Executives who think it’s safer to buy a franchise than start a business need to think again.

Fortune Small Business The scant research that exists suggests that, as risky as starting an independent business is, buying a franchise is an even bigger roll of the dice. In the early ’90s Timothy Bates, a professor at Wayne State University, studied Census Bureau data on 20,000 new enterprises and found that 38% of franchise units failed over a four-year period, vs. 32% of independent startups.

If being an entrepreneur sounds appealing, try the tests at WSJ’s StartupJournal.

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