A new publication produced by the International Franchise Association Franchise Relations Committee provides an important blueprint for establishing a succession plan and ownership transfer for franchise business owners.

“Selling and transferring ownership of a franchised business is something that many franchisees do not think about early enough,” said IFA Franchise Relations Committee chair Barb Moran, chairman of Moran Industries, Inc.  “This handbook provides a step-by-step guide to help make the process as smooth as possible.”

The IFA Franchise Relations Committee’s mission is to assist IFA members by developing information and programs that promote positive relations and encourage dialogue and cooperation between franchisees and franchisors.  The new publication, Franchise Succession Planning and Transfer Handbook, is part of the committee’s ongoing Best Practices Series and is available at www.franchise.org/franchiserelations.aspx .  It covers such topics as why a succession plan is needed; elements needed in a plan; and the process, documentation and training needed to be successful.

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and family owned businesses, including franchise businesses, are central to that success.  According to the handbook, more than 90 percent of all businesses in the United States are family owned and employ 62 percent of the private sector workforce.  Many of these businesses do not have long-term success due in part to poor succession planning and estate planning.