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(Even Colonel Sanders did not initially succeed in his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchising efforts.) Still, the Singer venture did not put an end to franchising.Other companies tried franchising in one form or another after the Singer experience.Nevertheless, the rudiments of modern franchising date back to the Middle Ages when landowners made franchise-like agreements with tax collectors, who retained a percentage of the money they collected and turned the rest over.For example, in 17th century England franchisees were granted the right to sponsor markets and fairs or operate ferries.
The operation failed, though, because the company did not earn much money even though the machines sold well.
Although many business owners did affiliate with cooperative ventures of one type or another, there was little growth in franchising until the early 20th century, and what franchising there was did not take the same form as it does today.
As the United States shifted from an agricultural to an industrial economy, manufacturers licensed individuals to sell automobiles, trucks, gasoline, beverages, and a variety of other products.
Thirty-three countries have laws that explicitly regulate franchising, with the majority of all other countries having laws which have a direct or indirect effect on franchising.
The boom in franchising did not take place until after World War II.