While things like the initial investment and franchise fee are always important when selecting a franchise opportunity, less obvious considerations such as territory and location can also be critical to the long-term success of the business, business lawyer Gina M. Norris told the Union Leader.

Norris says that new franchise owners should pay close attention to the territory portion of their contracts to make sure they know what they're getting into. Most franchise agreements will give an owner an exclusive territory, in which they promise not to place a competing franchise. But sometimes, Norris says, those agreements only kick in after the franchise achieves certain performance levels.

A franchise's specific location is also something a potential owner needs to consider, says Norris. She says that entrepreneurs should try to get a lease for the same length of time as their franchise agreement, so they don't need to move their business halfway through the agreement, but also won't be liable for lease payments after it expires.

In addition to being a valuable investment, franchise businesses are also an integral part of the nation's economy. The International Franchise Association says that in 2005, franchising provided more than 11 million jobs and contributed more than $278 billion in payroll.

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