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Start Your Business Franchising

40+ Franchises For Every Budget

40+ Franchises For Every Budget
Credit: Manczurov/Shutterstock

There's a good reason franchising is so popular among entrepreneurs: The risk that comes with starting any new venture is much lower when you have a proven business model and an in-demand product. Investing in a franchise means giving yourself a greater chance of success, because you have brand power and support behind you.

Many big-name franchises are notoriously expensive, but buying into a successful, established brand doesn't have to cost millions, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars. Though brands like McDonald's or Pizza Hut may be out of reach, you could own a smaller but just as lucrative franchise for less than the cost of a sports car. On the other hand, if you have a larger amount of liquid cash, the franchise possibilities are endless.

For aspiring franchise owners with any size budget, here are more than 40 options with minimum initial investments ranging from less than $10,000 to upward of $1 million. [Franchising: Definition & Top Opportunities]

  • Bar-B-Clean: Bar-B-Clean offers residential and commercial customers a convenient, low-cost grill-cleaning solution. The service includes a deep cleaning of the interior and exterior of the grill, as well as a thorough inspection of the burner and ignition systems. There are currently eight Bar-B-Clean locations serving 17 territories throughout seven states. Franchise fees begin at $19,175.
  • Java Dave's Coffee: Java Dave's Coffee offers a unique and affordable opportunity that's a bit different from the traditional franchising model. For as little as $500, you can become a licensed Java Dave's retailer for five full years in any type of space you choose, whether it's a mall kiosk, a mobile unit or a full-fledged coffee shop. The basic licensing fee includes a selection of Java Dave's products and recipes, corporate training and professional product branding. Larger packages ($2,495 to $3,495) include signage and equipment. While licensees have complete freedom over their store name, location and operating hours, they do need to finance their own physical retail space.
  • Jazzercise: Love fitness and fun? Consider becoming a Jazzercise franchise owner. With studio space, sound equipment and a love of dance and great music, you can teach Jazzercise classes to your local community. Although opening your own Jazzercise fitness center requires an initial investment of about $9,200 plus ongoing royalties and insurance coverage, you can pay as little as $2,980 up front if you rent a public facility to teach your class.
  • Tax Centers of America: Capitalize on tax season by opening your own Tax Centers of America franchise. The company provides annual training sessions to keep franchisees up to date on current tax-preparation laws and software.
  • Blue Moon Estate Sales: Since it started franchising in 2013, Blue Moon Estate Sales has become one of the leading estate-sales franchises in the country. The company's estate-sales specialists help clients through every step of the estate-sale process to ease the stress and workload of an event few people ever plan for. With 11 locations currently open and operating in four states, Blue Moon Estate Sales specializes in residential, commercial and moving liquidation services. Estimated costs are about $25,000.
  • Chem-Dry: This carpet cleaning company uses an all-natural, green-certified solution to clean carpets and upholstery. Chem-Dry franchises begin at $39,999 and go up to $139,500, depending on the equipment and van you choose.
  • Doc Popcorn: Doc Popcorn is the largest retailer of popcorn in the world, with more than 80 units in 25 states. This popcorn franchise offers a flexible franchise system, allowing entrepreneurs to buy into the brand at a level that fits their budget. Depending on the model and location you choose, your total initial investment could be as low as $39,000.
  • e2 Young Engineers: e² Young Engineerscombines education and entertainment to offer a variety of programs that can be used to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses. Children who join the company's educational community can learn arithmetic, physics, and mechanical and software engineering using Lego and K'nex assembly kits. The company currently has a presence in 17 countries, operates in more than 50 territories and has plans to open 50 franchises in the U.S. by the end of 2017. Fees range from $31,400 to $47,000.
  • Fetch! Pet Care: Fetch! Pet Care is a nationwide provider of pet sitting and dog-walking services. Entrepreneurs who manage independent pet-sitting and dog-walking businesses through Fetch! receive training and support from both the company and its network of franchisees. Total costs range from $25,895 to $39,500.
  • iLoveKickboxing: If you've ever dreamed of turning your passion for fitness into a business, opening an iLoveKickboxing location may be the right choice for you. This international company has lower overhead costs than a traditional gym because the only equipment you'll need is matted floors and heavy bags.
  • Molly Maid: Imported to the U.S. from Canada in 1984, Molly Maid allows franchise owners to operate an independent home-cleaning service in targeted markets across the country. Depending on the coverage area, initial franchise fees start at less than $45,000.
  • N-Hance Wood Renewal: Founded in 2001, N-Hance Wood Renewal has more than 370 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. As part of the company's national partnership with The Home Depot, it has a presence inside more than 1,550 stores nationwide. N-Hance uses its trademarked "Lightspeed instant curing system" for hardwood cabinets and floors, which provides one-day hardwood refinishing without dust, mess or odor. Fees range from $35,000 to $45,000.
  • Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning offers green cleanings using a unique, low-moisture process. Oxi Fresh has been ranked in Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500, been featured in Inc. magazine's Inc. 500|5000 and been recognized as one of "America's Best Franchises to Buy" by Forbes. The company has more than 270 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with more locations currently in development.
  • ServiceMaster Clean: ServiceMaster Clean offers residential and commercial cleaning services, as well as disaster restoration for homes and businesses damaged by events like fires and floods.

Editor's note: Considering opening a franchise? If you're looking for information to help you choose the right one, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, Buyer Zone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free: 

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  • AdviCoach: AdviCoach is a business coaching and advisory services franchise catering to small and midsize businesses. Its model empowers business owners to increase the productivity and value of their businesses through unique coaching methodologies and "Rapid Impact Strategies" to help them reach long-term income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals. 
  • British Swim School: Despite its name, British Swim School is an international franchise based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that teaches water survival skills to children as young as 3 months old. The company currently operates across 70 pools in eight states, and franchise fees begin at $74,000.
  • BookKeeping Express: BookKeeping Express is the first U.S. franchise focused solely on providing bookkeeping services nationwide. The company integrates a full range of bookkeeping, management, accounting and financial reporting services traditionally used by Fortune 500 companies.
  • Caring Senior Service: Caring Senior Service is an in-home care company with more than 50 locations in 18 states. The brand believes that every senior should be able to remain "happy, healthy and home," and addresses the three leading areas of concern when choosing homecare – quality caregivers, care solutions and active involvement. 
  • Liberty Tax Service: Founded in 1997 by CEO John Hewitt, Liberty Tax Service is a fast-growing tax-preparation franchise that has prepared almost 20 million individual income tax returns in more than 4,300 offices across North America. Due to the nature of the tax industry, franchisees make a majority of their income for the year between January and April 15 of each year. This enables franchisees to either keep their day job or explore other interests for the majority of the year. Siempre Tax+, an independent brand under the Liberty Tax umbrella that serves the Hispanic community, is also available in this price range.
  • ShelfGenie: Founded in 2000, ShelfGenie offers customized cabinet shelving solutions. The company has more than 160 locally owned and operated franchise locations in 22 U.S. states and Canada. Total franchise costs begin at $70,100.
  • BrightStar Care: Chicago-based BrightStar Care is a national private-duty home care and medical staffing franchise with more than 280 locations. The company provides medical and nonmedical services to clients within their homes, as well as supplemental care staff to corporate clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each BrightStar Care location is required to pursue Joint Commission accreditation. You can start your own BrightStar franchise starting at $93,542.
  • Maui Wowi Hawaiian: Maui Wowi Hawaiian has embraced the Hawaiian culture and has been serving "paradise in a cup" for more than 30 years. This leader in the mobile event business provides premium fresh-fruit smoothies and Hawaiian coffee, including the highly regarded Kona coffee from the island of Hawaii. Maui Wowi has more than 450 units in seven countries. The initial investment for a brick-and-mortar shop can be as low as $76,000 (or $71,000 for a mobile unit).
  • Screenmobile: Screenmobile offers repair, replacement and installation of window, door, porch and patio screens, and retractable screens at a client's home or office. Screenmobile has been named to Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 list every year since 2005 andhas 91 locations in 25 states. Fees start at $83,600.
  • Waxing the City: Waxing the City is a waxing studio that caters to both women and men, and offers "superior waxes, highly trained staff and compassionate and caring customer service." In late 2012, Waxing the City partnered with co-ed fitness franchise Anytime Fitness LLC, which offers its franchise support systems to Waxing the City franchisees. Company executives expect to have 350 locations open in the next five years. Initial investment fees begin at $97,400.
  • Blo Blow Dry Bar: If you've ever dreamed of running a business that's connected to a celebrity, this might be a good option. Blo Blow Dry Bar has partnered with Gwyneth Paltrow and celebrity hairstylist David Babaii to create a rapidly growing chain of global blow-dry bars. Startup costs include a franchise fee, an ongoing 6 percent royalty fee, and build-out and opening costs, for a total investment of $165,000 and up.
  • Club Pilates: Club Pilates is a fast-growing Pilates franchise offering several signature class formats to suit all ages and experience levels. The company has a 500-hour teacher-training program designed to thoroughly and safely teach group Pilates classes. Club Pilates currently has more than 100 territories sold; approximately 40,000 members; 100-plus instructors; and 75,000 monthly workouts throughout the United States and Australia. The average initial investment ranges from $136,650 to $222,750.
  • Fastsigns: Fastsigns provides visual communications solutions to help customers of all sizes and industries meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility through the use of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services. The total investment is estimated to be about $153,500.
  • Fresh Healthy Vending: American consumers are shifting toward a healthier lifestyle, and franchises like Fresh Healthy Vending have capitalized on the growing demand for nutritious ready-to-eat foods. These all-digital vending machines are stocked with fresh, healthy snacks, and have a presence across North America. There are several franchise packages to choose from, but the lowest will get you 10 vending machines for $110,000 plus a franchise fee.
  • HipPOPs: This South Florida-based franchise offers all-natural, gluten-free, kosher handcrafted gelato bars on a stick. HipPOPs' unique concept puts a new twist on the classic ice cream truck treat by allowing customers to choose their own premium chocolate dip and crushed nut topping. Since franchisees run their business out of a food truck, they have the opportunity to take their pops on the road. Initial investment begins at $245,175.
  • Hungry Howie's Pizza: Hungry Howie's Pizza, the originator of the flavored-crust pizza, is a top-10 American pizza concept with close to 600 locations in 21 states. The brand bakes its dough in-store fresh daily, and is known for its eight famous crust flavors. Total costs are estimated to start at $239,700.
  • Kono Pizza: The concept of Kono Pizza — pizza ingredients in a dough cone — was established in Europe and was brought to the U.S. in 2013. There are 130 Kono Pizza locations operating in 20 countries, with 15 locations planned to open in the U.S. this year. The company estimates its average total investment to be as low as $150,000.
  • School of Rock: Since 1998, music education franchise School of Rock has been providing students of all ages with exceptional and one-of-a-kind musical experiences. The company encourages students to rehearse along with their fellow students, allowing for a uniquely supportive and motivating environment in which to succeed. School of Rock anticipates having more than 180 schools in operation by the end of 2015.
  • Capriotti's Sandwich Shop: Founded in 1976, Capriotti's Sandwich Shop remains true to its tradition of slow-roasting whole, all-natural turkeys in-house every day. The franchise operates more than 104 locations across 15 states and federal districts. For a single unit, the total cost can be as low as $363,900.
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings: Hurricane Grill & Wings is known for its jumbo fresh chicken wings; more than 35 flavors of signature sauces and rubs; and its tropical, laid-back vibe. With 70 locations open or under construction in 12 states, this franchise is a great opportunity for any aspiring restaurateur, and can be started for as low as $300,000.
  • Menchie's Frozen Yogurt: This self-serve frozen-yogurt chain offers 100 rotating flavors, including low-carb, no-sugar-added, dairy-free, nonfat, gluten-free and kosher options. Menchie's currently operates more than 500 units in 15 countries and has hundreds of additional locations in the pipeline. Average total costs range between $300,000 and $350,000.
  • Music Go Round:Music Go Round specializes in used musical gear. With more than 30 franchised stores in the U.S. and an international e-commerce operation, the company buys, sells and trades quality used and new gear such as guitars, drums, keyboards, sound equipment and accessories. The brand is franchised by Winmark Corp.— parent company of the similarly priced Plato's Closet, Once Upon A Child, Style Encore and Play It Again Sports franchises — and has territories available across the United States. Total costs are estimated at around $350,000.
  • Pancheros Mexican Grill: Pancheros Mexican Grill is part of the increasingly popular "fast casual" restaurant movement, offering burritos, bowls, salads, tacos and quesadillas — all made with freshly pressed tortillas — with the customer's choice of fillings. Pancheros currently has more than 65 units and requires a minimum of $250,000 liquid cash to get started.
  • Dairy Queen: Entrepreneur magazine ranked Dairy Queen No. 1 on its list of Top 500 Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Franchises. In addition to ice cream shops, franchisees can open a DQ Grill and Chill restaurant or an Orange Julius location. The total investment is listed at a low of $779,675, with a liquid capital requirement of $400,000.
  • The Goddard School: The Goddard School is a pre-school franchise that offers year-round programs for children from six weeks to six years old, including after-school enrichment and summer programs. Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of The Goddard School, currently has franchises throughout the United States. Each school is a licensed childcare facility with an on-site owner, an education director and a faculty trained in early childhood education or childhood development. GSI provides continuing education for all teachers as well as a corporate quality assurance program.
  • Fatburger: This gourmet-burger brand offers custom-built burgers and is ideal for entrepreneurs who believe in better fast food. There are more than 150 Fatburger locations in 32 countries worldwide. For U.S. franchisees, the total investment ranges from $504,000 to $881,000 per unit.
  • Pet Supplies Plus: Pet Supplies Plus, a franchise with more than 300 locations in 25 states, offers a wide array of pet food, pet products, grooming services and animal expertise. The company recently announced a reduction of royalty fees from 4 percent to 2 percent for the first 12 months of a new franchise agreement. The estimated initial investment starts at $549,000.
  • TRUFUSION: TRUFUSION is a group fitness studio that offers unique fusion workout classes, including hot Pilates, yoga, barre, Fly Gym, Tru Kettlebell, Battle Ropes Express, Barefoot Bootcamp, Yinfused and more. The Las Vegas-based franchise has developed a loyal fan base of locals that coin themselves members of the TruTribe. Offering several additional products and services including a full smoothie bar, healthy food items, and an original line of workout apparel, TRUFUSION aims to be a one-stop shop for all things health and fitness. 
  • Woodhouse Day Spa: The Woodhouse Day Spa is a national luxury spa franchise that operates under the belief that health, wellness and beauty are intricately linked. Known for its more than 70 rejuvenating spa treatments, Woodhouse Day Spa currently has more than 40 locations in 13 states, with plans to open 280 locations. The estimated initial investment ranges from just under $500,000 to $692,400.
  • ZIPS Dry Cleaners:ZIPS Dry Cleaners was founded in 1996 and began franchising 10 years later. Its successful business model is based on a concept of dry cleaning that is ready for pickup the same day it's dropped off and for a flat-rate price of $2.29. Headquartered in Greenbelt, Maryland, ZIPS operates 40 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Total costs range from $616,150 to $778,500.
  • Ace Hardware: Aspiring Ace Hardware franchisees have access to royalty-free national and international opportunities to own and operate an Ace store. Independent hardware stores have the option to convert their business to the Ace Hardware brand.
  • Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar: Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar offers a contemporary, sit-down family dining atmosphere with a separate sports bar customized with local team memorabilia. While Boston's specializes in pizza and pasta, its menu features more than 80 items, including salads, sandwiches and a variety of sports bar favorites such as burgers, wings and ribs. With annual system-wide sales approaching $1 billion, Boston Pizza and Boston's have more than 390 outlets throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
  • Retro Fitness: Since opening in 2004, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national fitness system with more than 135 gyms in 13 states. Each Retro Fitness location is a full-service fitness center, with 60 to 100 pieces of equipment from leading manufacturers.
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park: This all-walled, indoor trampoline park would be ideal for energetic entrepreneurs looking to run a family-friendly recreational venue that inspires active fun in the community. Sky Zone currently operates more than 78 parks across the U.S., Mexico, Australia and Canada.
  • Sizzler: A pioneer of the "pay first" fast-casual restaurant concept, Sizzler provides its franchisees with a demographic analysis, extensive training programs and operations/marketing support.

This article was originally published in 2012 and was updated Aug. 12, 2015. All listed price estimates are accurate at the time of writing. Actual costs could be higher depending on location and other factors determined by the parent company.

Nicole Fallon
Nicole Fallon

Nicole Fallon received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.