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Frequently Asked Questions

What services do Criterium franchisees provide to their clients?
Criterium Engineers is the nation's leading authority on existing buildings, having inspected or consulted on over 800,000 of them. Typical services include building inspections, property condition assessments and real estate due diligence, reserve studies, environmental site assessments, construction monitoring, insurance investigations, litigation support, structural evaluations, and repair design for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. In addition, Criterium Engineers provides new construction services such as constructability reviews and construction monitoring.

How much money can I expect to make?
The answer to that question is largely up to you. There is no ceiling on the size of the business. Soem offices do extremely well in their first year. Others may take a little longer. if you are goal-oriented and committed to success, you may be able to equal or exceed our top performers.

In Section 19 of our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), a table summarizes the earnings potential based on the performance of existing offices.

In our industry, market sales are difficult to find; therefore we define and determine market share as revenues per capita (annual gross receipts devided by population). An affiliate with receipts of $600,000 and a territory population of 1 million people will have a $0.60 market share.Among our existing affiliates, the market share range is from $0.02 to $1.61 per capita, with an average of $0.20 per capita. Our top affiliates average $0.73 per capita.

Please call or write for your copy of our FDD today.

How do you decide the size of my territory?
Each territory is negotiated with the prospective franchisee. Our objective is to define an area with sufficient population to support a healthy office, without being so large that the marketing efforts will not be effective. This typically is defined by a population of between 250,000 and 1.5 million people and/or a driving radius of one hour.

Can I provide other services not included in the franchise agreement?
The franchise agreement requires a full-time effort in the business. Certain nonengineering business activities are permitted, provided that they do not conflict with the consulting business. If you want to provide consulting services other than those typically provided by a Criterium office, you may be permitted to do so on a limited basis. Please call to discuss these options.

Can I operate the business part-time? From my home?
You may start the business on a part-time basis and operate out of your home, but only for a limited and predetermined period of time, generally not to exceed one year. Ultimately, each Criterium Engineers office must be staffed on a full-time basis and operate from a professional office environment.

Can't I do this myself without paying a franchise fee?
Many engineers start their own consulting firms. Some succeed; up to 80% fail according to the Wall Street Journal. The franchise concept is successful because it increases your chances for success. We'll be here through the phases of business growth but especially during the critical first 20 months. Learn from those who have come before you. Take advantage of time-tested systems that are already in place. Be in business for yourself, not by yourself.

What if I find out that this business is not for me?
By the time you are awarded a franchise, we hope to have minimized the risk that you will be unhappy in the business. As long as you are current on all your obligations, however, there is nothing to prevent you from simply selling or closing your business. We have even created a "no-fault divorce" provision in our franchise agreement if, for any reason, you are unhappy with the support from Criterium Engineers.

Have any local Criterium franchises failed?
Even with the advantages of the franchise, we cannot guarantee your success. Too many factors within your control will determine your ultimate success. On average, about 2 percent of all existing Criterium franchises close each year. Most closings occur for personal reasons not related to the franchise. Others have to do with the business directly. Our Franchise Disclosure Document describes the office closings in each of the last three years.

What does a franchise cost? The franchise fee is currently $34,500. We will provide financing for a portion of that if you qualify. The fee includes an approximate supply of the first year's printed materials and some other direct costs. On an ongoing basis, you will pay us a service fee of 6 percent of your gross receipts each month, plus an additional 1 percent communications fee.

What does the franchise fee cover? The franchise fee entitles you to share in the name and identity developed by Criterium Engineers. You receive complete training in the methods and systems of our business, software, manuals, forms, professionally developed marketing materials, referrals from national accounts, access to group programs like insurance, technical support, and the right to work with some of the best engineers in the country. For more details on these services, consult this site and our Franchise Disclosure Document. We encourage comparison with any other franchise, and with the overhead any business would incur for these very same resources. We are confident that you will find excellent value in the Criterium Engineers system.