From the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur

The term "best" is arguably one of the most overused words in our society. It can describe everything from the year's most meaningful film to a mediocre hamburger. Some say the word has been applied so subjectively, so often, that it's lost all meaning. Our solution? Apply it in a quantifiable context.

Our annual Franchise 500® does just that. We rank the top franchises by applying objective criteria and are therefore able to narrow our list down to the top 10 franchises of the year. And based on our 2003 Franchise 500®, we've also come up with the top franchises in each of 116 categories. Whether you're interested in an automotive or a pet franchise, look at what we've determined to be the "best" franchises in your category.

Still, the list is not intended to endorse any particular franchise, but to serve as a starting point for your independent research. This should include analyzing a company's literature and UFOC, calling and visiting existing franchisees, and speaking with an attorney and accountant before purchasing any franchise. It's the best strategy for finding the best franchise for you.

View the Best of the Best Franchises now!