RE/MAX is the United State’s # 1 real estate franchise and the nation’s # 44 franchise overall - according to Entrepreneur magazine’s 30th Annual Franchise 500 survey.

The survey appears on the magazine’s Web site and in its January 2009 issue.

Subway bested McDonald’s to capture the top position overall. Behind # 2 McDonald’s came Liberty Tax Service at # 3.

Among real estate franchises, RE/MAX ranks No. 1 for the ninth time in the past nine years. The closest competitor - Keller Williams - came in at a distant # 71.

RE/MAX ranks # 10 overall in the Low-Cost Franchises category. It finished # 1 last year.

Additionally, RE/MAX tops all real estate competitors at # 38 on the Global Franchises list.

RE/MAX has a long, successful history in the survey. It ranked # 10 overall a year ago, # 11 in 2007, # 8 in 2006, and # 10 in 2005.

All companies in the rankings are judged by the same criteria, the most important being financial strength and stability, size and growth rate. Also considered: number of years in business, length of time franchising, start-up costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and financing options.

The factors are plugged into a Franchise 500 formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.