Many well-known corporations such as McDonald's and Taco Bell franchise, as well as smaller companies. Franchising is a business arrangement that allows a private individual or group to own and operate a business using another company's name, marketing and products. In exchange, that business owner is usually required to pay a franchising fee or to purchase inventory from the parent company. Most companies will require those interested in becoming a franchise owner to go through an application process that begins with a simple application assessing your background and current finances.

Step 1.

Go to the franchiser's website. For example, if you are interested in starting a McDonald's franchise, go to their website or corporate website.

Step 2.

Select the franchise option. It may not be obvious on the website. For larger companies like McDonald's, franchising information is most likely found on their corporate website, which is often separate from their main website used to market to consumers. Select the contact option and find the contact number for franchises, or enter the keyword "franchise" into the website's search field. Also find contact information using the franchise directories listed in Resources.

Step 3.

Read the franchising terms and other information, if available online. Some franchises require that you have a specific amount of liquid cash available or specific experience. For instance, McDonald's requires that you have $100,000 in liquid cash available at the time of your application. Kentucky Fried Chicken requires that franchise owners have a net worth of $1 million and liquid assets of $360,000. The franchise 1-800-Got-Junk requires $50,000 in startup cash. (All sums as of 2011) The terms also explain exactly what the franchiser is responsible for and what you, as the franchisee, must bring to the table. McDonald's, for instance, is responsible for selecting its restaurant sites. The site is then franchised to the most qualified applicant.

Step 4.

Enter your details in the online application or download it. You can often call and request an application by mail.

Step 5.

Enter personal details such as your name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number and email address. Also answer any additional questions about your background such as past bankruptcies, citizenship status, pending litigation and convictions and educational degrees. Answer questions about your business, such as the business name, your position within the company, total assets and liabilities, net worth and other franchises owned. Also include personal references, if requested.

Step 6.

Submit the application by mail or online. It may take a month for the application to be reviewed. If the application is approved, be prepared to participate in interviews with the company's franchise department.