How to spot franchise fraud


Franchising can be a relatively low-risk pathway into entrepreneurship – they get support and direction from the franchisor, and follow the structures laid out by the franchisor. However, sometimes, a franchise opportunity can seem too good to be true. Not all franchises are created equal, and you can’t necessarily buy into any franchise and wait for your riches to roll in.

How to spot a franchise scam

If you spot the following franchise scam warning signs, look elsewhere:

  • Overdressed salesperson trying to pitch a fast sale
  • Pressure for franchisees to sign gag orders
  • Insistence on cash transactions only
  • Exaggerated earnings
  • Promising a proven business model or proprietary technology that doesn’t exist
  • Promising training that never materializes
  • Forcing franchisees to spend money on so-called improvements
  • Failure to provide disclosure

How do you avoid franchise fraud?

To help you avoid franchise scam, you can choose to work only with a franchisor who is a member of the Canadian Franchise Association. Do your research. Be thorough, double-check everything, and get advice from trusted colleagues or professional advisors. And listen to your instincts!

Buying into a franchise can be a proven and relatively secure pathway to entrepreneurship, but it’s an investment in your future that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Want to learn all the ins and outs of franchising in Canada? Check out our industry-leading small business training video program.

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