Encyclopedia > Franchise

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If you have the franchise, you have the ability to vote. In the United States of America, adults 18 years of age or older (with some exceptions) possess the franchise. See: suffrage.

In government, franchise may also mean the granting of permission by a government to a service provider to use the public right-of-way. Examples include sewer pipes, water pipes, telecommunications conduit, gas pipes, electrical lines, and garbage collection. Franchises may be exculsive (such as garbage collection where everyone receives refuse collection from the same company or agency) or nonexclusive (such as telecommunications from multiple carriers).

Another sense of franchise is to sell the way of doing business to another, as in resturant franchising.

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