How to Buy a McDonald's Franchise

The "Golden Arches" is one of the most famous and recognizable trademarks in the world. McDonald's open franchises all across the United States and around the world. A McDonald's franchise can be a strong investment if you have the right experience and meet the company's requirements.

Determine if you have access to the financial resources necessary to open a McDonald's restaurant. The total cost of franchise fees, equipment and other startup costs will be at least $500,000 and could be as much as $1.5 million or more. McDonald's requires a minimum 40 percent down payment.

Assess your finances to see if you meet the McDonald's financial requirements for franchise owners. McDonald's requires franchise owners to have substantial financial resources, including $100,000 in liquidable assets.

See if you meet the experience requirements. McDonald's requires franchise owners to have previous experience in fast food service management, general business and marketing.

Do some homework to see how McDonald's franchises perform in your area. McDonald's provides you with similar information, but you'll want do get some of your own facts. It's also a good idea to talk to an accountant, a business adviser and a franchise attorney before making any final decisions on a franchise commitment.

Be prepared to commit to a 20-year franchise agreement with McDonald's. This agreement is renewable at the end of the 20-year period at the cost of the original franchise fee.

Plan to be an owner and operator. Unlike some franchises, McDonald's does not allow you to be an absentee owner. If you own a franchise, you must be actively involved in its operation. This, however, does not mean you cannot simultaneously operate several McDonald's at one time. Most McDonald's franchise owners own more than one franchise.

Go to the McDonald's website, click on "Corporate McDonald's" at the bottom of the page and then "Franchising" at the top. From there, click on "Application" to begin the approval process.

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