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FASTFRAME Franchise Complaints

FASTFRAME claims to be the “largest and fastest-growing” picture framing franchise in the world.

If true, FASTFRAME franchise growth must be coming from outside the U.S.

Since 2008, the FASTFRAME franchise chain has shrunk in the U.S. by 135 franchises… from 300 in 2008 to 165 in 2012.

FASTFRAME franchise owners have an outrageously high 45% SBA loan default rate, according to a Small Business Administration report.

Are you familiar with the FASTFRAME franchise? 

If so, please share your experience, opinions or insights with a comment below.

Yet despite its seemingly abysmal failure rate, FASTFRAME not only continues to market its franchise opportunity, it uses “high profit margins” and franchise support as main selling points. 

According to the FASTFRAME franchise website:

…Providing quality service to our franchisees is the key to our success…

We strive to provide each Franchisee with an all inclusive and uncomplicated process whereby they can easily become a part of this profitable and very enjoyable business.

Data released by the Small Business Administration (SBA) indicates that FASTFRAME franchise owners who qualified for SBA-backed franchise loans have an outrageously high loan failure rate of 45%.

That earns FASTFRAME a spot in’s list of WORST FRANCHISES IN AMERICA (by SBA loan defaults)

FASTFRAME franchise owners have an outrageous 45% SBA default rate.

The apparent drop in FASTFRAME franchises in recent years is also a franchise red flag.

FASTFRAME Franchise  
FASTFRAME U.S. franchises in 2008: 300
FASTFRAME U.S. franchises in 2012: 165
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2012 (#) -135
Growth in franchise units 2008 – 2012 (%): -45%
SBA loans granted since 2001: 82
SBA loan failure rate: 45%
Sources: Entrepreneur  (growth), Coleman report (SBA)  

The inability to repay an SBA-backed loan (or any franchise loan, for that matter) indicates a serious situation for the franchisee. 

It’s likely that FASTFRAME franchise owners who received SBA loans may have collateralized their franchise loan with their homes or other personal assets, and many were unable to repay those franchise loans… despite the serious incentive to do so.

Are you familiar with the FASTFRAME franchise opportunity?

What do you think accounts for the SBA loan failure rate of FASTFRAME franchise owners?

What steps should FASTFRAME be taking to stop further franchise failures?

Has FASTFRAME and CEO Brian Harper taken serious action to address the problems that led to these loan failures?

Please share a comment (anonymous is fine) or Contact

If you are a FASTFRAME franchise representative or employee, please feel free to leave a comment or email us at UnhappyFranchisee[at]



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2 thoughts on “FASTFRAME Franchise Complaints

  • anon anon

    I’m in the same industry as Fastframe. I have had little contact with them, but it was pretty powerful. Several years ago they called me a few times, starting out by saying it was a courtesy call. They said they wished to purchase my business for an amount equal the net income of the past two years or else they would open up next to me. At that time I looked into their operation to be prepared for the new competition. This showed me that they believe many existing shop owners run their businesses inefficiently and there was a real growth opportunity by buying up existing shops on the cheap and improving their operations to increase profits. They may have had a point in that many shop owners are in it because they love crafting items with their own hands more than they love running a business. But still, the barriers to opening up are so very low that it doesn’t make sense to purchase a business.

    I think some of their trouble comes from their name being a bit of a misnomer. The name Fastframe implies a promise of fast delivery. They do stock a small selection of frames in house to make in custom sizes, but the majority of their offerings are ordered in after the sale and it blows out their turn around time to the industry standard two weeks.

    There just isn’t any reason to get into this industry via a franchise. There is no large investment required. Technical education is readily available. There is no real bonus of brand recognition.

  • anonymous

    Reply to “Anon Anon” – As an owner of a FASTFRAME franchise I can tell you that the typical turn around time for our store is less than a week, regardless of having to order Moulding. We are careful to offer a large selection that cab be sourced within 2 to 3 days to avoid the typical frame shop two week turnaround. We also stock 30 mouldings.

    However, nothing that is being done is mandated by the franchise and I agree with this response overall – many FASTFRAMEs have gone under, the royalty is very high, if I had to do it again I would not use the Franchise.

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