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About Franchising

History of Franchising

The word franchise is rooted in the French word “franchir” meaning to free. This privilege of freedom is at the core of the possibilities that can be realized through franchising.

From about 100 franchising companies in 1950 to approximately 2,500 franchising companies today – in the U.S. alone – franchising continues to grow, with the total number of franchised business units now surpassing 900,000. A report from Price Waterhouse Coopers found that franchised businesses are responsible for:

  • $2.3 trillion in total economic output
  • 11.4% of the U.S. private sector economy
  • 1/3 of all retail sales in the U.S.
  • 15% of all private sector jobs


In the United States, franchising has demonstrated an ability to flourish regardless of economic factors and the outlook for franchising in the coming years and beyond is ripe for continued growth. As the population grows, so does their need for a wide variety of products and services, almost all of which fit into the franchise arena. Currently there are over 200 types of businesses that are franchising and the U.S. Department of Commerce predicts that by 2010 one out of every two businesses will operate under some form of franchise system!

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