- Owning a franchise is a great way for budding entrepreneurs to start their own business.
- Buying a franchise is often seen as prohibitively expensive, but you can get started for less than $10,000.
- Franchises are expected to grow in the coming years, supporting over 8 million workers.
- This article is for prospective business owners who are interested in owning a successful franchise.
While some well-known franchises are notoriously expensive, buying a successful business doesn’t have to cost millions – some only cost a few thousand dollars. Here are 50 franchise opportunities with minimum initial investments ranging from $3,750 to more than 1 million.
- Cruise Planners: Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest home-based travel agency business. Travel agents work from home and sell packages such as cruises, vacations, travel insurance, and car rentals. The initial cost begins at $10,995, which includes a six-day, in-person training session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- 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. The initial investment costs range from $3,750 to $21,750.
- Vanguard Cleaning Systems: Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers short- and long-term commercial cleaning services to more than 15,000 commercial locations. It has been recognized on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list and by the World Franchising Network. The initial franchise fees range from $5,500 to $36,600.
$25,000 to $49,999
- Class 101: Founded in 1997, Class 101 offers one-on-one college planning sessions to help high school students apply for college, and save money through scholarships and other awards. Class 101 has empowered over 6,500 students by guiding them through the college application process and helping them plan for the future. Total investments cost $45,890 to $63,300, with a $32,900 franchise fee.
- 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 over 20 Bar-B-Clean locations. Initial franchise fees begin at $30,000, and the average initial investment is $31,950.
- Blue Moon Estate Sales: Blue Moon Estate Sales helps clients through every step of the estate-sale process, easing the stress and workload. With 27 locations currently open in the U.S., Blue Moon Estate Sales specializes in residential, commercial and moving liquidation services. The initial investment to open a Blue Moon Estate Sales franchise is $39,840 to $80,850.
- Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning offers green cleaning solutions using a unique, low-moisture process. Oxi Fresh has been recognized as one of “America’s Best Franchises to Buy” by Forbes. The company has nearly 500 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, with more in development. Initial franchise fees range from $40,900 to $98,160.
- Tutor Doctor: Tutor Doctor provides a personalized in-home or online tutoring service to students of all ages. Tutor Doctor has appeared year after year on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list, and it has more than 700 territories in 16 countries. Depending on the territory, the initial franchise fees range from $44,700 to $49,700, and the estimated initial investment range is $73,295 to $100,995.
- WIN Home Inspection: Founded in 1993, WIN Home Inspection is one of the fastest-growing home inspection companies, with more than 240 units across the country. Startup costs range from $27,425 to $39,985.
Tip: What small business should you open? Learn how to choose the right franchise with these tips, or read our step-by-step guide on how to start a business. We’ve also outlined the best business ideas to start this year.
$50,000 to $74,999
- Made in the Shade: Made in the Shade has been offering custom window coverings for more than 17 years, at some of the deepest discounts available in the industry. Franchisees receive ongoing training and an in-house marketing team with zero royalties. For a single territory, franchisees are looking at an initial investment of $59,000.
- bioPURE: bioPURE is a hospital-grade disinfectant that cleans surfaces quickly and safely. The disinfectant works against common germs and meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Franchisees receive hands-on training, a personal coach and all the tools needed for their location to thrive. Initial investment costs start at $50,000 and don’t initially require an office space.
- Fetch Pet Care: Fetch Pet Care is a nationwide provider of pet-sitting and dog-walking services. Entrepreneurs who manage businesses through Fetch receive training and support from both the company and its network of franchisees. Total estimated costs range from $68,000 to $76,000.
- N-Hance Wood Refinishing: Founded in 2001, N-Hance Wood Refinishing has nearly 500 franchises in North America. N-Hance restores the natural beauty of hardwood floors, cabinets, doors, and trims, and it can also change the stain of wood surfaces. The total investment to begin operations ranges from $57,823 to $168,545.
- Caring Transitions: Founded in 2007, Caring Transitions is a Cincinnati-based senior relocation, estate sale and liquidation company. Caring Transitions has over 200 locations and was recognized as one of Entrepreneur’s Top 500 Home-Based Franchises for 2021. The total investment is $58,912 to $82,712.
- Chem-Dry: Founded in 1977, Chem-Dry has over 3,500 locations across more than 50 countries, and Entrepreneur has ranked it the No. 1 Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Company in America for more than 25 years in a row. Its green-certified solution and proprietary Hot Carbonating Extraction cleaning process provides a deep clean and dries quickly. The total initial investment ranges from $68,145 to $191,196.
- ShelfGenie: Founded in 2000, ShelfGenie offers custom cabinet shelving solutions. The company has more than 270 territories across the U.S. and Canada. In 2021, it made Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list for the seventh consecutive year. The total franchise investment begins at $70,100.
- Weed Man: Weed Man is a network of locally owned and operated lawn care businesses providing environmentally responsible fertilization, weed control, and integrated pest management services. Weed Man has franchisees in more than 725 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The initial investment ranges from $69,490 to $86,550 – depending on the territory size.
$75,000 to $99,999
- Patrice & Associates: Founded in 1989, Patrice & Associates helps thousands900 of managerial candidates every year find jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry. The company, which was founded by Patrice Rice, has exclusive recruiting partnerships with some of the nation’s largest restaurant and hotel chains. The estimated initial investment begins around $80,000.
- FastestLabs: Owned by Fas-Tes Franchise Systems LLC, FastestLabs is a drug, alcohol, and DNA testing franchise that provides certified testing for both private and legal purposes. With more than 60 locations, the brand offers affordable lab tests for businesses, individuals, students and teens. The initial startup costs range from $83,309 to $96,650.
- 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. The company currently operates over 200 schools in 21 states, and internationally in Turkey and Canada. The average initial investment ranges from $93,700 to $125,850.
- Maui Wowi Hawaiian: Maui Wowi Hawaiian has embraced Hawaiian culture and been serving “paradise in a cup” for almost 40 years. This leader in the mobile event business provides premium fresh-fruit smoothies and coffee, including Kona from Hawaii. Maui Wowi has more than 450 units in seven countries. The initial investment for a brick-and-mortar shop is $96,350 to $382,000.
- Screenmobile: Screenmobile can repair, replace, and install window, door, porch, patio, and retractable screens at a client’s home or office. Screenmobile has been named on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list every year since 2005, and it has more than 130 locations across the country. The initial franchise investment is $91,975 to $183,770 and includes your license, marketing materials, equipment, training and trailer.
Did you know? According to Forbes, franchise employment was projected to grow by more than 10% to nearly 8.3 million workers in 2021.
$100,000 to $249,999
- Painting With a Twist: Painting With a Twist is a leading paint-and-sip business that began franchising in 2009, and it now has 300 studios in 39 states. The company provides customers with paint, a canvas, and brushes that lead to a fun evening with friends and a finished piece of art. Entrepreneur ranked Painting With a Twist the No. 1 paint-and-sip franchise in its Franchise 500 edition every year from 2014 through 2020. The initial investment typically ranges from $120,500 to $260,000.
- BrightStar Care: Chicago-based BrightStar Care is a national home care and medical staffing franchise with more than 340 locations. The company provides medical and nonmedical services to home-based and corporate clients 24/7. Each BrightStar Care location is required to pursue Joint Commission accreditation. BrightStar Care startup costs range from $105,735 to $170,457.
- 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, the total initial investment ranges from $110,000 to $155,200.
- Doc Popcorn: Based in Denver, Doc Popcorn started franchising in 2009 and has been consistently recognized as one of the top food franchises in the country by Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500. In 2014, Doc Popcorn was acquired by Dippin’ Dots, and the two companies began offering a co-branded franchise model. This popcorn franchise allows entrepreneurs to buy into the brand at a level that fits their budget. Depending on the model and location, the total initial investment ranges from $119,704 to $366,950.
- Blo Blow Dry Bar: Blo Blow Dry Bar partnered with Gwyneth Paltrow and celebrity hairstylist David Babaii to create a rapidly growing chain of blow-dry bars – over 100 locations internationally. The total investment is estimated between $214,443 and $337,352.
- Maid Right: Founded in 2013, Maid Right is a residential cleaning service. The company offers medical strength products and provides owners with support, equipment, supplies, and customers. Initial investments range from $106,100 to $150,000.
- Club Pilates: Founded in 2007, Club Pilates is a boutique fitness studio that offers several signature class formats to suit all ages and experience levels. The company has a training program designed to teach group Pilates classes. Club Pilates has more than 650 locations on four continents. The total investment ranges from $179,100 to $368,000.
- iLoveKickboxing: This international company has lower overhead costs than a traditional gym, because the only equipment you’ll need is matted floors and heavy bags. The investment for iLoveKickboxing ranges from $185,000 to $245,000.
- Waxing the City: Waxing the City is a waxing studio that caters to both women and men, offering “superior waxes, highly trained staff, and compassionate and caring customer service.” In late 2012, Waxing the City partnered with coed fitness franchise Anytime Fitness. The total investment ranges from $212,501 to $423,567.
$250,000 to $499,999
- School of Rock: Since 1998, the music education franchise School of Rock has provided students of all ages with one-of-a-kind musical experiences. The company encourages students to rehearse with each other for a supportive and motivating environment. Initial investments range from $322,500 to $521,100.
- 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. The franchise operates more than 140 locations in 25 states. For a single unit, the company estimates the initial average investment ranges from $365,000 to $645,413.
- Hurricane Grill & Wings: Hurricane Grill & Wings is known for its fresh jumbo chicken wings, more than 35 flavors of signature sauces and rubs, and its tropical, laid-back atmosphere. With 80 locations open or under construction in 15 states, this franchise is a great opportunity for any aspiring restaurateur for $491,500 to $1,464,000.
- Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: This self-serve frozen yogurt chain offers 100 rotating flavors, including low-carb, sugar-free, dairy-free, nonfat, gluten-free and kosher options. Menchie’s currently operates more than 540 locations in over 15 countries and has hundreds of additional locations in the pipeline. Average total costs range from $300,000 to $350,000.
- Music Go Round: Music Go Round buys, sells, and trades quality used and new gear such as guitars, drums, keyboards, sound equipment, and accessories. The brand is franchised by Winmark – 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 U.S. Total costs are estimated at $300,000 to $350,000.
- Pancheros Mexican Grill: Pancheros Mexican Grill offers burritos, bowls, salads, tacos and quesadillas – all made with freshly pressed tortillas – with the customer’s choice of fillings. Pancheros currently has 69 units in 12 states and requires a total investment ranging from $430,825 to $986,000.
- Skoah: Skoah offers facials by a team of skin care specialists who emphasize guest education and quality care. Founded in Vancouver in 2001, the business has grown to 15 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. To franchise, Skoah requires an investment starting at $260,000.
- East Coast Wings + Grill: Based in North Carolina, East Coast Wings + Grill is a casual family restaurant that offers a variety of Buffalo wing sauces. The extensive menu also includes salads, wraps, sandwiches and burgers. The initial estimated investment ranges from $434,268 to $982,275.
- Pet Supplies Plus: Pet Supplies Plus has over 460 locations that provide an array of pet products, food and grooming services. For seven years running, Entrepreneur has ranked Pet Supplies Plus as the Top Full-Service Pet Supplies Franchise for its financial strength, growth rate and system size. The estimated initial investment ranges from $440,600 to $1,315,200.
$500,000 to $999,999
- Dogtopia: Founded in 2002, Dogtopia is a dog day care, boarding, training and spa facility. Each facility averages 6,000 to 8,000 square feet and is designed to provide dogs and pet owners with the best experience by reducing odors, noise level, illness, and accidents. With more than 180 locations across North America, the brand continues to expand through franchising with successful entrepreneurs. Initial investment is estimated at $668,298 to $1,444,264.
- The Goddard School: The Goddard School is a licensed preschool franchise that offers year-round programs for children. It currently has 570 locations across 39 states. Goddard Systems Inc., the franchisor of The Goddard School, currently has franchises throughout the U.S. with an onsite owner, an education director, and a faculty trained in early childhood education or childhood development. Typical investments range from $698,300 to $873,600.
- ZIPS Dry Cleaners: ZIPS Dry Cleaners was founded in 1996 and began franchising 10 years later. Its business model is based on a concept of dry cleaning that is ready for pickup the same day for a flat price. Total costs range from $729,700 to $1,290,000.
- Retro Fitness: Since opening in 2004, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national system with more than 140 franchise locations. Each Retro Fitness location is a full-service fitness center, with 60 to 100 pieces of equipment. The total initial cost is estimated at $1.5 million to $1.7 million.
- Woodhouse Day Spa: 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 70-plus rejuvenating spa treatments, Woodhouse Day Spa currently has 65 locations in 16 states. The estimated initial investment ranges from $1,231,617 to $1,833,067.
- Bojangles: Founded in 1977, Bojangles is known for its made-from-scratch Cajun-style chicken, buttermilk biscuits and iced tea. The restaurant has more than 760 locations in 14 states, with the majority in the Southeast. However, Bojangles has available markets in parts of the Midwest and East Coast. Franchisees must have a net worth greater than $1 million and liquid assets over $500,000 to be considered.
- Boston’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar: Boston’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar is both a family-friendly casual restaurant and an energetic sports bar. With sales exceeding $1 billion, Boston’s is looking to expand around the U.S. and Mexico. The total investment can range from $1,125,000 to $2,816,000, excluding land or lease, and franchisees must have a net worth of at least $1 million.
- Goldfish Swim School: The Goldfish Swim School teaches children ages 4 months to 12 years old how to swim. There are more than 250 Goldfish Swim Schools operating in 31 states and provinces, with more locations on the horizon. The total investment ranges from $1,355,283 to $3,266,858.
- Sonic Drive-In: Sonic began franchising in 1959 and now has more than 3,550 locations across the country. The drive-in restaurant offers burgers, hot dogs, breakfast meals and ice cream. The total investment for a traditional Sonic ranges from $1,242,200 to $3,537,700, excluding land.
- Sky Zone Trampoline Park: This all-walled, indoor trampoline park is ideal for energetic entrepreneurs looking to run a family-friendly recreational venue that inspires active fun in the community. There are currently more than 300 locations globally. You must have a net worth of at least $1.8 million to qualify for a Sky Zone franchise.
Sean Peek contributed to the writing and research in this article.