Frequently Asked Questions
Q – What is the FDD and how is it different from the Franchise Agreement?
- As part of the inquiry process, you will be provided a copy of our annual Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). The FDD is a set of 23 disclosures called Items 1-23, the contents of which are mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). These disclosures describe many details about the Epcon Communities Franchise opportunity such as the costs, the obligations of the franchisor and franchisee, and the benefits of the system. The FDD is not a contract. It is similar to a prospectus. Certain states also require additional disclosure language to be included along with the required FTC disclosures. Item 22 contains samples of the contracts which you will likely enter into with us should you be awarded a franchise. The Franchise Agreement is one of those contracts and is an exhibit to the FDD. It is important to note that the Franchise Agreement is in fact a stand-alone document, and is the primary contract that will govern the franchise relationship. Other related contracts may be required, samples of which are also contained in the FDD.
Q – What are the initial / upfront fees?
- Detailed information about the upfront fees associated with an Epcon Communities Franchise are located in Item 5 in the FDD. Please review Item 5 of the FDD for additional information.
Q – What does Epcon provide as support to me once I sign a Franchise Agreement?
- Epcon Communities Franchising exists first and foremost to support our franchisees. Our team of franchising, real estate, and design professionals are here to help our franchisees through the real estate acquisition, site development, construction and sales process. Additionally, our Franchising team has access to the professionals and resources used to design and develop Epcon’s corporately-owned communities in Ohio and North Carolina, so we are collaborating to create, execute and perfect the Epcon vision every day. In addition to the support and collaboration you will receive from Epcon Communities directly, you will also gain access to our many franchisees who can share best practices and unique design resources to help you along the way.Item 11 in the FDD details Epcon’s assistance, advertising, computer systems and training provided to franchisees. To start, you will visit our headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, to meet our team and learn more about the company, what to expect, and next steps. We will also provide you an Operations Manual, and several additional manuals containing information related to the operation of the Epcon Communities Development System. Training programs currently being offered include New Franchisee Orientation, Sales and Marketing Orientation, Construction Training, the Epcon National Conference, additional sales trainings & regional meetings.
Q – Once I commit to a franchise with Epcon, will I have a protected territory or a first right of refusal?
- Item 12 in the FDD contains detailed information on territory rights. Epcon does not offer a first right of refusal but does offer the opportunity to sign Market Area Agreements to protect areas to be developed. At the time the Franchise Agreement is signed, a Market Area Agreement is also signed. The Market Area Agreement is based on population as well as other factors, and protects the geographic area surrounding the project development site that will generate the most purchase support (typically 60%-70%) for the development. Generally speaking, a market area will roughly encompass a radius between 3 and 12 miles from the site, but will take into consideration existing natural and man-made boundaries in the area, as well as other franchisees’ protected market areas.
Q – Does Epcon require me to work full time in the franchise business?
- Item 15 outlines requirements with regard to the obligation to participate in the actual operation of the franchise business. Epcon does NOT require the franchisee to participate personally in a full time capacity in the development and construction of the Epcon Communities development business. Epcon does, however, recommend that an individual with an ownership interest in the company directly participate in the day-to-day operations.
Q – I currently build another residential housing product. Do I have to give up my current business?
- Item 16 details the restrictions on what franchisees may sell. While we do not generally restrict the type of goods or services that a franchisee may offer, we do require that Franchisees not modify the Epcon Communities Development System (except as necessary to comply with building codes and permits, and local, state and federal laws). We also prohibit, except in limited circumstances, the development and construction of residential homes SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR to our architectural plans and specifications for residential dwellings.
Q – How much money can I expect to make by investing in an Epcon Communities Franchise?
- Item 19 contains the Financial Performance Representations pertaining to the Epcon Franchise opportunity. While we do not estimate the revenue or income that a franchisee might realize in the development and marketing of its Epcon Communities project, to enable them to have some understanding of the costs and income they might expect, we provide historical information derived from projects completed during the last year. We highly recommend you speak to our current franchisee builders during your due diligence phase to discuss their business experiences with the Epcon system. We cannot make any financial performance representations other than those contained in Item 19.
Q – May I speak with other Epcon Franchise Builders about their experience?
- Yes, in fact, we encourage you to do so. Exhibit P in the FDD contains a list of all current Franchise Builders, their locations and their phone numbers.
Please note that nothing substitutes for your careful review of the Epcon Communities FDD and we encourage you to carefully review the FDD with an advisor of your choice.