Prior franchise research has examined the success/failure of franchises, franchise performance and strategy, and franchisee/franchisor relationships. Yet, the study of actual franchisee expertise is in its infancy. Fortunately, expertise-based explanations have now shown that—independent of location and culture—entrepreneurs share common experiences, and by extension, similar knowledge structures/expert scripts, and exhibit higher levels of new venture formation expertise than managers. To better understand the role of entrepreneurial expertise in franchising, we examined the entrepreneurial cognitions/expertise of franchisees in the USA, and compared them with two counterpart groups: (1) entrepreneurial experts—those who have started a business, and (2) entrepreneurial novices—individuals who have never started a business.