Difference between Licensing Agreement and Franchise

By July 14, 2022 Uncategorized

When it comes to expanding a business, there are various options available in the market. Two popular ways are licensing agreements and franchises. While both offer benefits, they are not the same and require different legal agreements and commitments. In this article, we will discuss the differences between licensing agreements and franchises.

Licensing Agreement

A licensing agreement permits a licensee to use the intellectual property of the licensee in exchange for compensation. The intellectual property can include trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. The agreement may also specify the extent and scope of the license, including the territory, duration, and usage.

Licensing agreements are useful when the owner of the intellectual property wants to extend its distribution to different regions or markets but lacks the resources or knowledge to enter the market. Through licensing, the owner can expand its business without incurring significant costs to create new products or services. The licensee also benefits from using and promoting the established brand name and reputation of the licensor. However, the licensee has limited control over the product, and the licensor typically sets the terms of the agreement, including pricing and quality standards.


A franchise, on the other hand, is a more extensive and comprehensive business model that involves the licensing of the brand name, operating system, and business model. It is a contractual relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee, where the franchisor provides the franchisee with the right to operate a business using its trademark, for an initial fee, and ongoing payments.

The franchisee benefits from the established business model, guidance, and support from the franchisor in areas such as site selection, marketing, training, and ongoing product and system updates. While the franchisee has more control over the product and operations, they must follow strict guidelines set by the franchisor to maintain consistency across all franchise locations.

The key difference between a licensing agreement and a franchise is that a licensing agreement grants permission to use a specific intellectual property right, while a franchise is a more comprehensive business model that involves using the brand, business model, and operating system of an existing successful business. For those considering expanding their business through licensing or franchising, it is essential to understand the differences to ensure the right legal agreements and commitments are established.