Motorcycles are the preferred mode of transportation for many young adults. In order to get a motorcycle dealer franchise, you will need to initially decide whether you want to go directly through the company or through a franchise list broker. You will also need to possess motivation and good communication skills to succeed in the business.

Step 1.

Research the motorcycle-manufacturing companies and compare with the demand trends in your locality. Analyze your competitors and check out if there are any obvious missing products or services they could be offering. Try to come up with an improved strategy, which will serve as your core competency. A motorcycle dealership could offer complimentary driving lessons for new bike owners, for example, and capitalize on first-time buyers.

Step 2.

Make a list of possible manufacturers and contact each of them or the franchise list broker. Compare your possible profit margins, regulations, and agreements that you need to meet. Choose a manufacturer based on potential profit, quality of the brand, franchising costs, and your personal preferences.

Step 3.

Contact the chosen manufacturer or broker and request the franchise information. Review it carefully and become familiar with the terms and conditions. Check if you will be able to meet all requirements.

Step 4.

Set up a suitable location to open your dealer franchise. It must be an area that your supplier will find good enough to open the franchise. In most of the cases, franchisers will conduct their own market study for the location and confirm the best location for you.

Step 5.

Create a business plan that includes your mission and vision statements, startup and operating expenses, projected revenues, funding alternatives, and ways to make profits and attract more customers. Assess your funding requirements and alternatives. This type of business requires large capital investments, and you will need to approach a bank with a proper business plan in hand to obtain a loan. A Harley-Davidson dealership, for example, requires a $2 million net worth and $1 million in liquid assets to obtain the dealership franchise. If necessary, you can also purchase an existing dealership to lower your start-up expenses. However, you should be mindful of the financial standing of the dealership, and only purchase if it has realistic potential to make a profit.

Step 6.

Obtain all necessary licenses and permits to start a business in your locality, by checking with your local government licensing offices. You may need legal permits from your municipality to open a motorcycle dealership.

Step 7.

Complete the franchise application paperwork with the company. Negotiate the terms. Submit your application and wait for the results from the company. Consult a lawyer before sending in the application to prevent any misunderstandings with the franchiser or to pick out discrepancies in the contract.


Take your time and shop around for different types of dealerships, because once you’re locked into a contract it may be too costly to get out.