Buying a franchise can be a handy shortcut to the American dream of owning your own business. But there are dangerous pitfallsand possible drawbacks to even the best franchise deals. Here, for every prospective franchisee, is authoritative advice from a trustworthy source. The experts of Franchise Times offer their picks of the top 200 franchises and 100 up-and-comers, complete with contact information, financial requirements, fees, and more. There are practical tips on everything from hiring and marketing to financing your franchise, leasing a retail space (or setting up a home office), and deciding if you should buy or run a franchise with your spouse. With anecdotes and advice from current franchisees and franchisors, this is a book every would-be entrepreneur should read before signing a contract.