Legally, in order to be considered a franchise, a franchisor must charge franchisees a fee for the right to offer certain products or services using the franchisor's name, trademark and service mark, and require the franchisee to operate and market the business according to the processes and standards set by the franchisor. The franchisee also receives access to ongoing corporate support.
A business opportunity offers the buyer, or licensee, a chance to begin a business selling or leasing the goods or services of the licensor, usually with the guidance of a proven operating system or marketing program. The parent company sometimes offers start-up assistance or ongoing support.
Starting a business from scratch entails presenting your idea, product or service directly to the buying public. Your business may have a retail storefront, be based in your home, or be operated on an on-site-service or door-to-door basis. You must secure your own financing, develop your own sales and marketing strategies, and create a business plan.