A U.S. Department of Commerce study indicates franchising will be the leading method of doing business in the 1990s.

Japan is the second-largest market for American goods, with a steadily expanding economy, large trade surpluses, a strong yen, and one of the world's highest savings rates.As a result, more growing American firms are selling franchises to Japanese investors than ever before. Fast food and convenience stores are in high demand but almost any type of retail or service business can succeed there.

Only 50 industries in Japan are franchised at present, compared with about 170 in the United States, according to Link Consulting Associates.