A: There is a standard franchise fee of $20,000 for your first store. If you are a current GNC employee the fee is reduced $15,000. As a five-star member of Vetfran, we offer a special incentive program for honorably discharged U.S. military veterans that reduces the fee to $15,000.
Q: How much money do I need to have to be considered?
A: For initial financial approval, you will need to provide three months of current financial statements showing at least $240,000 in liquid assets.
Q: I’m concerned about sending my personal information to GNC. How can I be sure it is protected?
A: Here is our Privacy Statement. Your privacy is as important to us as it is to you. We treat your personal information with the highest level of integrity and responsibility. As part of the franchise application process, we partner with Box to provide the highest industry standards for security, encryption, and compliance so you can share your data with confidence.
Q: What is the total investment needed to become a franchise operator and what is included?
A: Although it varies, the initial investment can be as low as ~$200,000. Be advised that this is only an estimate and it largely depends on construction costs that will be unique to your store. Aside from the construction costs, the total investment includes the franchise fee, signage, opening inventory, and any promotional materials.
Q: Will GNC offer me direct financing?
A: No, it is of utmost importance that any applicant meet the minimum liquidity requirement in order to be considered.
Q: Will GNC check my credit score?
A: Yes, to be financially approved a credit check is required. The minimum credit score in order to be considered is 670 and you must have at least 2 years of U.S. credit history.
Q: What is the royalty fee?
A: 6% of gross sales. This is exclusive of any sales tax and documented refunds.
Q: Am I responsible for my own advertising?
A: Yes, we will partner with you to help you execute local marketing strategies focused on driving traffic to your store. In addition, you will contribute 3% of your gross sales in support of the company’s national advertising campaigns.
Q: How much money should I expect to make?
A: Your earnings capability will depend on several factors. As in any business venture, there is no guarantee of success or profitability. However, we do come alongside you and provide you with the support you need every step of the way. Item 19 in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) provides the only earnings claim we are allowed by law to make.
Q: Does GNC hold the lease with the landlord?
A: No, you will be required to sign the lease directly with the landlord. However, you may consult with our seasoned real estate team to identify the right location for you and to discuss any future plans for expansion.
Q: Will there be a protected territory around my location where no other GNC stores would be permitted to open?
A: At our discretion, you may be offered a protected territory under the specific terms of your franchise agreement.
Q: Do I purchase inventory exclusively from GNC?
A: You will purchase nearly all inventory and supplies that are necessary to operate your business directly from us, from our affiliates, or from our suppliers.
Q: Can I sell my GNC store to someone else?
A: Yes, as long as we approve of the transaction you may be permitted to sell your store to a qualified buyer. A transfer fee will be assessed and we always have the right of first refusal to match any offer you receive.
Q: What is the initial term of the franchise agreement?
A: The initial franchise agreement is for five years, but it may be prorated based on lease expiration. Our current policy is that the franchise agreement may be renewed at our discretion. There is no limit on the number of times a franchise agreement can be renewed.
Q: Can you provide me with a copy of the GNC franchise agreement?
A: We do not share our franchise agreement until we move further along in the process. Once we mutually agree that it makes sense for us to proceed based on our requirements and your goals, we will be happy to provide you with our most recent Franchise Disclosure Document. This document includes the franchise agreement as well as additional detail that will be valuable to you as you consider the opportunity.
Q: What does the process of becoming a franchise operator for GNC entail?
A: Once your application is approved, we will schedule some time to answer any questions you have about our Franchise Disclosure Document and begin the process of reviewing your business plan for the store. If there is not a specific store you have been approved for, we will work with you to identify the right opportunity for you. Once we feel comfortable with your plans for the business and we agree that it makes sense for us to partner together, we will finalize your franchise agreement and get you started with your training. After that, we'll help you get your store open for business.
Q: I'm ready to go, how do I get started?
A: If you would like to see if franchising with GNC would be a good fit for you, please fill out the interest profile located here. If you are ready to apply, please complete the application here.
Q: How do I learn more about the GNC Franchise Opportunity?
A: First, carefully review this site. If you would like additional information or have specific questions, email or write our GNC Corporate office.
Address: GNC International Business Development,
300 Sixth Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Q: What characteristics represent GNC's ideal franchise candidate?
A: The ideal franchise candidate will be awarded a Master Franchise Arrangement to develop and grow the GNC brand, and provide a meaningful omni-channel experience to customers within their market(s) through various channels including, but not limited to GNC branded locations, distribution points located in alternative sales channels and e-commerce. The ideal franchisee should be a financially secure corporation or sole proprietor capable to properly invest in growing the GNC brand and meeting the terms and obligations to market and develop GNC in their territory.
Q: How much is the total investment needed to secure an International Development agreement with GNC?
A: Developing GNC through GNC branded retail stores, other distribution channels, and online throughout a country requires substantial investment. Although it varies, typically the initial investment is upwards of $35 Million (U.S. dollars).*
*Estimate only. Amounts vary by market. Estimate includes franchise fees, capex, leases(s), staffing, opening inventory, etc.
Q: What is the ongoing royalty fee?
A: The royalty fee is currently 5% of your monthly gross sales (across all channels).
Q: Am I given any territorial protection?
A: You will be awarded an exclusive protected territory under the terms of your Franchise Development Agreement for GNC stores and offline distribution. All online rights, both dot com and marketplaces, are non-exclusive.
Q: What form of continuing operational guidance will I receive?
A: You will receive GNC's international franchise operations manual to help you with day-to-day operations. You will also be assigned a dedicated Market Manager to help with business analysis and market development, product selection and inventory management, retail sales, and operational field support. In addition, GNC also provides guidance and resources for your ongoing marketing training and other business needs.
Q: Can I sell my GNC franchise?
A: Yes. Like any other business, you can sell your stores to a buyer approved by the company. There is a transfer fee for administrative, legal, and training expenses that affect the transfer, and the company has the right to match any offer you receive. GNC must approve all sales, transfers of interest, and ownership structure changes.
Q: As a Master Franchisee, what are my marketing and advertising obligations?
A: You are required to spend at least 3% of your gross sales on marketing and advertising to promote the GNC brand in your market(s).
Q: What levels of insurance do I need as a Master Franchisee?
A: You must have comprehensive general liability insurance, including product liability, contractual liability, personal injury, property damage and independent contractor’s in the amount of $2M per occurrence, and aggregate, or a primary policy in the amount of $1M per occurrence, and aggregate, and naming GNC and its Affiliates as an additional insureds in each such policy or policies.
Q: What type of organizational structure do you recommend for effective market development?
A: There are critical functions necessary for your business to succeed in this industry. Our most successful partners typically have a single General Manager with an Operations Team (Supply Chain, Field, Training, E-comm, etc.) and a Support Team (Product Development, Marketing, Packaging, HR, Finance, etc.).
*Our partners are also required to obey the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and attend periodic training.