Aviva Directory » Business & Industry » Business Opportunities

This portion of our web guide covers business opportunities, such as packaged business investments, franchises, home-based business schemes, and other entrepreneur ideas.

While franchises are business opportunities, not all business opportunities are franchises. In most cases, the seller of a business opportunity does not maintain control over the buyer's business operation after the sale. Usually, there's no continuing relationship between the seller and the buyer after the sale is completed.

Franchises offer support to franchisees, but this generally comes with detailed specifications that the franchisee must follow. With non-franchise business opportunities, the buyer will purchase a set of equipment or materials, after which he is free to operate the business however he pleases, and under whatever name he desires.

Several states have passed laws defining business opportunities, and regulating their sales. Although these will likely differ from state to state, a business opportunity commonly involves the sale or lease of any product, service, or equipment that will permit the purchaser to begin a business. The licenser or seller of a business opportunity may be required to secure or assist the buyer in finding a suitable location or provide the product to the purchaser or license, and, in some states, the licenser or seller must guarantee an income equal to or greater than the price the licensee or buyer pays for the product when its resold, and that there is a market for the product or service. The seller may also be required to buy back any product that can't be sold to prospective customers.

Types of business opportunities may include distributorships, rack jobbing, and vending machine routes.

A distributor enters into an agreement to sell the product of another without using the manufacturer's trade name as part of the distributor's trade name. A distributor may be limited to selling only the company's goods, or he may have allowed to market several product lines.

Rack jobbing involves selling another company's products through a distribution system of racks in stores that are serviced by the rack jobber. Typically, the buyer enters into an agreement with the parent company to market its goods to various stores through strategically-placed store racks.

Vending machine routes are similar to rack jobbing, but the product is sold through vending machines. The investment is higher because the buyer has to purchase the machines as well as the merchandise sold in them. Typically, the vending machine operator will pay the location owner a percentage of sales.

Franchising is a business opportunity in which the owner (franchiser) of a business system grants to an individual or group of individuals (franchisee) the right to run a business selling a product or offering a service using the franchisor's business system. In this type of system, the franchisee is given the right to use the franchisor's branding and trademarks under specified guidelines. Franchisees are bound to a partnership agreement with the franchisor for a defined period of time. For example, while McDonald's Corporation owns some of its McDonald's restaurant locations, the company has greatly extended its reach by granting franchises throughout the world.

A work-at-home scheme is one in which an individual is recruited, or responds to an advertisement to take on a task, usually as a contractor, that can be performed at home or somewhere outside of a workplace, such as assembly projects, content provision, research, tutoring, pet-sitting, tee-shirt design, or mystery shopping. Often, projected profits from these schemes are exaggerated, and in some cases, they may be outright scams, but some of these advertised work-at-home programs are legitimate, and may even be lucrative.

Other work-at-home opportunities can be undertaken as individual contractors, one-person businesses, or as family operations. Examples include many of those discussed in the previous paragraph, as well as property-watch services, online classes, tutoring, homemade product sales, web design, graphic design, search engine optimization, blogging, photography, freelance writing, and several others, some of which may require licensing or be subject to other regulations.

Sole proprietorships are enterprises owned and operated by a single person, in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sole trader does not necessarily work alone and may employ other people. Sole proprietorships and sole traders receive all of the profits (subject to taxation) and have full responsibility for any losses and debts. Sole proprietorships may use a trade name other than the legal name of the owner, although they may have to trademark business names that differ from their own legal name. Sole proprietors may be required to register their business with local or state authorities.






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