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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 ?
Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 330 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
While selecting a franchise system can be challenging, the freedom, the potential financial gain and the opportunity to open a business that allows you to pursue your passion can be incredibly rewarding.
The basic objection of franchisors is the fact that some franchisees can discuss their negative experiences but we counter by saying, no franchise system is perfect.
Target: 57 US quick service restaurants in the Wendy's franchise system
Some are beginning to wonder whether the franchise system remains relevant.
Now we have used this knowledge as a basis of our franchise system," Stangl states.
A franchise system would involve selecting waste haulers through a bidding process to collect garbage in set zones across the city.
Add up the costs of running the entire franchise system and you would have enough money to give us free rail travel in Wales for a year.
This part of an article reviewed the main phases and elements of franchise system development, however a deeper analysis of each of the elements is needed for the development of theoretical franchise system development model.
The commission has now recommended the Department for Transport (DfT) introduce a greater degree of flexibility in the franchise system or the procurement of leased rolling stock in an effort to achieve a greater degree of choice in carriages for train companies.
A group of six local investors recently acquired the Utah-based Taco Maker franchise system from its original founder and owner, Gil L.
Ramada Franchise Systems Inc., a unit of Cendant Corporation (NYSE:CD) that currently operates the Ramada franchise system in the United States, has completed its acquisition of rights to franchise Ramada hotels in Canada.