It’s a dream of millions of Americans: Running your own business. In fact, in 2020, ambitious people launched a record 800,000 new U.S. companies, capping a decade of steady growth in new business starts. That increase in business starts clearly underscores the appeal of being an entrepreneur rather than clocking in as someone else’s employee.

You might be surprised to learn that opening a franchise is one of the most common ways people enter the small business market. However, there is more to franchising than simply paying a fee to an existing company for the right to operate under their name. As attractive as owning a franchise sounds, there are a number of things to consider before making the leap into business ownership.