General Franchise Law and Legal Definition

General franchise is the primary corporate franchise that grants special privileges to incorporators. It enables incorporators to act for certain designated purposes as a single individual and usually exempts them from individual liability.

The charter of a corporation is the law which gives it existence as such. That is its general franchise, which can be repealed at the will of the legislature. The general franchise of a corporation is its right to live and do business by the exercise of the corporate powers granted by the state. The general franchise of a street railroad company, for instance, is the special privilege conferred by the state upon a certain number of persons known as the corporators to become a street railroad corporation and to construct and operate a street railroad upon certain conditions. [Lord v. Equitable Life Assurance Soc., 194 N.Y. 212, 225-226 (N.Y. 1909)].