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Franchise Owners

History

Know anybody with an antique Singer sewing machine? Chances are, it was originally sold by one of the first franchise operations. During the Civil War, the Singer Sewing Machine Company recognized the cost-efficiency of franchising and allowed dealers across the country to sell its sewing machines. Coca-Cola, as well as the Ford Motor Company and other automobile manufacturers, followed Singer's lead in the early 20th century by granting individuals the rights to sell their products. Franchising, however, didn't fully catch on until after World War II, when the needs for products and services across the country boomed, right along with the population. Ray Kroc jumped on the bandwagon with his McDonald's restaurants in the 1950s. Since then, the McDonald's franchise has become one of the top moneymaking franchise opportunities of all time.

Franchises have changed somewhat over the last 30 to 40 years. Abuses of the franchise system brought new government regulations in the 1970s, and the government has been actively involved in protecting the rights of both franchisers and franchisees. Also, single-unit ownership (the "mom and pop" operations) is giving way to multiple-unit ownership; a majority of franchisees now own more than one of the franchiser's units.

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