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Net Worth: Why do franchisors want to know it and how to calculate it?

Quite simply, your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities. This is probably the most the most important factor for obtaining a franchise. So, why is this so important to a franchisor? The franchisor is putting their name on the line and they need to know whether you are the right person to move their brand forward. The relationship between you and the franchisor is one of mutual benefit. The more successful you are the more successful the franchisor. Your financial condition will become a factor but it is not the only factor.

The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and other documents will tell you the net worth the franchisor requires. They expect you to have that money in hand before dealing with them. But rest assured that they will look at other factors, such as management experience, “people-skills”, and various additional relevant background. If you can show adequate access to capital, a franchisor will overlook your “less-than-adequate” net worth. Other capital may include an SBA-approved loan or money from family and friends.

A good franchisor will not make a decision based solely on your net worth. If they do, they can turn out to be an unreliable franchisor that is just looking to sell a franchise and not begin a mutually beneficial relationship. A good franchisor will make sure you are a good overall fit for their organization. The net worth is an easy starting point for the franchisor because they know, from experience, what it will take to start a new franchise on solid financial ground. The number one reason businesses fail is because they are undercapitalized.

How do I calculate my Net Worth?

Net Worth is the value of what you own minus what you owe. A positive net worth would mean the value of everything that you own is greater than the amount that you owe. A good thing. If your net worth is negative, then you owe more than the value of what you own. A bad thing.

Your first step is to gather and organize all your information regarding your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe). This can be a big task if this is your first time. But, once you do this, it will be easier to keep the information organized.

Assets

Assets are everything you own. They can be broken down into a few difference categories:  tangible, equity, fixed-income, and cash/cash equivalents. For all your assets, list and assign a dollar value.

Tangible assets are items that have a physical form, such as; your home, vacation home, rental properties, furniture, cars, recreational equipment, art, and jewelry.

Equity Assets are your ownership interests in businesses, such as; stocks, variable annuities, limited partnerships, and retirement accounts.

Fixed-income assets are long-term investments that pay you interest on a fixed schedule, such as; US government bonds, municipal bonds, mutual funds.

Cash and cash equivalent assets are short-term accounts and investment that can be cashed in immediately, sometimes referred to as “liquid capital.” This typically includes: checking and savings account balances, money market funds, certificates of deposit, other cash on hand.

Once you have these items listed and a dollar amount associated with them, you will add up everything for your Total Assets.

Liabilities

A liability is any money that you owe to a person or business in exchange for an asset. For each liability, you need to write down the dollar value that is still owed. Liabilities include; home mortgage, other mortgages (vacation or rental properties), home equity line of credit, home equity loan, car loan, bank loan, student loan, personal credit line balances, credit card balances, personal loans, and any other money that you owe. Once you add up the dollar amount for each liability, you will have your Total Liabilities.

Apply the formula

The final step is to apply the simple formula:

Total Assets – Total Liabilities = Net Worth

Who said high school Algebra was a waste of time?

There are many tools on the Internet to help you calculate your net worth. Yahoo offers a simple calculator: Click Here

If you are considering the purchase of a franchise, knowing your net worth is a good start. Another good step is to Pre-Qualify for a loan in the same way you would pre-qualify for a home purchase. This lets the franchisor know that you are a serious prospect. In many cases, a franchisor receives hundreds of inquiries every month and you want to stand out. To see how much you qualify for, visit our pre-qualification portal: Pre-Qualify for you new franchise by clicking here

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