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  October 9th, 2015 | Written by

Five Tips to Expand a Franchise Internationally

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  • Every country has different rules for franchises, and some areas are legally easier to launch in than others.
  • In some countries, it’s customary to move forward on a handshake and then formally sign paperwork.
  • When a franchise adds an international component the business dynamic changes forever.

When your franchise is successful in the U.S., international expansion can look like a natural next step to taking your proven concept to a new stage of growth. Before jumping into international franchise expansion, every company should look at which target markets are most ideal, but also consider the additional scale of cost, impact, and potential risk and reward.

Research the full legal implications and obligations. The U.S. has a specific series of franchising laws, and each individual state has its own regulations as well. Every country has a different series of rules for how franchises can operate, which is a major factor to consider when shopping for new markets. Navigating any new system comes with a certain amount of predictable stress and cost, but some areas are legally easier to launch in than others.

Learn about the business culture of countries you want to do business in. In the U.S., business relationships are often founded on a contract, and then the relationship develops further once everything is signed. However, in some countries, it’s more customary to develop stronger relationships on the front end, move forward on a handshake while the details are hammered out, and then formally sign paperwork. Learning how things are traditionally done could save a lot of time and misunderstanding.

Have a local ally to guide you through the process. Cultural differences and varying status quos often lead to miscommunication. To successfully kickstart the launch of your franchise internationally, invest in a partner who has personal, in-depth experience with the country’s culture. They should not only be able to introduce you to excellent potential franchisees, but serve as a helpful communications bridge and cultural advisor to both parties.

How will international expansion affect domestic operations? When a family adds a new child to the mix, the entire family dynamic changes forever. The same goes for every franchise that adds an international component to its business. Launching operations in a new country is going to require additional resources, and plans have to be made well in advance for how the impact on U.S. operations will be handled. This is where having the right leadership in the right roles before any potential launches is vital.


Kyle Zagrodzky is founder of OsteoStrong, a chain of franchised facilities that provide supervised, patented osteogenic loading resistance sessions that reverse the effects of osteoporosis and symptoms of muscle and bone degeneration.