500 plus franchisees managed to open. They claim Burgerim failed to provide all the information needed to do so and that it misled them over how easy it would be.
Then, when they tried to claim the promised refund for anyone unable to open, the company refused or only refunded a tiny portion of the money they had paid.
Buying a franchise is not meant to be a blind risk
The law requires franchisors to give potential franchisees a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). It must contain clear information to help people make an informed decision. The FTC alleges Burgerim gave the impression it would be easier than it was. It claims Burgerim failed to provide vital information in the FDD that would have allowed potential franchisees to see that for themselves.
There will always be people willing to take advantage of you in any area of business, and franchises are no different. If you are unsure about signing up for one or have concerns about the one you already own, seek legal help to evaluate the situation and decide your options.