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In 1978, Lawrence "Doc" Cohen was a bored pharmacist working for a retail drug store chain in Huntington Beach, California, and dreaming of becoming his own boss.
Intrigued by the idea of owning his own cookie store ("I liked the idea that customers who leave are happy because they have what they want"), he traveled to Atlanta to talk to a company that had just begun franchising its Great American Cookies stores. His initial skepticism melted away after researching what was involved in franchising, talking to the company, and becoming convinced that he and Great American Cookies were a good match.
But Cohen's dream to sell Double Doozies and Dinkie Doozies in Huntington Beach ran into a little problem: The franchisor had inadvertently failed to comply with California's registration laws and Cohen was locked out of opening up a California franchise.
To make up for the error, Great American Cookies let him have his choice of eight or nine locations then available. After some more research, he chose Lafayette, Louisiana, though he had never been there. Eighteen years later, he was the largest franchisee in the Great American system, with 27 stores, employing 280 people in four states.
Obviously, franchising worked for Cohen. But how does someone today in the same position as Cohen was back in 1978 know whether franchising is the right move? He offers this advice:
So that's some advice for deciding whether franchising is right for you. In the next article, we'll get advice from Cohen and others on the second step in the process: How a person who wants to get into franchising decides which franchise suits him or her best.
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