Detailed Estimates of Cruise Planners Franchise Costs Based on Item 7 (Estimated Initial Investment) of Cruise Planners’ 2013 Franchise Disclosure Document
1. Initial Franchise Fee: $495 to $9,995
- Amounts payable to the franchisor are non-refundable, except that if you have not attended the initial training, the franchisor may refund, at its discretion, up to 35% of the initial franchise fee if you want to terminate your franchise agreement and sign the company’s standard form of general release.
- No estimate has been made for rent and other office equipment because most franchisees work from their homes and do not incur these costs.
- The initial franchise fee is $9,995 for an Inexperienced Travel Agent; $3,200 for a Minor Experienced Travel Agent; and $495 for a Major Experienced Travel Agent.
- Inexperienced Travel Agent: No previous travel agent experience.
- Minor Experienced Travel Agent: Holder of an International Air and Travel Agent Network (IATAN) card or a Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) certificate or travel sales experience the franchisor deems satisfactory and appropriate for intermediate experience coupled with at least $5,000 in earned commissions for the last calendar year or other sales or other experience the franchisor feels suitable for an intermediate experienced agent.
- Major Experienced Travel Agent: Holder of an IATAN card or a CLIA certificate and travel sales experience the franchisor deems satisfactory and appropriate for a high level of experience coupled with at least $100,000 of travel sales during the previous 12 months or at least $5,000 in earned commissions for the last calendar year or other sales or other experience the franchisor feels suitable for a high level experienced agent.
- The first year’s Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance premium (currently $150 per person per year) is also included in the initial franchise fee.
- The franchisor assumes you have no associates when you begin, so there is no additional $150 E&O Insurance premium charged for associates.
2. Application and Processing Fee for Financing: $0 to $200
- If you apply for financing for a portion of the initial franchise fee, you must pay the franchisor a non-refundable application and processing fee of $200 at the time you apply for financing.
3. Rent (3 months): $0 to $3,000
- The franchisor encourages you to operate from your home, in which case you will not incur any rental expenses. However, if you choose to operate from a small office space, you will need approximately 500 to 700 square feet. Lease costs will vary based upon square footage, cost per square foot, and required maintenance costs.
- The franchisor assumes the landlord will require the first month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent.
- You also have the option to rent a day office. The cost of a day office ranges from $25 per hour to $150 per 8-hour day.
4. Office Equipment, Furniture, and Fixtures: $500 to $2,500
- The office equipment you will need includes a phone system, cell phone, and paper shredder. This estimate includes the computer system, fax capability, Internet access, and an email account.
- You may need to purchase typical office equipment, such as a desk, chair, filing cabinets, and fax machine. Additional chairs range from $10 to $100 each. You are not required to have more than 1 chair and 1 desk during the initial phase of your business.
- The low end assumes you already have any items that would be necessary to conduct your business. The franchisor assumes you have no associates when you begin, so there is no technology fee.
5. Start-Up Marketing: $500 to $1,500
6. Professional Fees: $100 to $500
- You may wish to retain an attorney and accountant to help you evaluate this franchise offering and to form a business entity. These fees can vary greatly depending on the rates charged by the professionals you choose.
7. Initial Training Fee: $0 to $495
- This estimate assumes for the low end that you do not have any associates to train and on the high end that you only have 1 associate to train when you start with the system.
- The franchisor does not charge a separate training fee for your initial training if you are an Inexperienced or Minor Experienced Travel Agent. If you are a Major Experienced Travel Agent, the franchisor charges $495 for your initial training. It also charges $495 for the initial training of your associates.
- Training fees do not include hotel accommodations.
8. Initial Training Expenses: $0 to $150
- Estimate includes costs for incidentals (phone calls, some meals, snacks, tips, etc.).
- If you have paid the franchisor the initial franchise fee of $9,995 for a new travel agent, the franchisor will either reimburse up to $500 after training is completed towards the lowest coach fare for one airline ticket purchased at least 14 days prior to the travel date or, if air travel is not required to attend initial training, the franchisor will issue a $250 credit. (The 14-day purchase requirement is waived for franchise purchases made within that 14-day window.)
- Hotel accommodations are also provided.
- For other persons you wish the franchisor to train for you, you pay for any additional expenses such as lodging, airfare, and meals.
9. Licenses and Permits: $150 to $650
- This is the estimated cost of the permits and licenses that you must have to operate your Business.
10. Miscellaneous Opening Costs: $100 to $500
- This estimate includes other deposits, utility costs, banks/credit card companies, leased equipment vendors, alarm, Internet, communication costs, and telephone company.
11. Additional Funds (3 months): $250 to $2,500
- This estimate includes payroll, debt service, and miscellaneous day-to-day expenses. In addition, the franchisor recommends you have sufficient additional funds to cover one year’s living expenses.
- The estimate of additional funds is an estimate only of the funds needed for opening expenses and working capital to operate for 3 months after opening.
- The franchisor based this estimate on the business experience of its management personnel and its operating history of 19 years.
- The estimate of additional funds does not include any allowance for an owner’s draw or operating losses after the initial phase.
12. Total: $2,095 to $22,490