Franchise Agreement Types

Franchise Agreement Types: Understanding the Basics

If you are interested in starting a franchise business, one of the most important things you need to know is the type of franchise agreement you will be entering into. There are different types of franchise agreements, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will discuss the most common types of franchise agreements and what you should know about them before signing on the dotted line.

Single-Unit Franchise Agreement

A single-unit franchise agreement is the most common type of franchise agreement. As the name suggests, this agreement allows the franchisee to operate a single unit of the franchise business in a specific location. The franchisee receives a license to use the franchisor’s brand and business system, and is required to adhere to certain standards and guidelines set by the franchisor. In return, the franchisee pays a franchise fee and ongoing royalties to the franchisor.

Multi-Unit Franchise Agreement

A multi-unit franchise agreement allows the franchisee to operate multiple units of the franchise business in different locations. This type of agreement is ideal for experienced franchisees or entrepreneurs who want to expand their business quickly. The advantages of a multi-unit franchise agreement include increased revenue and profitability, economies of scale, and reduced risk. However, this type of agreement requires a higher level of investment and management expertise.

Area Development Franchise Agreement

An area development franchise agreement allows the franchisee to develop and operate a specific territory or geographic area. The franchisee is responsible for opening a certain number of franchise units within a specified period of time, and must pay a development fee in addition to the franchise fee and ongoing royalties. The advantages of an area development franchise agreement include exclusivity in a specific market, reduced competition, and the ability to build a strong brand presence in a specific geographic area.

Master Franchise Agreement

A master franchise agreement is similar to an area development franchise agreement, but with more rights and responsibilities. The master franchisee is granted the right to sub-franchise the franchise business in a specific geographic area. This means that the master franchisee is responsible for recruiting and training new franchisees, and receives a percentage of their franchise fees and ongoing royalties. The advantages of a master franchise agreement include a higher level of control over the franchise business, increased revenue, and the ability to expand the business rapidly.


Choosing the right type of franchise agreement for your business requires careful consideration of your goals, resources, and experience. Before signing a franchise agreement, it is important to do your research and seek the advice of a franchise lawyer or consultant. By understanding the basics of franchise agreement types, you can make an informed decision and set yourself up for success as a franchisee.