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Global Franchise Applicants: How to Verify and Protect Your Brand

Posted On   date10/06/2015

Global Franchise Applicants: How to Verify and Protect Your Brand

The franchising model has proven to be a very successful one nowadays, especially for those businesses looking for international expansion. For franchisors the benefits are many, but above all there is a constant capital injection through the payment of the franchise fees and royalties that improves the cash flow, generating higher profits and providing at the end a higher return on investment. But making a bad deal with the wrong people can also bring the business down.  You’ve spent building up your brand.  Investing in a bad franchisee can lead to serious consequences and should be avoided at all costs.  After all, franchisors are sharing the most valuable asset they have: their brand.  Protect the name or risk losing it all.

Professional private investigators from Wymoo® International are alerting franchisors about the increasing cases of fraud in a global scale that are affecting these businesses. Considerable capital is required to buy a franchise and not everyone is in the financial shape to bear the cost. But there is a lot more to look into when selecting the right candidates for the business. Franchisors need thorough investigations to be able to verify that an international franchisee applicant is the right person because there is too much at stake.  Doing business with a criminal or unethical person can be a costly learning lesson.

International investigators provide these tips to franchisors in the process of verifying international applicants:

Pre-screening is important

Buying a franchise is not something that happens from one day to another and there is a lot of due diligence involved throughout the process, especially towards the closure of the deal. But many franchisors fail to pre-screen their prospects and lose a lot of time and effort during a process that is deemed to fail.  Don’t wait until the last minute to start your due diligence.

In the first stage of the process, franchisors should make sure an international background check is conducted to make sure the applicant is being honest about their identity, about the other businesses they own or participate in, and check some references that can back up or contradict the story. Pre-screening is a simple investigation that provides a broad, but very important overview of the situation, and enables the franchisors to decide whether or not it is worthy to continue with more delicate matters in the application process.

Do not focus only on the money

International asset searches can provide very valuable information regarding the financial status of an applicant, but having enough money should not be the only concern. Some of the greatest risks in today´s world are associated to corruption and serious illegal practices like money laundering and Islamic terrorism. There are also human rights and environmental concerns that need to be considered.

Even if you think you’ve found the perfect franchisee in a foreign country to expand your brand, remember that anything negative on that person, found out now or in the future, could have a serious impact on your business brand name.

Franchises need to protect their business against fraud and financial loss like everyone else, but protecting the brand´s reputation is the top priority. Once the pre-screening has taken place, it is important to go a bit further in the investigation and verify that the applicant in question is an honorable and reputable person and not linked to any mafia networks or questionable business practices. Professional private investigators at Wymoo International specialize in international cases, screen the case for fraud, verify documents, ID and passports, check for criminal and court records, verify reputation and identity, obtain references from independent sources, and determine if the applicant is who he or she claims to be.

Experience and know-how are required

International businesses are complex. When verifying an applicant from a foreign country it is important to consider that the laws, the procedures, the government entities and many other things change. Even what may seem like the simplest verification should be handled by people who have the know-how. Otherwise the company could get in trouble or miss relevant information.

If you’re considering an applicant or investment in China, Japan, Russsia, Brazil or Romania, and you don’t speak the language, you better speak to a professional!  International investment is high risk and verification is a task for trained investigators.  Local experts on the ground where you need them are key to success.  Wymoo International has experts in cities around the world, providing discreet services.

Investigating has a great return

To make wise decisions business people need evidence and timely information. Investing in standardized screening processes reduces the risks from the beginning, helps protect the brand and at the end helps franchisors make safer deals.  By teaming up with  a reputable international background check or due diligence firm, your company can put all investment options and applicants through the same verification process.  This makes your investment process easier and also leads to more profitable business decisions!  Contact us today for a free quote.

C. Wright
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