As with most states, the idea of buying a franchise as a way into business is alive and well in Missouri. Entrepreneurs are drawn to the idea because it’s a way to tap into a proven concept and marketing strategy, as well as support from the home office when it comes to making decisions. Missouri is known as a non-registration state, which merely means that a franchise seller is not required to meet any particular guidelines in addition to those promulgated by the federal government. State business laws apply to a franchise the same way as they would any other business.
Opening a Franchise
As far as the state is concerned, a franchise is like any other business and expected to adhere to the same laws of registration and taxation. Missouri requires a business owner to choose an entity (sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or corporation), then select a Doing Business As (DBA) name before applying for a sales tax license. In addition to the state tax license, a new franchise owner needs to get county and city business licenses as well, to insure all the sales tax collected from sales trickles down to the local level.
The Missouri Secretary of State operates a portal website dedicated to both novice and veteran business operators at www.business.mo.gov. It would be a good idea to check this resource before getting too far down the road to opening your franchise. Also check out the Chamber of Commerce or local city government in the city where you plan to operate. In all cases, it’s better to know what hurdles you face sooner rather than later.
While Missouri is often viewed from those outside its borders as an agricultural state – which it is, most certainly – the population centers of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield shouldn’t be overlooked. To anyone looking to buy into a franchise, rest assured that the demographics would support the same kind of businesses that work in other large cities and associated metropolitan areas around the country. Think fast food, various types of services, and maybe a few oddities you’ve never thought of.
It should go without saying that you should do extensive research into any franchise before putting up the buy-in money. Make sure the business model is sound. Try talking to other franchise owners, though you might have to travel to another state to get an honest opinion. Those in your immediate area might be suspicious of new competition.
What kind of franchise should you open? It’s probably a good idea to stick with something you’re interested in, but here are a few ideas hot in Missouri right now.
Club Pilates: If you’re into exercise and like the pilates approach, this opportunity was rated the #31 Top New Franchise for 2016 by Entrepreneur Magazine. Growth has exceeded projections from the home office. With a buy-in fee of only $75,000, this could be the perfect idea for prospective business owner who enjoys exercising and offering a facility for others to do the same. Might be better suited to larger cities.
You Move Me: One consistency is that most people eventually move, maybe several times in a lifetime. This franchise is a moving company with a focus on customer service rather than just slinging boxes around. The $60,000 franchise fee is attractive, as is the fact that a business like this could probably do well in almost any area.
Wienerschnitzel: Is there a Wienerschnitzel where you live? Maybe not yet. This food franchise started as a single hot dog stand in 1961, but has propelled itself across the southwest and now nationwide over the decades. With a unique menu, small real estate footprint, and proven popularity, this could be the chance to get into the food business in a profitable way. The buy-in for this franchise is higher, at $200,000, but if there’s one thing Americans love it’s their fast food.
With new small business failure rates somewhere between 50 and 90 percent after three years (depending upon whose stats you believe), the additional support and proven success of a franchise approach might tilt the field in your direction enough to survive and thrive in an always tough business climate.