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franchise, in government, a right specifically conferred on a group or individual by a government, especially the privilege conferred by a municipality on a corporation of operating public utilities, such as electricity, telephone, and bus services. Franchises may not be revoked without the consent of the grantee unless so stipulated in the contract. They may, however, be forfeited by the grantee's violation of terms, and the government may take back granted rights by eminent domain proceedings with tender of just compensation. Franchise provisions usually include tenure; compensation to the grantor; the services, rates, and extensions; labor and strike regulations; capitalization; and reversion to the grantor.

The term franchise also refers to a type of business in which a group or individual receives a license from a corporation to conduct a commercial enterprise. Corporate franchises enable a franchisee to market a well-known product or service in return for an initial fee and a percentage of gross receipts. The franchiser usually provides assistance with merchandising and advertising. Major franchise networks, which have grown rapidly in the United States since the 1960s, include fast-food restaurants, gasoline stations, motels, automobile dealerships, and real-estate agencies, and the system has expanded into many other fields.

In politics, the franchise is the right conferred on an individual to vote. In the United States, the states, with some restrictions by the U.S. Constitution, govern the qualifications of voters. By the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, states were forbidden to deny suffrage to male residents over 21 years of age “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The Nineteenth Amendment conferred suffrage upon women, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age to 18. See voting.


See C. Williamson, American Suffrage from Property to Democracy, 1760–1860 (1960, repr. 1968); C. L. Vaughn, Franchising (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


1. the right to vote, esp for representatives in a legislative body; suffrage
2. any exemption, privilege, or right granted to an individual or group by a public authority, such as the right to use public property for a business
3. Commerce authorization granted by a manufacturing enterprise to a distributor to market the manufacturer's products
4. the full rights of citizenship
5. Films a film that is or has the potential to be part of a series and lends itself to merchandising
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Clause 4.9 of the franchise bid document provides that where the franchisee is not a substantial company in its own right, the performance of the franchise agreement must be guaranteed, in addition to the originally required bank security, by a suitable third party in the form provided in schedule 6 of the bid document.
The Taiwanese agreement follows the April deal between IWG and TKP in respect of the divestment of IWG's Japanese operations and related franchise agreement.
The court has personal jurisdiction over defendants because they maintained sufficient minimum contacts with Virginia and entered into a franchise agreement by which they agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of this court.
It added its employees in charge of franchise agreements explain the contract terms in detail to those who want to open Subway stores.
The signing of this franchise agreement is a continuation of Sumo Sushi & Bento's ambitious growth plans, both nationally and regionally.
"We are pleased with this ruling that will provide reassurance to the pharmacist-owners affiliated with our network as to their franchise agreements and regarding the value of the goods and services they receive," Coutu president and chief executive officer Francois Coutu stated.
In order to execute the franchise agreement, the purchaser has agreed to pay an upfront signing fee of EUR 45,000 and EUR 25,000 as prepayment of the 2.5% annual royalty for the year to June 2017.
The franchise agreement with Tablez marks Famous Dave's first outlets outside North America, with the chain currently present in the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
The Beirut-based Azadea Group entered a franchise agreement with Gap in 2012 and launched the first stores in Lebanon in August of that year.
Various business associations spoke out against the measure, including the Los Angeles County Disposal Association, which argued the city shouldn't set up the exclusive franchise districts, and that non-exclusive franchise agreement could achieve the same goals without potentially putting smaller haulers out of business.
Summary: Master franchise agreement with US hospitality chain will see 20 hotels built over the next five years
New Delhi, June 12 -- Anytime Fitness, the world's largest co-ed chain of health clubs, has signed a master franchise agreement for India with New Delhi-based House of Fitness Pvt.