Women Returning To The Workforce: Tips For New Franchisees

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The idea for this blog comes from Sahara Pynes. Sahara is a member of our Labor and Employment team and presented her own Tips for New Entrepreneurs in our California Employment Law blog. Thanks to Sahara for this idea, and please check out her post!

The pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on women, with nearly 3 million women having left the workforce since the start of the pandemic. However, there have been a record number of new business applications filed throughout the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to provide a few tips to women (and others!) looking to take that leap into entrepreneurship, potentially as a franchisee. Here are few top considerations for any prospective new franchisee:

  1. Learn Local Licensing Laws. Most states have various licensing laws and requirements that any new business must obtain. These could include food and beverage requirements, zoning concerns, and tax issues. It is critical to research these issues before signing your franchise agreement. You don’t want to learn too late that you have to jump through various state and local regulatory hoops.
  1. Form a Business Entity and Obtain Insurance. Many franchisors may require you to form some type of business entity to operate your franchise. This could be a limited liability company, or corporation. By forming such an entity, you may be able to protect your personal assets from third-parties claims. Moreover, you will likely be required to obtain insurance to protect your business as well as the franchisor. Consult with a business advisor, accountant, and insurance agency to assist with these decisions.
  1. Review the Employment Laws in Your State. States may have differing standards and requirements for determining when an individual is considered a contractor versus an employee as well as guidance related to minimum wage, break times, healthcare, and other leave. Consult with an attorney to determine how to structure your employment relationships, particularly as the franchisor is unlikely to provide much guidance in this area.
  1. Research Possible Franchisors. If you are interested in being an entrepreneur, but also having the support of a larger entity, then franchising is likely a good option. People think of “fast food” when they think if franchises, but there are thousands of franchise systems offering all types of services and products all across the country. Before making a decision, carefully research different industries and franchisors to determine what is the right fit for your business dreams.

Joining a franchise system can be a great way for an entrepreneur to start their own business, while also having the support of a proven concept. While the pandemic may have forced many women to leave the workforce, starting their own franchise gives many women an opportunity for economic independence and growth. These tips can help prospective franchisees from falling into unnecessary, and potentially costly, traps before their business gets off the ground.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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