Located in the heart of the Midwest, Ohio is home to a number of major cities, including Columbus and Cincinnati. No matter where you live in the state, you may come across one or more franchise opportunities that sound perfect for you. You can open one of these new companies in a large city like Akron, or you can start out in a smaller town like Portsmouth. Before you make an investment in your future though, you should take a look at the laws that the state introduced to protect your investment and to ensure that someone looks out for your best interests.
The Federal Trade Commission has several rules in place designed to protects franchisees that apply to anyone opening a franchise anywhere in the country. Its disclosure rule is one of the more important ones you should read. This disclosure rule states that the franchiser must provide all disclosures to a prospective franchisee in writing 14 days before that franchisee signs any contracts or documents. It must carefully lay out how much money the franchise costs, any penalties the franchiser can apply and any additional amounts you pay each year. It should also explain the terms for canceling the contract.
Cooling Off Period
Ohio is one the only states in the nation that allows a franchisee to change his or her mind after signing a contract. Often called a cooling off period, it covers the first five days after you sign that contract. If you change your mind and want to back out of the deal, you can do so at any point during those five days. The state designed this law as a way to protect franchisees who did not read the documents carefully and those who had outside funding fall through.
Misrepresentation is an issue covered under the Ohio Business Opportunity Law. This law applies to those wanting to open a business in the state and certain types of franchises. It essentially holds the franchiser responsible for any misrepresentations made in the contracts or advertising materials that it supplied prospective buyers with before the sale. If you find that the company outright lied or made exaggerated claims about the amount of money you could make, the number of franchisees in your area or the amount of support provided, you can contact the state and possibly terminate your contract.
Where to Open a Franchise in Ohio?
When most people think of opening a franchise in Ohio, they automatically think of major cities like Cincinnati. You might focus your search for areas with a high population of college students. Dayton is smaller in size than Cincinnati but houses the University of Dayton, Wright State University and Sinclair Community College. Bowling Green, Toledo and Akron all have at least one college campus too. As so many students live in the same cities after graduation, you can grab their attention during their undergrad years and turn them into long-term customers. Cleveland is home to several college campuses too.
What Franchise Opportunity is Right for You?
Restaurants and food services are among the top franchises in the state. You can invest in a company with instant name recognition like Hardee’s or Subway, but you can also invest in an up and coming company like Earl of Sandwich or Ufood Grill. The problem with lesser known companies is that you need to spend more time marketing those brands to ensure that your customers know what they get. Moe’s Southwestern Grill, Firehouse Subs and Taco John’s are a few other franchises catching on with residents of the Buckeye State.
When you go beyond restaurants, you can expand your search even further. Ohio is home to residents who need help taking care of their cars, cleaning their homes and even getting in shape, which is what makes franchise options like AAMCO, Merry Maids and Anytime Fitness so popular. There is also a growing need for learning centers that can provide younger children and teens with tutoring and academic help. Though Cincinnati and other major cities have lots of public and private schools, parents are still on the hunt for independent learning centers. The better you understand your state’s laws, the easier you can open any of these franchises.