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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 ?
Despite the availability of the remedies, franchisees must realize that the ability to sue franchisors is only a right of action and does not guarantee recovery from the franchisor.
The recent Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 was enacted in response to media coverage regarding the exploitation of vulnerable workers in large franchise systems and introduced potential liability for franchisors for their franchisees' breaches of Australian workplace laws.
A: The franchisor's capability to support its franchisees and the quality of support that it gives spell a big difference in ensuring the success of the franchise business.
Through this award, Franchise Business Review annually recognizes franchisors with the highest overall franchisee satisfaction.
It's our goal to bring in franchisees of high caliber, who are motivated to grow with us as we reach the pinnacle of the industry.
The basic philosophy of McDonald' was that by charging less than market value for new franchises, (1) a long-term relationship with franchisees would be established (rather than focusing on short-term profits), (2) new franchises could maximize their prosperity by avoiding becoming saddled with debt and (3) the number of franchise applicants would remain high.
Another important benefit to franchisors is that they won't have to spend time teaching new franchisees the ropes.
Under the agreement, franchisees are independent contractors who operate the business as their own subject to the quality and operational standards laid down by RCSI.
When considering whether to take the plunge, obtain a copy of the franchisor's disclosure document (which outlines the most important characteristics a successful franchisee is likely to have).
With over 800 franchises nationwide, JAN-PRO offers internal financing programs for minority franchisees. We also encourage the development of cleaning contracts with facilities located within inner city cores.
Whether an emerging or mature brand, you should always focus on driving operational efficiency, lowering overhead cost and driving value to your franchisees and customers.