The Great Debate: Working for a Corporation vs. a Franchise

Whether you’re looking for an internship or a full-time job, knowing the pros and cons of working for a corporation or franchise can help you narrow your search. Find out which path is right for you. Written by Juliet Rocco

600x1268584216“Where do I start?” You’re probably asking yourself this if you can’t figure out what kind of place you’d like to be working. The pros and cons I’ve listed may not all directly apply to my personal experience, but this list still offers a general overview. I don’t want to stereotype too much since each organization is unique in its own right, so I picked the most evident attributes seen in the workplace.

Corporation: Independent legal entity owned by shareholders. The corporation is legally liable for the actions and debts it incurs. Decisions are made by an elected board of directors. Examples of a corporation include: General Electric, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and The Coca-Cola Company.

My Experience: Devils Arena Entertainment: 3-month full-time co-op, Marshalls: 2 1/2 years part-time employee.


  • abundance of resources
  • greater opportunity to “move up” and become an expert in your area of work
  • good benefits, health insurance
  • opportunity to experience working in different departments


  • power distance
  • very regulated, can be slow, lots of paperwork
  • dislike rapid changes
  • just another number in the system

Find out more about corporations

Franchise: Two legally independent groups reach an agreement or license of a franchise business, giving the franchisee rights to market under a business’ name and use their materials. Examples of a franchise include: McDonald’s, Comfort Inn, UPS Store and Dairy Queen.

My Experience: Dale Carnegie Training – Rochester: 3-month full-time co-op.


  • employees tend to be close-nit
  • more creative freedom, less regulated
  • room for growth
  • strives to stay up-to-date


  • generally smaller budget
  • still adheres to corporate guidelines
  • may be difficult to support in struggling economy
  • faces similar challenges to a small business

Find out more about franchises

Final Decisions: Consider these points when choosing between a potentially large corporate structure or a smaller franchise.

  • size or organization, Fortune 500 or small business
  • social atmosphere, job satisfaction of employees
  • advancement of technology, current technology, future investment
  • financial strength of the organization, reputation
  • structure of promotions, opportunities to grow as an employee

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