A franchise is a type of license that a person or organization acquires to allow them to have access to a business's proprietary knowledge, processes and trademarks in order to allow the party to sell a product or provide a service under the business's name. In exchange for gaining the franchise, the franchisee usually pays the franchisor initial start-up and annual fees.


The advantage of a franchise is that you have a ready-made business, complete with the training you need to get started. The disadvantage is that you are usually required to follow strict guidelines set down by the franchisor.


The largest franchise in the world is McDonald’s restaurants. If you own a McDonald’s franchise you have access to a globally recognized name, advertising and product. What you do not have is the right to develop your own menu, make changes to the décor without approval or any of the other myriad of things that regular business owners take for granted.


There are a huge variety of franchises available including a franchise to sell franchises. Some are well thought out with a good track record and some have yet to have a successful location. Buying into a franchise is no where near the sure thing some would have you believe.


For many people, buying a franchise is no different than buying a job with none of the autonomy normally associated with having your own business.