A licensed brand (similar to franchise) is a form of business where the brand holder allow the brands use, at a cost, by an operator. Unlike a franchise the operator has no need to buy wholesale products from the brand owner.
This process allow the operator to lead the consumer to believe they are trading with a brand rather than the operator, and it allows overseas brands to gain a foothold in the UK market. For example, Welcome Break held a licence to change their motels to Days Inn. As this was their only presence in the UK, when a Days Inn motel opened in Central London it was actually a Welcome Break site, even though it wasn't anything like where you'd expect to find them.