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Franchising is the practice of the right to use a firm's business model and brand for a prescribed period of time. The word "franchise" is of Anglo-French derivation—from franc, meaning free—and is used both as a noun and as a (transitive) verb. For the franchisor, the franchise is an alternative to building "chain stores" to distribute goods that avoids the investments and liability of a chain. The franchisor's success depends on the success of the franchisees. The franchisee is said to have a greater incentive than a direct employee because they have a direct stake in the business.
Thirty-three countries—including the United States and Australia—have laws that explicitly regulate franchising, with the majority of all other countries having laws which have a direct or indirect impact on franchising.
Franchising is also used as a foreign market entry mode.

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