Investing in a franchise opportunity has many advantages: a proven business model, effective marketing and a nationally recognized brand, to name a few. In addition, franchise systems may assist new unit owners in site selections and even lease negotiations. However, like a regular small business, franchisees should be prepared to handle any land acquisition, construction and building matters themselves.

Since commercial real estate and property acquisitions can be complicated and stressful, it may be a savvy idea for new franchisees to look for a real estate company or agent with experience in franchise operations, writes.

Working with a broker, new franchises should make sure to clearly communicate what attributes and qualities they are looking for in a site. Before even beginning the search, however, there are a few key questions that franchisees will need to ask franchisors, writes Such questions include: How will the franchisor help in finding real estate? Do franchisees have any relocation rights? Is there any type of territorial exclusivity in the contract?

After these questions have been answered, it is important to do considerable market research on proposed areas to ensure a location will be profitable. Franchisees should consider demographic information such as population density, traffic, zoning requirements and local competitors.

In addition to the numerous costs that go into acquiring the best property, there are a few fundamental issues that will need to be addressed prior to purchase. Unit owners will need to approach possible pieces of real estate with development in mind. Any locations will need to meet a franchisor's requirements, such as decorating and equipment, by the designated deadlines, says

Zoning concerns will also come into play. Franchisees and brokers will need to work together to make sure the property is an area zoned for the type of business they are hoping to open. A real estate agent will be especially helpful in discovering the various commercial and retail zoning restrictions and requirements on properties.

Franchisees will also need to obtain the appropriate permits and licenses to open at the new location. Depending on local, state and federal requirements, these could include fire department, air and water pollution control and sign permits, as well as liquor or sales tax licenses. New unit owners should make sure to check with local and state offices to understand what is needed.

A location can make or break a franchise unit, so owners should make sure to use available resources to choose the best location. 

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #9 on the fastest growing franchises list of the 2010 Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!