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27th Annual Franchise 500® Which franchisor hit #1 this year?

Every now and again, a team has a banner year: Think the 2004 Boston Red Sox or the San Francisco 49ers in the 1989 Super Bowl. But only in franchising can the entire league report a winning season. This year was a banner year for not only one company or even one category--franchising as a whole had an exceptional year. Apparently, a swarm of people have been buying franchises, bringing growth to almost every category. Franchising, by all accounts, is booming.

To help you get a piece of the pie while it's hot, we've spent the past few months doing research and analysis--not to mention the almost three decades we've invested in perfecting our ranking procedure and top-secret formula. The result: Entrepreneur's 27th Annual Franchise 500®, the world's first, best and most comprehensive ranking of franchises.

Only franchise companies that submit full Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars (UFOCs) or Canadian disclosure documents and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing in this issue. To be eligible for the Franchise 500® rankings, a franchise company must have a minimum of 10 units with at least one being a U.S.-based franchise, it must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S., and it cannot be in chapter 11 at the time the rankings were compiled. (An exception to this rule is Canadian-based companies that are only expanding in Canada.)