While some well-known franchises are notoriously expensive, owning a successful franchise doesn't have to cost millions – some only cost a couple thousand dollars. Here are more than 50 franchise opportunities with minimum initial investments ranging from $500 to more than a million.
$10,000 (or less) to $24,999
- 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 $10,495, which includes a six day, in-person training session in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- 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, including 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 (up 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 starts at an initial investment of $9,000 (plus ongoing royalties and insurance coverage), you can pay as little as $3,000 up front if you rent a public facility to teach your class.
- Maid Right: Founded in 2013, Maid Right is a home based residential cleaning service. The company offers medical-strength against germs and bacteria, and creates better air quality. Maid Right provides owners with support, equipment, supplies and customers. Initial investments begin at just $1,600.
- Vanguard Cleaning Systems: Vanguard Cleaning Systems offers short- and long-term commercial cleaning services to more than 15,000 commercial locations. In 2017, Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 List had it number 144 in top franchises, and 26 in the fastest growing franchise category. The initial franchise fees can range between $8,000 and $35,000.
$25,000 to $49,999
- 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 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, and eases the stress and workload. With 17 locations currently open in 22 territories across seven states, Blue Moon Estate Sales specializes in residential, commercial and moving liquidation services. Including a franchise fee for $30,000, the initial investment to open a Blue Moon Estate Sales franchise is $42,000 to $80,000.
- Doc Popcorn: With more than 100 locations, Doc Popcorn is the largest retailer of popcorn in the world. This popcorn franchise offers a flexible franchise system because it allows entrepreneurs to buy into the brand at a level that fits their budget. 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, innovator and market leader of flash-frozen ice cream, and the two companies began offering a co-branded franchise model Depending on the model and location you choose, the total initial investment starts at $39,000.
- 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 $34,895 to $48,500.
- N-Hance Wood Renewal: Founded in 2001, N-Hance Wood Renewal has about 400 franchises in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. N-Hance restores the natural beauty of hardwood floors, cabinets, doors and trims or can change the color of wood surfaces to provide a whole new look with a factory-quality finish. The total investment ranges between $26,677 and $154,742.
- Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning: Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning offers green cleaning 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 more than 330 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with more locations currently in development. Initial franchise fees range from $41,025 to $154,742.
- Tutor Doctor: Tutor Doctor provides a personalized one-to-one, in-home tutoring service to students of all ages. Now with offices internationally, the Tutor Doctor vision is becoming a reality, positively impacting students and their families worldwide. Tutor Doctor was named the No. 1 In-Home Tutoring Franchise by Entrepreneur.com in 2016, and has nearly 500 territories in 16 countries. Investments start at $39,700.
- WIN Home Inspection: Founded in 1993, WIN Home Inspection is one of the fastest growing home inspection companies with more than 150 operators in 32 states. Startup costs begin at $36,150.
$50,000 to $74,999
- Caring Transitions: Founded in 2007, Caring Transitions is a Cincinnati-based senior relocation, estate sale and liquidation company. Caring Transitions plans to have 50 more locations open by the end of 2017, and a total of 900 locations open by 2020. The total investment ranges from $58,112 to $88,900.
- Chem-Dry Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning: Founded in 1977, Chem-Dry spans across more than 50 countries and serves more than 11,000 homes and businesses a day worldwide. Its green-certified solution and proprietary Hot Carbonating Extraction cleaning process provides a deeper clean, allows surfaces to dry faster and leaves homes and workplaces healthier. The total investment ranges between $56,495 and $161,957.
- Fastest Labs: Fastest Labs is owned by Fas-Tes Franchise Systems LLC., and is a drug, alcohol and DNA testing franchise that provides certified testing for both private and legal purposes. With 22 units open in eight states, the brand offers affordable lab tests for businesses, individuals, students, teens and corporations. The total investment ranges between $74,650 and $88,900.
- Patrice & Associates: Founded in 1989, Patrice & Associates helps thousands 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 chains and hotels. There are currently 100 franchise units across the country. The estimated investment begins at $71,500.
- ShelfGenie: Founded in 2000, ShelfGenie offers customized cabinet shelving solutions. The company has more than 160 territories in the U.S. and Canada. The total franchise investment begins at $70,100.
- Weed Man USA: Weed Man USA is North America's No. 1 franchise lawn care provider. It's 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 500 territories throughout the United States. The total investment ranges between $68,453 and $85,513.
$75,000 to $99,999
- BrightStar Care: Chicago-based BrightStar Care is a national private-duty home care and medical staffing franchise with more than 300 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. BrightStar Care startup costs range between $94,156 and $176,566.
- 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 100 pools in 14 states, and average initial investment begins at $80,000.
- Froots: Froots is a healthy alternative to traditional fast food fare, providing a variety of smoothies, shakes, fresh-squeezed juices, sandwiches, wraps, paninis, salads, soups and more. The homegrown business has been operating in South Florida since 2001, and currently has more than 30 U.S. units as well as several international locations. Froots has both kiosk and store front business models available with costs starting from $92,600 and $140,150 respectively, including the $25,000 franchise fee.
- 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 $75,000.
- 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 can start as low as $89,200.
- 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 on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 list every year since 2005 and has more than 90 locations across the country. The initial franchise fee is $74,000, and includes your license, marketing materials, equipment, training and trailer.
- Painting with a Twist: Painting with a Twist is a leading paint-and-sip franchise with 300 studios in 36 states. The company began franchising in 2009 and provides customers with paint, a canvas and brushes that lead to a fun evening with friends and a finished piece of art. Painting with a Twist has been ranked the No. 1 Paint and Sip franchise as part of Entrepreneur magazine's annual Franchise 500 edition for the past three years.
$100,000 to $249,999
- Blo Blow Dry Bar: 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. Blo Blow Dry Bar has more than 75 locations across 30 cities. The total investment is estimated between $174,100 and $305,300.
- 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 teacher-training program designed to thoroughly and safely teach group Pilates classes. Club Pilates leaders expect to have 350 locations open by the end of 2017. The total investment ranges between $180,595 and $249,295.
- Dental Fix Rx: Founded in 2009, Dental Fix Rx is a mobile dental equipment repair service that delivers immediate, on-demand equipment service, hand-piece repairs and cost-effective consumable products. The company has more than 200 franchises that service about 20,000 customers throughout North America. Initial investment is estimated at $125,000.
- 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. The total estimated initial investment starts at $120,099.
- 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 more than 120 Kono Pizza locations operating in 30 countries. The company estimates its average total initial investment to be as low as $74,526 for carts, $91,026 for trailers and $165,976 for trucks.
- School of Rock: Since 1998, music education franchise School of Rock has been providing students of all ages with one-of-a-kind musical experiences. The company encourages students to rehearse with other students, allowing for a supportive and motivating environment. Initial investments start at $115,650.
- Waxing the City: Waxing the City is a waxing studio that caters to 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. Company leaders expect to have 350 locations open in the next five years. Total investment ranges between $86,300 and $287,975.
$250,000 to $499,999
- 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 100 locations throughout the United States, and hopes to have 500 locations open by 2025. For a single unit, the company estimates the initial average investment is $376,000.
- Dogtopia: Founded in 2002, Dogtopia is a dog daycare, boarding, training and spa facilities. The company offers an experience focused on safety and transparency in the market. Each facility averages between 3,500 and 7,500 square feet and is specially designed to provide dogs and pet parents with the best experience by reducing odors, noise level, illness and accidents. With more than 50 locations across North America, the brand continues to expand through franchising with successful entrepreneurs. Initial investment is estimated to begin at $450,000.
- 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 80 locations open or under construction in 15 states, this franchise is a great opportunity for any aspiring restaurateur and can be started for as low as $447,000.
- Krispy Kreme: Founded in 1937, there are more than 1,000 Krispy Kreme locations across the United States and other countries today. The American doughnut company sells doughnuts, coffee and other drinks. Franchise training includes up to 16 weeks of training that usually takes place at a training center in Winston Salem, N.C. The initial investment ranges from $275,000 and $1,911,250.
- 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, and ha 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. The restaurant offers burritos, bowls, salads, tacos and quesadillas — all made with freshly pressed tortillas — with the customer's choice of fillings. Pancheros currently has 71 units in 14 states and requires a minimum of $250,000 liquid cash to get started.
- Skoah: Skoah is a facial shop specializing in "personal training" for your skin. The company offers facials by a team of Skin Care Trainers who place an emphasis on guest education and quality care. Founded in Vancouver in 2001, the spa has grown to 15 locations throughout the United States and Canada. In 2016 the company announced it would begin selling its franchise opportunity, starting at $240,000.
$500,000 to $999,999
- East Coast Wings + Grill: East Coast Wings + Grill is based in North Carolina, and is a casual family dining restaurant with an emphasis on buffalo wings. The restaurant caters to chicken wing lovers by offering dozens of varying chicken wing flavors that can be paired with nine heat intensities—resulting with hundreds of delicious choices. The extensive menu also includes salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more – all using fresh ingredients. The initial estimated investment ranges between $500,000 and $999,000.
- The Goddard School: The Goddard School is a pre-school franchise that offers year-round programs for children. 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. Minimum total investment ranges from $703,100 to $764,600.
- Pet Supplies Plus: Pet Supplies Plus has more than 400 locations in 31 states, and offers a wide array of pet food, pet products, grooming services and animal expertise. Pet Supplies Plus is ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine's Annual Franchise 500 list as the Top Full-Service Pet Supplies Franchise for its exceptional performance in areas such as financial strength, growth rate and system size. The estimated initial investment starts at $549,400.
- Retro Fitness: Since opening in 2004, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national fitness system, and is on track to have more than 700 locations by 2020. Each Retro Fitness location is a full-service fitness center, with 60 to 100 pieces of equipment from leading manufacturers. The total initial cost is estimated to cost between $941,350 to $1,892,250.
- 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 50 locations. The estimated initial investment ranges from $597,350 and $793,700.
- ZIPS Dry Cleaners: ZIPS Dry Cleaners was founded in 1996 and began franchising 10 years later. ZIPS Dry Cleaners currently has more than 50 stores, with more than 250 under development. 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. Total costs start at $855,350 for a single territory.
$1 million +
- Bojangles' Famous Chicken'n Biscuits: Founded in 1977 Bojangles', is known for its made-from-scratch Cajun-style chicken, buttermilk biscuits and iced tea. The restaurant has more than 740 locations with the majority located 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 more than $500,000 to be considered.
- Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar: Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar is both a family-friendly casual dining restaurant and an energetic sports bar. For more than 50 years, Boston's has been providing a relaxing atmosphere and food from scratch to parties of all sizes. While Boston's specializes in pizza and pasta, its menu features more than 80 items, including salads, sandwiches, burgers, wings and ribs. With sales exceeding $1 billion in system-wide gross sales, Boston's is looking to expand around the United States and Mexico. The total investment can range from $1,125,000 to $2,816,000.
- Goldfish Swim School: Goldfish Swim School teaches children between the ages of four months to 12 years old how to swim. There are more than 65 Goldfish Swim Schools open, and the company is on pace to have more than 100 locations open in the next five years. The total investment ranges from $1,315,283 to $2,912,358.
- SONIC Drive-In Restaurants: SONIC began franchising in 1959, and now has more than 3,5000 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 $1,070,000 to $2,360,000.
- 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. You must have a net worth of at least $1,800,000 to qualify for a Sky Zone franchise.