PORTLAND — A new trade association has been launched to represent the owners of the more than 3,500 franchise businesses in Maine.

The Maine Franchise Owners Association will support franchise owners and suppliers throughout the state, and help facilitate additional franchise expansion, according to a news release.

Franchises in Maine employ more than 38,000 people and provide a payroll of more than $1 billion, according to the new association.

“We represent business owners who invest in Maine, create jobs and contribute to the diverse communities of Maine,” Jim Coen, executive director of the new association, said in a statement. “Many of Maine franchise owners are Maine residents and have a stake in the community and are catalysts for economic growth.”

Dunkin’ Donuts is the largest franchised business in Maine, with 140 locations, according to the group’s data, followed by KFC/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut (125), Subway (107) and McDonalds (62).

Other franchised businesses with a large presence in Maine are Bimbo Foods, which has 47 franchises in the state (in this case, franchises are distributors who distribute the bakery company’s products to local stores); Southern Tsunami, a company that operates sushi bars inside grocery stores and has 37 franchises in the state; and H&R Block, a tax preparation company that has 34 franchises in the state.

The Maine cities and towns with the largest number of franchise locations are Bangor (98), Portland (95), South Portland (67), Augusta (63), Auburn (51), Scarborough (45), Waterville (43), Brunswick (42) and Lewiston (41), according to the trade association.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.