Types of Franchise Arrangements

Because so many franchisors, industries and range of investments are possible, there are different types of franchise arrangements available to a business owner.
 
SINGLE-UNIT (DIRECT-UNIT) FRANCHISE
A single-unit (direct-unit) franchise is an agreement where the franchisor grants a franchisee the rights to open and operate ONE franchise unit. This is the simplest and most common type of franchise. It is possible, however, for a franchisee to purchase additional single-unit franchises once the original franchise unit begins to prosper. This is then considered a multiple, single-unit relationship.
 
MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISE
  • Area Development
  • Master Franchise (sub-franchising)
 
 
AREA DEVELOPMENT FRANCHISE
 

Under an area development franchise, a franchisee has the right to open more than one unit during a specific time, within a specified area. For example, a franchisee may agree to open 5 units over a five year period in a specified territory. The franchisor grants the franchisee exclusive rights for the development of that territory.

MASTER FRANCHISE
 

A master franchise agreement gives the franchisee more rights than an area development agreement. In addition to having the right and obligation to open and operate a certain number of units in a defined area, the master franchisee also has the right to sell franchises to other people within the territory, known as sub-franchises. Therefore, the master franchisee takes over many of the tasks, duties and benefits of the franchisor, such as providing support and training, as well as receiving fees and royalties.

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