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Researching a Franchise

The Legal Requirements For Your Business’ LifeStage

Matching business legal requirements with business lifecycle is a key component of success.

Monisha Prem

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Just as the human lifecycle starts at birth and then progresses through infancy, childhood, puberty, adulthood and ageing, ending in death, so does the business lifecycle: Start-up, growth, maturity, decline, and rebirth or death. The same strategies and plans simply do not apply at the different stages of both life and business cycles.

And this includes legal strategy. What are the legal requirements at the different stages of a business cycle?

Start-up

Type of industry, nature of offering and delivery model are key inputs in determining legal structure at the outset. At birth it is also critical to determine exit strategies, including risk management and preparing for challenges and failure.

Private companies are the most common choice as they are suitable for both small and large companies and can be managed efficiently with no requirement for filing annual financial statements.

Related: 5 Different Types Of Businesses

Different types of entities include:

1Sole Proprietor and partnership:

Unincorporated (no registration formalities and compliance) and no distinction between the business and the owner. No, or very limited, growth opportunity.

The Sole Proprietor and Partnership do not exist as a separate entity, therefore legal rights and obligations (including business debts) of the business vest in the owner respectively or the partners collectively.

Sourcing funds for a sole proprietorship or partnership depends on the security that the individual owner or partners are able to provide.

2Trust:

A trustee or multiple trustees (no more than 20) set up the trust to hold assets and / or conduct business for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. The trust must be registered with the Master of the High Court.

The advantages include that the assets of the trust belong to the trust alone (providing protection to trustees from creditors), the administration costs are less than those of a company or close corporation, and taxes are less complicated.

3Close Corporation (CC):

In terms of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 (the Companies Act), it is no longer possible to register a new CC. However, existing CCs will remain in place and can be converted to a company.

From a growth perspective, a CC is limited to ten members, each owning an agreed percentage of the business and collectively responsible for operations.

4Company:

Incorporated and regulated by the Companies Act, which encourages small business owners to register companies. A company can make shares available to the public (public company) or restrict transferability of shares to private owners only (private company).

CCs and Companies enjoy separate legal personalities and are separate to the members and shareholders. The business is conducted in the name of the CC or Company, and the assets and liabilities belong to the business, not the individual members.

Related: Business Plan Format Guide

Growth and Maturity

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Growth and maturity means more clients and cash flow, which in turn means more risk. To assess legal risk and prepare a legal blue-print to prevent or reduce potential losses, conduct a legal audit.

This assessment may consider the degree of exposures of risk in terms of:

  • Legal form and capital structure
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Contracts and policies
  • Corporate governance
  • Labour and HR
  • Social media
  • Intellectual property.

Decline and Death

For any given reason, many businesses fail and must shut down, whether by choice or compulsion. Different business types will have different requirements for shutting down, and if you planned correctly this process will be smoother.

Sole Proprietor and Partnership: As a sole proprietorship and partnership are not separate legal entities and unincorporated, they cease to exist when the owner or partners stop carrying on the business.

Related: Have You (Really) Put Your Business To The Test?

Trust: A trust will terminate by written agreement on the date set out by the founder, or either upon the achievement of the trust objective, or the realisation of the impossibility of achievement of the trust objective. On dissolution, the trust deed will dictate final distributions.

Company and CC: A company or CC can cease to operate either due to de-registration or liquidation.

A company or close corporation may be deregistered by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) if it has not complied with certain requirements. The business can also voluntarily deregister when trading has ceased and it can show that it has no assets or liabilities.

Monisha is a corporate advisor, admitted attorney at M. Prem Inc, and author with over 14 years deal-making experience. Monisha litigated for several years before joining an investment banking firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions. Monisha has owned and operated several businesses, is passionate about business development, commercial and corporate law.

Company Posts

How To Become A Hi-Q Franchisee

Are you looking at investing in a tyre replacement and service industry? Look no further than the Hi-Q franchise.

HI-Q

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Established in 1999, Hi-Q is a successful and diverse multi-product, multi-brand leader in the tyre replacement and service industry with a network of over 130 franchisees nationwide.

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With the support of international tyre giant Goodyear, Hi-Q has established a solid reputation of ‘the one you can trust’, and the Hi-Q approach and philosophy is embedded in this.  We have the trust of our customers, our network and our suppliers – that’s why you can trust us to take you and your business to the next level.

When you’re working with people’s safety, trust forms the most significant part of the equation

Hi-Q introduced the original and innovative TyreSurance initiative – the only aftermarket tyre damage guarantee product that backs the consumer no matter the brand of tyre.

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Related: We Want To Invite You To Join Us On The Hi-Q Journey And Become A Franchisee

Each Hi-Q Franchise offers a broad range of brands within the different product and service categories that customers know they can trust, and at prices they can afford. Product and services include tyres, exhausts, shocks, batteries or brakes, wheel alignment or balancing, and a 10-point safety check.

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We have identified areas of opportunity to extend our Franchise footprint growth.

If you are looking to join a new franchise and you share in our values and vision, we would like to hear from you.

For further information on how to become a franchisee, call us on +27 11 394 3150

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Researching a Franchise

Col’Cacchio – Benefits Of The Franchise Model

Six key benefits of the restaurant franchise model – and what to look out for when considering a franchise.

Russell Otty

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For investors looking to the restaurant industry and considering a franchise knowing it has a proven track record and is therefore possibly a lower risk, there are a few key things to be aware of about the benefits of the franchise model, which if investigated, can also point to a franchise that is not for you.

Russell Otty, Chief Operating Officer of the Col’Cacchio Group, shares some of these key benefits and indicators of whether a franchise is for you:

1. Making the cut as a franchisee gives you the confidence that you are making the right decision

You may think psychometric testing, three days in a restaurant following a franchisee around, and a panel interview with the senior management of the franchisor, is a bit over the top, but the franchisor that puts you through your paces and assesses your ability and commitment to running the business, is doing you a huge favour and may even help you see this is not for you. It goes both ways, and after an intense courtship, you should know if you want to try a long-term relationship.

Related: Col’ Cacchio: A Passion For Pizza

2. Assistance with location selection and negotiation of the terms of your lease

One thing you can do to limit your risk is to not open a restaurant in the first place if your rent is not going to be reasonable or you simply won’t get customers through the door. The franchisor will vet and approve the site – they will have extensive insight into what has worked or not worked location-wise for their brand, and can assist you to weigh up the area and it’s potential to attract customers.

The commercial terms of a lease is very important – you can’t be too ambitious about turnover targets, and having the backing of a franchisor can be beneficial if a landlord becomes unreasonable.

3. Staff training and development tools on hand

Consistency is important with restaurant franchises, as a customer visiting a brand anywhere in the country, goes there knowing exactly what they are going to get. This is best achieved with solid training, perhaps access to resources such as training videos, and regular visits from franchise managers.

You should check with your franchisor what level of training and franchise support you will have on an ongoing basis. Ask about the ratio of field trainers and operations managers to the number of franchisees in the group. You want the franchisor in your restaurant in some shape or form, two or three times a month, whether it be the training manager, the regional franchise manager or the national operations manager.

4. Access to supplier networks to manage your input costs

Negotiating basket pricing with distributors regionally and nationally, the franchisor will leverage their buying power on your behalf. They should assist to manage your suppliers and make sure deliveries happen on time, and ensure that product quality remains consistent. They can also negotiate to ensure your input costs do not increase before the next menu launch – so you can ensure your margins remain intact.

5. Brand loyalty and locality marketing

When you buy a restaurant franchise, you gain a group of customers who know who you are, the food you serve and the way you make them feel. The money you will pay towards marketing each month gives you insight into the broader restaurant market, the experience of what is working across a number of sites, and how best to keep the attention of new and existing customers.

Some franchisors offer locality marketing assistance – your site and area has specific needs that other outlets may not have, or there may be events in the area that can be leveraged to run special offers. Ask if the franchisor offers this as a service, as it can assist you greatly to have an advantage over other restaurants in your area.

Related: Beginners Guide To Digital Marketing In South Africa

6. Business development insights

The franchisor has access to insights gained across the group, and the systems that they have in place to track costs and increase profit margins, can be of huge assistance. If you are looking for business support, a franchise manager can be the one sitting with you telling you that you spent R2 000 too much on cleaning this month or saying you need to wait till next month to make that purchase. The level of business support you will have access to, is an important factor to consider, depending on the level of support you may require.

Recipe for success

Nine times out of ten, a restaurant franchise that fails, fails because the franchisee loses interest or lacks the commitment to make it work. Selecting the best franchise for you as the investor, or as a restaurant entrepreneur, is the most important first step you can take towards success, so do the homework.

Don’t assume that because you are buying into a successful brand that it will be a success – business is not an exact science – you need to do your own due diligence and take responsibility for your business, because it is after all your own investment.

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Company Posts

We Want To Invite You To Join Us On The Hi-Q Journey And Become A Franchisee

As the leader in the tyre replacement and service industry, we are invested in providing our network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.

HI-Q

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Vital Stats

This is an invitation to all innovative entrepreneurs who are seeking new and exciting opportunities – here’s your chance to become part of a winning team.

As the leader in the tyre replacement and service industry, we are invested in providing our network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.

The Hi-Q Way

  • Hi-Q’s been voted the 1 tyre retailer by South African consumers in the Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey from 2010 – 2017.
  • Over the years Hi-Q has established itself as ‘the one you can trust’, with customers, the network and suppliers.
  • Hi-Q prides itself on first-class service, a multi-product/multi-brand offering as well as ground-breaking product innovations such as TyreSurance on all tyre brands.
  • Hi-Q has an extensive network of over 130 franchisees
  • Hi-Q has the support of the Goodyear value proposition.

If you are looking to join a new franchise and you share Hi-Q’s values and vision, please get in touch.

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