SEJONG, July 12 (Yonhap) -- The number of franchise companies in South Korea rose nearly 10 percent in 2016 from a year earlier amid rising demand for self-employed businesses, government data showed Wednesday.
A total of 4,258 franchisors, a company that allows a third party to run a business under its brand name, were operating as of end-2016, up 9.2 percent from 3,910 tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
They have a combined 5,273 brands in the eatery, wholesale and service businesses, up 8.9 percent, or 429, over the cited period.
The number of franchise stores stood at 218,997 nationwide in 2015, while 41,851 shops newly opened and 24,181 closed in that year.
A franchise store posted an average 308.25 million won (US$268,000) in sales in 2015, with retail and wholesale businesses marking the highest 463.37 million won.
The Born Korea, whose business ranges from coffee shops and Korean restaurants to hotels, had 19 franchise brands as of end-2016, followed by Nolboo Co. with 13 brands and Soft Play Korea Co. with 12.
Amid a prolonged economic slump and tightened job market in South Korea, many early retirees opened franchised restaurants, cafeterias and small retail shops.
Some 20 percent of the country's total employees are self-employed people, according to separate data.
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