From the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur

While many companies are just managing to plod ahead, some are picking up the pace and offering prospective franchisees a spot on their fast track. Which franchises have managed to break ahead of the pack? We combed our data to find out. Without further delay, we present the 100 franchises that grew fastest over the past year.

But first, a few important details: All ties are listed alphabetically. These rankings are based on growth in the number of franchises from 2001 to 2002, as verified in Entrepreneur's 24th Annual Franchise 500®.

This ranking is not intended to endorse any particular franchise, but rather to provide a starting point for your research. Due diligence includes reading all the company's literature and its Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, calling and visiting the existing franchisees, and consulting with an attorney and an accountant. Rushing through the research phase will only slow you down on the path to franchise success.