Franchise Business

Franchise Business-Overview

A franchise business is a method of expanding a business and distributing goods and services through a licensing arrangement. In this system, a franchisor (the original business owner) licenses its operations, branding, and products to independent operators (franchisees) who then run their businesses under the franchise’s name.

Types of Franchise Businesses

Franchises can be classified into several categories based on their business models and industries:

  1. Product Distribution Franchises: These franchises focus on distributing the franchisor’s products. The franchisee sells the products and uses the trademark but operates their own business independently. Examples include car dealerships and beverage distributors.
  2. Business Format Franchises: This is the most common type. It involves not just the product, service, and trademark but the entire business format including marketing, operations manuals, quality control, and training. Examples include fast-food chains, hotels, and fitness centers.
  3. Manufacturing Franchises: In this model, the franchisor allows the franchisee to manufacture products using its brand name and trademark, common in industries like food and beverage manufacturing.
  4. Management Franchises: Franchisees manage the business on behalf of the franchisor. Examples include car rental agencies and cleaning services.
  5. Investment Franchises: These require substantial capital investment, with the franchisee mainly overseeing operations rather than being involved in daily management. Examples include hotels and large restaurants.

Franchise Business Models

Franchise business models are diverse, catering to different levels of investment and involvement:

  1. Single-Unit Franchise: The franchisee owns and operates one franchise unit. This model suits newcomers to franchising or those who prefer to start on a smaller scale.
  2. Multi-Unit Franchise: The franchisee owns and operates multiple units of the franchise. This model is ideal for those with more capital and experience, offering greater revenue potential.
  3. Area Development Franchise: The franchisee agrees to open a specified number of units within a defined area over a set period. This requires substantial capital and experience.
  4. Master Franchise: The franchisee has the rights to open and operate franchises and can also sell franchises to other people within a specific territory. This model is common for international expansion.
  5. Sub-Franchising: Similar to master franchising, the main franchisee (sub-franchisor) can sell and support franchises in a particular area, often used for larger territories and international markets.

Specific Franchise Ownership Models

  1. Franchise Owned, Franchise Operated (FOFO): In this model, the franchisee owns and operates the business. The franchisee bears the cost and responsibility of running the day-to-day operations.
  2. Company Owned, Company Operated (COCO): Here, the franchisor owns and operates the outlets. This model is often used to maintain tighter control over operations and standards.
  3. Franchise Owned, Company Operated (FOCO): The franchisee owns the outlet, but the franchisor manages the daily operations. This model is less common but can be useful when the franchisee prefers to be an investor rather than an operator.
  4. Company Owned, Franchise Operated (COFO): The franchisor owns the business, but the franchisee is responsible for its operations. This model combines company ownership with franchisee management expertise.

Revenue Sharing Structure

Revenue sharing in franchises typically includes several components:

  1. Initial Franchise Fee: An upfront payment for the rights to operate the franchise using the franchisor’s brand and system.
  2. Royalty Fees: Ongoing payments made by the franchisee to the franchisor, usually a percentage of gross sales, typically ranging from 5% to 10%.
  3. Advertising Fees: Contributions to a collective advertising fund, usually a percentage of gross sales, typically around 1% to 3%.
  4. Other Fees: These can include training fees, renewal fees, and technology fees, depending on the franchise agreement.

Pros and Cons of Franchising


  • Established Brand: Franchisees benefit from the franchisor’s established brand and customer base.
  • Training and Support: Franchisors provide comprehensive training and ongoing support.
  • Proven Business Model: Franchises offer a tested business model, reducing the risk of failure.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Franchisees benefit from national and regional advertising campaigns.
  • Economies of Scale: Franchisees can leverage the franchisor’s purchasing power for supplies and inventory.


  • Initial and Ongoing Costs: High initial fees and ongoing royalty and advertising fees.
  • Limited Creativity: Franchisees must adhere to the franchisor’s established methods and policies, limiting business creativity.
  • Performance Dependence: The success of the franchisee is closely tied to the franchisor’s brand and performance.
  • Contractual Obligations: Franchise agreements can be restrictive and legally binding for long periods.
  • Shared Profits: A significant portion of the revenue goes to the franchisor through various fees.


Franchise businesses provide a way for entrepreneurs to start a business with the support of an established brand and system. However, they require significant initial investment, adherence to strict operational guidelines, and ongoing payments to the franchisor. The success of a franchise largely depends on the franchisee’s management skills and the continued strength of the franchisor’s brand.