Franchisees generally want an exclusive territory that is protected from encroachment by other franchisees or the franchisor’s company owned stores. Unfortunately franchisees are often under the mistaken belief they have an "exclusive territory" when they really don’t.

You must consider whether the franchisor has reserved rights that could cause encroachment or competition from the franchisor, other franchisees or even other companies the franchisor may acquire in the future.

Further, franchisors may have a Web site where it conducts online retailing but franchisees are not permitted to conduct online retailing themselves.  Do you really have an exclusive territory if the franchisor conducts sales online? If the franchisor’s online sales are significant, it could potentially divert customers away from the franchisee.

So don’t gloss over the territory provisions in the FDD or franchise agreement. If you are told that you have an exclusive territory when meeting with the franchisor’s representatives you better make sure that is actually the case.