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These top 50 franchises are already making waves--be the first to find out all about them.

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you're the type of person who prefers Beyonce to Aretha, Sofia Coppola to Francis Ford Coppola and boba tea to Earl Grey, then you're probably the type who leans toward something new. So when it comes to considering franchises to buy, you may yawn when you hear names like McDonald's and Subway, and perk up when you read about concepts such as ice cream shaped like tiny dots or chicken wing restaurants.

You've come to the right place. We give you a sneak peek at what's new, via this listing of 50 top companies that started franchising since 1990. The companies have been ranked by their scores in Entrepreneur's January 2004 Franchise 500®. This list isn't intended to endorse any particular franchise, but rather to provide a starting point for your research. Before you purchase any franchise, you should investigate the opportunity thoroughly by interviewing existing franchisees, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and reading all pertinent literature including the company's Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. Don't jump into a new franchise without doing your research first.

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