In 1980, Entrepreneur Magazine published its first “Franchise 500,” which purported to rank the top 500 franchises in the United States, out of a total of just over 1,000 franchise systems. Today, the International Franchise Association, the trade association for franchising, best known as the “IFA,” estimates there are more than 3,500 franchise brands in the United States. They report that since the economic recovery following the 2008 recession, “new franchises have steadily increased.” Magazines like Entrepreneur and Forbes devote entire sections of each issue to reports on franchising and franchise companies. The publication, Franchise Times, is devoted entirely to franchising.

We have seen a similar explosion of franchise brands in the Upper Midwest over the last 40 years. National, and in some cases, international, brands such as Tires Plus (for which we prepared the first franchise disclosure documents), Regis, and Anytime Fitness grew from small Minnesota startups to businesses with hundreds and even thousands of outlets. Our experience the last few years has mirrored the report of the IFA in that we have helped more companies franchise their brands in the last five years than in any previous decade! A description of some of the unique brands we have helped become franchisors in the last few years can be found under the topic Franchise Launch in this blog. Look for several new ones in the coming months.

Franchising your business is not a simple process. It takes time and concentration on systematizing your business. The legal maze can also be daunting. The Steps to Franchising outline the process and can help simplify it. If you are interested in franchising your business and have questions, contact me, Joe Fittante or Sawan Patel for more information.