From their website:
“With 4,500 offices in 2013, Liberty is currently the third largest tax franchise company in the world.”
Liberty Tax Services founder and CEO, John Hewitt, is a recognized name in the tax and accounting world. Hewitt is the founder of two top tax preparation firms, and was a former H&R Block regional director. Accounting Today magazine has yearly named him one of the accounting profession’s top 100 most influential people.
If you’re a franchisee of a company that has a CEO with huge name recognition, it’s definitely a plus.
(Disclosure: The franchisor I was with had a contract with Liberty Tax Services, so they were in our portfolio of companies that we were allowed to present to our franchise candidates.)
I met John Hewitt when I was a franchise broker. He spoke at one of my franchisors’ national meetings.
I wasn’t impressed with Hewitt at all…and the thing is-I was hoping to be…because I love hearing smart people speak. I love learning from people that have “made it.”
But, in Hewitt’s case, there was something about him that just didn’t “feel” right to me. Maybe it was how he came across…his persona. I really don’t remember him saying anything specific in his presentation that turned me off-nothing like that. I just didn’t get good vibes from the guy. And, I always trust my intuition. Always.
Liberty (like most tax preparation franchises) is a low-investment franchise business opportunity.
According to their franchise website, the investment for one franchise office ranges from $56,800-$69,900. (Add some working capital to that figure, as it’s not included in the start-up costs that are listed.)
In addition, there are a limited number of Area Development opportunities. If you’re looking to own and control an entire area, and you fancy the idea of receiving a portion of the both the up-front franchise fees and continuing royalties, it’s an option that you may want to explore.
Liberty Tax Services franchisees deliver tax preparation services-but supposedly don’t have to have tax experience themselves. But, they should be good managers of people. That’s because franchisees have a lot of employees during tax season.
Pros: 4500 offices in the US and Canada; Liberty Tax Services is a real player in the tax preparation franchise niche. This low-investment opportunity offers a truly seasonal business. When it’s not tax season, your office has very limited hours. The world is yours during these times.
Cons: This is a pretty crowded niche. In addition, the pool of employees may be limited…especially high-quality ones. If mistakes are made on a client’s tax form, you (as the franchisee) are liable.
Finally, just because I didn’t have a good feel for Hewitt, doesn’t mean that you will. It also doesn’t mean that he’s a bad guy. Remember; any franchise opportunity that you’re looking into requires serious research…good due diligence.
So do it.
What has your experience been with the Liberty Tax Services franchise?
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"I was pretty focused on a particular franchise opportunity when I reached out to Joel Libava. In the course of a 1-hour conversation, Joel was able to ask questions and provide direct advice to help clarify the process for me and help guide me through the next steps in my vetting process. He even put me in contact with other professionals who were able to help educate me further in my particular industry. The time and money were well spent."
-Brian Grayson, Cincinnati