If you’re considering whether to buy a franchise or not, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s something you really want to do. While owning your own business can be an exciting and lucrative proposition, buying into an existing business does involve additional complications that may not be immediately obvious.

Here are five important things to consider before buying a franchise.

What Type of Franchise Is Best?

One of the most critical things to consider before buying a franchise is what type of franchise to buy. Franchises come in all shapes and sizes, from education-based franchises to fitness franchises.

When researching franchising opportunities, think about your needs and skills, as well as your long-term goals. Will you grow? How big do you want to get? Do you plan on starting up many locations? These are all things that can be considered when choosing an industry or type of franchise.

How Much Money Do I Need?

One of the best things about buying a franchise is that it provides a low-cost option for people with a limited budget. Franchising provides a great option for people with a low budget such as affordable franchises. The amount of money you need depends on what kind of franchise you want to buy and how much work you’re willing to put into it. If you have an established business, are in good financial shape, and can secure financing, then purchasing an expensive franchise might be within your reach. In general, though, we recommend starting small and keeping your initial investment low so that if needed, you could walk away from your new business without losing too much money. The bottom line: don’t overspend or overextend yourself!

Am I Qualified?

There are often specific requirements that come with buying a franchise. As part of your research, you’ll want to make sure you meet these qualifications. Be aware that there are some things that can be changed, such as your age or lack of experience in a certain field. Make sure you’re ready for what comes with owning and running your own business.

How Much Time Will I Need to Invest?

If you’re thinking about buying a franchise, take time to consider how much time you can realistically invest into it. Franchises for sale may look good on paper, but once you factor in your commute, family obligations and everything else going on in your life, you might find that it just doesn’t work out as well as you thought. Think about your long-term goals when choosing whether or not to buy a franchise. If being able to spend more time with your family is important to you, then franchising probably isn’t going to be right for you—especially if those demands can’t be negotiated.

Do I need prior experience in the industry?

If you have prior experience in an industry you want to buy into, it can help streamline and speed up your decision-making process, as well as make sure you’re entering an industry that will sustain you. If not, do some research and go visit other businesses in your industry. Do what you can to get your mind around whether or not it’s for you. While there are benefits of owning a franchise without any prior experience (you know what business models are working because they already exist), if you need that background knowledge before making an investment like buying a franchise, take some time and build it up first. It will only help later on in building value for your own business.