Starting any type of business can be difficult, but starting a franchise business, while providing benefits in the form of brand name and advertising, can present special issues. The path to success in buying a Chick-fil-A franchise requires planning and research.

Scout locations. Look at the proximity to other Chick-fil-A locations, rents and competing restaurants in the area. Study the area demographic by studying recent census information available through county records.

Find out about zoning and licensing regulations for a food business, and choose your business type: sole proprietorship; partnership; LLC; or corporation.

Take a realistic inventory of how much money you can afford to invest in your business and how much you will have to borrow. Write your business plan and include the service/product you intend to supply, how it’s unique in the community, company goals, a three-to-five-year plan, biographies of your management team, a financing plan and an exit strategy.

Visit the Chick-fil-A website and obtain the contact information for the franchise office (see Resources). Ask specific questions about franchise costs and requirements.

Request to meet with (or speak with if you’re too far away) a franchise representative. Bring your research and business plan. Ask to visit with or speak to other franchise owners. Ask them questions about what it is like to work with the company.

Complete the needed paperwork, both for the franchise and the state, pay any associated fees. Obtain your financing. Purchase equipment and goods.

Hire your staff. Set up your store and pass inspection. Set an opening day.