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Will the Internet change franchising as we know it?

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This story appears in the March 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Certainly such recent events as the landmark case Vylene vs. Naugles, which sided with franchisees on encroachment issues, and the new streamlined Uniform Franchise Offering Circular requirements have had obvious effects on the state of franchising. But there's another force subtly reshaping the industry--from the way entrepreneurs investigate franchises to how existing franchisees operate and grow their businesses. That force? The Internet.

Some may be surprised to discover leak detection and housecleaning franchisors setting up shop on the World Wide Web alongside the likes of Microsoft and Coca-Cola, but franchisors of all kinds are flocking to the Web today. For some, establishing a Web site has created an easy, affordable way to disseminate information and market products and services. Many franchisors are using e-mail to communicate with their franchisees. Still others are reaching potential franchise buyers around the world through the Internet.

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