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2009 is predicted to be a boom year for the franchise industry according to specialist consultancy Franchise Development Services (FDS). The company, which publishes The Franchise Magazine and The UK Franchise Directory, reports that during December over 2,000 people registered an interest in owning and operating a franchise through its publications and websites.

'With thousands of people throughout the UK being made redundant and more facing the prospect of losing their livelihoods, many of those fortunate enough to receive redundancy payments or have capital available for investment are expected to give very serious consideration to entering self employment by purchasing a franchise,' says FDS Founder and Chairman Professor Roy Seaman CFE. 'They are examining the facts and discovering that it is easier to start a low overhead business than find a job with a salary comparable to the one that they have lost.'

FDS maintains a database of prospective franchisees in order to match them with specifically requested franchise brands or recommended franchisors from areas of stated interest. While much of 2008 saw a downturn in recorded interest in the franchise sector, which FDS attributes to concerns about falls in the values of people's assets (much of which are tied to the falling housing market), December saw a remarkable turnaround with FDS recording a 100 per cent increase on the same time period in 2007.

'Recession is actually an ideal time to start your own business, especially if you choose the franchise option,' comments Professor Seaman. 'The competition is likely to be weakened in a recession, while simultaneously customers are hungry for products and services that they can trust - this is where nationally recognised franchise brands score heavily against those independently owned and operated. There is also the reassuring fact that very few Franchisors actually go bust.

'In 2009 there is a lower opportunity cost to investing in a franchise: there are few jobs that can be considered secure and there is very little benefit in hanging on and hoping for the best. Major companies are slashing their marketing, which creates opportunities for smaller businesses and franchisees can take the lead through the greater purchasing power, established customer base and market knowhow of their parent franchisors. With over 1,350 franchise brands representing over 200 business categories in the UK, there is a great deal to choose from and you can buy into a genuine Business Format Franchise from as little as £10,000.'


  • 1,361 companies involved in franchising in the UK

  • 16,838 individuals registered interest in buying a franchise in the last 12 months

  • 609 franchisors currently registered as seeking franchisees through The Franchise Magazine and


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