Can I own a franchise while on H1b visa ?

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Dude, there are enough 7 elevens, motels, etc out there. Get back to your laptop

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No. As a franchisee, if you are issued a W2 by the parent chain/company then you cannot. In general the rule is that on H1B only your H1B sponsorer employer can issue you an W2

Haven't you heard - "You are not a Patel, if you do not own a motel"?

Yes you can. I am on H1B and own one. Talk to a good attorney. The only downfall, you cannot withdraw money from your business.

^so what is the point then ?

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