Step by Step Process to Buy a Restaurant Franchise

Restaurant Broker

The Step by Step process to buy a restaurant franchise for sale can be a complex process with multiple guidelines, requirements, and documentation to read.  Did you know the top restaurant brands have a Checklist that potential franchisees have to complete before they can purchase a Franchise Restaurant Resale?

The Restaurant Resale Specialist at EATS Broker will share information on the step-by-step process to buy a restaurant franchise resale.

Restaurant Broker 6 Steps to Buying a Restaurant Franchise Resale: 

Step 1: Asset Purchase Agreement

When buying a restaurant for sale that is a franchise, it’s considered a resale/transfer. The buyer and seller will agree to terms on an Asset Purchase Agreement. Once both parties have signed the agreement and the buyer has deposited the escrow, the approval process with the franchise brand starts.

Step 2: Contact Franchise for Approval 

  • Submit an inquiry by:
  1. Inquiries are made online by visiting the company’s website to submit an inquiry
  2. The buyer will have to fill out a Contact Us form; information usually asked includes:

-Franchise State

-Timeframe for opening

-Liquid Capital to invest

  • The Franchise will reach out to potential candidates for an initial conversation


Step 3: Initial Conversation with Franchise

  • The Franchise Development Team will reach out to discuss your interest in the brand. This initial call is an excellent opportunity for buyers to ask questions about the brand.
  • This conversation usually covers the following topics.

– The buyer’s background

-Familiarity with the Brand

– Current Financial Situation; Liquidity and Net Worth Requirements

-Time frame to buy/open

  • Restaurant Franchise Resales-buyers will let the Franchise know that they are buying a Restaurant Franchise Resale and are currently under contract with the seller and the location.

***Most franchise brands Net Worth Requirements are lower for Restaurants for sale than new restaurant openings.***

Step 4. Complete & Submit Required Materials

  • Items required for the franchisee approval process:
  • Completed Application For a Franchise
  • Prospective Franchisee Business Plan

– Plans should include an executive summary, operating plan, marketing, advertising plan, and financials.

  • Signed Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) Receipt
  • Validation Documents

Step 4. A

Signed Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) Receipt

  • You will receive a PDF copy of the Franchise’s current FDD for signature.
  • The Franchise Disclosure Document should be signed and returned to Franchisor.
  • You must receive this Disclosure Document at least 14 calendar days before you sign a binding agreement with or make any payment to the Franchisor or an affiliate in connection with the proposed franchise sale.
  • The FDD summarizes a company’s history, business experience, assistance, support, franchisee’s obligations, training, fees, estimated initial investment, financial performance representation, franchise agreement, and other essential information.

Step 4. B

Validation Documents:

  • Documents are required for financial validation with your application. The necessary documents can include depending on the Franchisor:
  • Photocopy of your ID
  • Last 3-6 months of your bank statement – including Checking and Savings
  • Pay stubs, W-2s for 2-3 years, or other proof of Income.
  • 401Kor other retirement account statements.
  • Authorization for Franchisor to complete a background and credit check.
  1. Discovery Day
  • Buyer will fly to the headquarters of the Franchisor
  • During the visit, buyers are introduced to the leadership team and representatives of every operational department who will train, support, and assist you as a franchisee.
  • Face to face meeting with the decision-makers for franchise approval.
  • Buyer should understand this is an interview to see if the Franchisor feels the candidate will be a good fit with the brand.
  1. Final Decision:
  • Franchise Development Team member will contact buyer/candidate with approval.
  • Franchisor will draft Franchise Agreement with buyer’s business entity information.
  • Restaurant Buyer will sign the agreement and send Franchisor Transfer Fee.
  • Franchisor will schedule a required training session for the buyer.

The transfer process can’t be completed until the restaurant buyer completes training. The required training depends on the Franchise Brand, which can range from 2 weeks – to 8 weeks.

For more information on the restaurant market and other available consulting services or a complimentary restaurant valuation, contact Dallas Restaurant Broker Dominique Maddox at 404-993-4448 or by email at [email protected]. Visit our website at