In a world made smaller by travel and technology, brands have a chance to be bigger than ever. Take Anytime Fitness, which took the number one ranking on our list of the top 200 global franchises. It recently opened its 3,000th location, a mere 13 years after it started franchising -- far fewer than it took the likes of Subway, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts to reach that milestone. That impressive expansion is due in part to the company’s concerted efforts to grow outside the U.S. To wit: Anytime’s international growth outpaced its domestic growth for the first time last year, and now almost a third of its locations are international -- including that 3,000th gym, in Stroud, England.

To compile our list, we took each company’s 2016 Franchise 500 score -- based on our objective, quantifiable criteria, including system size, growth and financial strength and stability -- then adjusted it to give extra weight to international size and growth. Only companies seeking new franchisees outside the U.S. and with a minimum of five international locations open already were eligible for this ranking.

Bear in mind, this ranking is not intended as a recommendation of any particular company. No matter where you are in the world, it always pays to do your due diligence before investing in a franchise. Read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant and talk to existing and former franchisees to find out whether an opportunity is the right fit for you.

2016 Top Global Franchises>>