Wall Street Journal:

This online seminar from the Small Business Administration offers an overview of franchising basics for entrepreneurs who are thinking about franchise ownership. Prospective franchisees can find out about the legal responsibilities of franchise ownership, financing and more.

The website of the International Franchise Association offers a wealth of information. Among the free features: a search engine for finding details about more than 1,100 franchise opportunities and a course on franchising basics. There’s also a forum where prospective franchisees can talk to each other, as well as an industry expert. For a fee, the site’s Franchise University section offers online courses and a certification program for franchise executives. Costs run from about $50 to $450.

FranchiseHelp aims to provide an independent source of information to prospective franchise owners. Most features are free, including a search engine where users can find companies based on industry, location and their available capital. Articles and webcasts address topics from conducting due diligence to closing the deal. The site, run by FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC in New York, also includes a library of franchise disclosure documents, at $220 per file.

There’s more here.