Show Me the Money: Best Franchises to Own

How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!

Person counting money: Best Franchises to OwnWant to be your own boss and have the opportunity to make passive income doing what you love for a living? Franchises are a great way to have your own business without all the work of building a company from scratch. A franchise gives you business guidance and marketing support to be successful. They also come with built-in brand reputations (and sometimes a pre-existing customer base). But with hundreds of them to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at some of the best franchise opportunities, organized by type, along with more info about each one.

What are the Best Franchises to Own?

There are a number of things you should considering including the timing, location and the needs and demands of the area. So, if you live in a city that has colder climate year round then you probably don’t want to open an ice cream parlor in the middle of winter. Similarly, if you have always dreamed of having a neighborhood pizza place but there are already several struggling pizzerias in the area, then you might want to reconsider.

It also depends on your values. If you value is making money, then you should look for a franchise opportunity with higher profit margins and growth rate. But if you are more interested in a franchise with flexibility and freedom, then you should consider those types of business opportunities when making a decision.

What will be the most successful also depends on the type of person you are and your skill set and passions. For example, if your a passionate, business savvy mom then TotSquad (a baby stroller and car seat cleaning franchise company) gives you the ability to utilize your background in business to help other busy moms who have the same desire to keep their children clean and safe. On the flip side, if you are allergic to gluten and a vegetarian, then opening a Jimmy John’s sub shop might not be the best fit for you.

With those things in mind, we broke out the best franchises by type and picked the top three picks for each category. These made our short list because they topped multiple other lists for being reputable brands with a high growth potential.

Feel free to use the menu below to jump to the top franchises for sale by category, or keep scrolling to read them all!

Food & Beverage | Health & Wellness | Home-Based | Retail | Educational

Best Food & Beverage Franchises

Are you a foodie with a knack for customer service? Owning a fast casual dining concept is a great way to dip your toes in the restaurant world without taking the plunge. Being in food and beverage means there are more overhead costs, potential health hazards, and lots of competition. But it could be a delicious deal if you have the cash!


Culver's logo

Visit Website 

Description: Family oriented restaurant with butter burgers, fresh frozen custard & Wisconsin cheese curds

Founded: 1984, franchising since 1998
Type of Business: Brick and mortar
Minimum Investment Required: $1,845,000
Net-worth Requirement: $350,000
Franchise Fee: $55,000
Royalty Fee: 4%
Number of Units: 562
Required Employees: 40-50

Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John's logoVisit Website 

Description: Shop and delivery offering fast, fresh, made to order sub sandwiches

Founded: 1983, franchising since 1993
Type of Business: Brick and mortar and delivery 
Minimum Investment Required: $325,000
Net-worth Requirement: $300,000
Franchise Fee: $35,000
Royalty Fee: 6%
Number of Units: 2,434
Required Employees: 20


Zaxby's logoVisit Website 

Description: Fast food serving chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads

Founded: 1990, franchising since 1994
Type of Business: Brick and mortar
Minimum Investment Required: $284,000
Net-worth Requirement: $700,000
Franchise Fee: $35,000
Royalty Fee: 6%
Number of Units: 574
Required Employees: 7-10

Best Health & Wellness Franchises

Love the idea of making the world a better, fitter place, and improving other’s mental or physical state without going back to med school? Then you might be a good fit for a fitness or health franchise. In a health-conscious society, there’s never been a better time to get moving on this trend. Two of our picks are brick and mortar but one is an in-home service which has less overhead.

Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness logoVisit Website

Description: Gym and fitness facility focusing on occasional or first-time gym users

Founded: 1992, franchising since 2003
Type of Business: Brick and mortar 
Minimum Investment Required: $728,000
Net-worth Requirement: $3,000,000
Franchise Fee: $10,000
Royalty Fee: 5%
Number of Units: 956
Required Employees: 12-15

Massage Envy

Massage Envy logoVisit Website

Description: Customized, affordable therapeutic massages, spa and skincare services

Founded: 2002, franchising since 2003
Type of Business: Brick and mortar 
Minimum Investment Required: $411,700
Net-worth Requirement: $500,000
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Royalty Fee: 6%
Number of Units: 1,146
Required Employees: 20

Right at Home

Right at Home logoVisit Website 

Description: Senior care, elder care, home health care, caregiver assistance, and other home care needs

Founded: 1995, franchising since 2000
Type of Business: In-home service
Minimum Investment Required: $74,000
Net-worth Requirement: $150,000
Franchise Fee: $48,500
Royalty Fee: 5%
Number of Units: 376
Required Employees: 2+

Best Home-Based Franchises

If you like taking care of people, then a service-oriented franchise business might be your best bet. Unlike traditional brick and mortar companies, home-based and service companies are the best low cost franchises to own. Plus, a mobile service gives you more flexibility and a wider range of customers without the costly overhead of a building. Keep in mind you’re limited in terms of time, will be managing schedules, and need specialized employees to train and hire in addition to insuring the drivers, fluctuating gas costs and wear and tear on your fleet. In addition to TotSquad, we recommend these three services to grow your bottom line faster.

Weed Man

Weedman logoVisit Website 

Description:  Landscaping, lawn care, and pest control

Founded: 1970, franchising since 1976
Type of Business: In-home service
Minimum Investment Required: $68,450
Net-worth Requirement: $60,000
Franchise Fee: $20,000
Royalty Fee: 6%
Number of Units: 425
Required Employees: 4-6

Two Men and a Truck

2 Men and a Truck logoVisit Website 

Description: Local packing and moving company

Founded: 1985, franchising since 1989
Type of Business: In-home service 
Minimum Investment Required: $178,000
Net-worth Requirement: $350,000
Franchise Fee: $50,000
Royalty Fee: 6%
Number of Units: 267
Required Employees: 7+


Maid Pro logoVisit Website 

Description: Residential, customized eco-friendly cleaning subscription service

Founded: 1991, franchising since 1997
Type of Business: In-home service
Minimum Investment Required: $58,960
Net-worth Requirement: $50,000
Franchise Fee: $17,000+
Royalty Fee: 3-6%
Number of Units: 189
Required Employees:  1-25

Video: MaidPro Success Story

Watch this 2-3 minute video of Jesse Z who owns and operates a successful MaidPro franchise out of Pennsylvania and is considering opening more. He talks about the freedom and flexibility it allows him and his wife in their life.

Best Retail Franchises

Retail stores are a good option if you like interacting with people and have set hours where you can close up your doors at night. So, you don’t have to have a desk to have a 9 to 5 job. Two of the retail picks are brick and mortar while one is a pop-up shop that caught our attention as a unique way to earn income without having to run a store year round. You’ll have inventory to deal with but skilled labor is not an issue with retail, just plenty of smiling faces! While cheap franchises do not really exist, there are some opportunities in this industry that offer a lower capital investment.

Just Between Friends

Just Between Friends logoVisit Website 

Description: Children’s and maternity consignment sales events

Founded: 1997, franchising since 2004
Type of Business: Pop-up retail events
Minimum Investment Required: $32,774
Net-worth Requirement: $15,000
Franchise Fee: $14,900
Royalty Fee: 2-3%
Number of Units: 151
Required Employees: 1 full-time, 15-20 team members for events

Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries and Bulbs logoVisit Website 

Description: Replacement batteries, light bulbs and smartphone and tablet repair services

Founded: 1988, franchising since 1992
Type of Business: Brick and mortar
Minimum Investment Required: $211,552
Net-worth Requirement: $350,000
Franchise Fee: $37,500
Royalty Fee: 5%
Number of Units: 634
Required Employees: 3-4


7-Eleven logoVisit Website

Description: Convenience store

Founded: 1927, franchising since 1964
Type of Business: Brick and mortar 
Minimum Investment Required: $34,550
Net-worth Requirement: $100,000
Franchise Fee: $10,000
Royalty Fee: none, profit sharing
Number of Units: 8,100
Required Employees: 7-10

Best Education Franchises

Education is one thing that will never go out of style! In fact, as gaining entrance into college gets more competitive, many parents are giving their kids an advantage with tutoring and test prep.


Mathnasium logoVisit Website 

Description: Custom math tutoring services for preschoolers through high school

Founded: 2002, franchising since 2003
Type of Business: Brick and mortar / delivery / online 
Minimum Investment Required: $90,750
Net-worth Requirement: $137,610
Franchise Fee: $40,000
Royalty Fee: 10%
Number of Units: 624
Required Employees: 1

The Learning Experience

The Learning Experience logoVisit Website

Description: Education-based childcare services

Founded: 1979, franchising since 2003
Type of Business: Brick and mortar 
Minimum Investment Required: $495,299
Net-worth Requirement: $500,000
Franchise Fee: $60,000
Royalty Fee: 7%
Number of Units: 150
Required Employees:  10-20

Sylvan Learning Center

Sylvan Learning Center logoVisit Website 

Description: Personalized instructional services to students of all ages and skill levels

Founded: 1979, franchising since 1980
Type of Business: Brick and mortar
Minimum Investment Required: $186,945
Net-worth Requirement: $250,000
Franchise Fee: $48,000
Royalty Fee: 8-9%
Number of Units: 1,050
Required Employees: 2-4

More Franchise Opportunities

Franchise Genius logoVisit Website

There are several other top franchises in categories we didn’t cover (hotel chains, big box stores, and countless others). So if you don’t see one that interests you, we recommend searching Franchise Genius database to search by industry, location and price range to find the perfect fit for you and your interests and budget. You can also use Franchise Genius to learn more details about one of the companies above and the next steps to owning one.

Tips for Getting Started in Franchising

Ready to start taking the next steps to making money and living your dream with one of these top franchises to own!? Before taking the plunge, Jennifer Saxton from Tot Squad recommends attending a “Discovery Day” at a franchise headquarters as a good way to kick the tires and gauge if you are a fit for the franchise model. That way you can get a real taste to see if it’s truly the best franchise for you to invest in.

Good luck to all the budding business owners out there. We hope you find the path to success and profitability soon!

Are you looking to franchise or do you have your own franchise already? We’d love to hear your experience with the process.

Sources: Entrepreneur, Forbes

Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Show Me the Money: Best Franchises to Own"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Donald Meyers
Donald Meyers

I never really considered owning a franchise but this article has convinced me to look into it! I hate my job and don’t want to retire yet so I think Franchising might be worthwhile! I love me some Jimmy Johns, but man that’s a lot of cash needed! So maybe the maid cleaning or one with less start up needed is a better idea (and I can use all my cash I make from my new business to buy Jimmy John’s sandwiches ha!)


Send this to a friend