For people with the drive to run their own business, the investment of both time and money to start and build a successful venture might seem overly daunting. An appealing alternative for many entrepreneurial individuals is to purchase a ready-to-go business via franchising.
The costs of becoming a franchise owner can range widely from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, access to large amounts of liquid assets is usually a requirement. For example, McDonald’s franchisees must pay $45,000 initially and have access to at least $500,000 in liquid assets.
However, some franchises are available at a low cost of less than $10,000 and still offer great potential for earning a profit from the business. Here are some of the highest-ranked franchises that won’t break the bank for a beginning entrepreneur.
Franchises under $50,000
Certain franchises might be less well known but can offer excellent opportunities for aspiring business owners without a massive initial investment. The following franchise opportunities come from Franchise Business Review’s list of low-cost franchises for 2021.
Dream Vacations is a travel agency that has been franchising since 1992. It requires an upfront investment of $1,795–$21,000 to get started. Franchising fees depend on your level of experience in the travel industry. Someone with zero experience can get financing options with $3,500 down.
Cruise Planners is another travel company and it's an American Express Travel Representative. The franchise cost is $10,995 and the total startup cost is $2,295–$23,665.
United Country Real Estate is a good option if you’re interested in becoming a franchisee in the real estate industry. United Country requires an investment of $16,690 plus $15,000 in cash.
Fit4Mom is a fitness company that comes with a franchise fee of $5,495–$10,495, according to NerdWallet. Franchisees can conduct their own fitness classes under the Fit4Mom umbrella.
Jazzercise requires you to be an instructor to become a franchisee. With Jazzercise, you can be an associate instructor franchisee or a class owner franchisee, both of which require an initial one-time franchise fee of $1,250. Other fees on insurance, revenues, and music licensing apply.
Image One is a cleaning and maintenance company that has been franchising since 2011. A $30,000 net worth is required, as well as a startup investment of $42,275 or more (although some franchisees like Bob Caramusa say that they started their Image One franchise with just $15,000).
Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, a home inspection company, has a franchise fee of $21,900. The initial investment is $36,350, according to NerdWallet.
Tips for franchisees
If you want to open your own franchise, be sure to thoroughly research potential opportunities. Remember there are other costs like yearly maintenance fees and royalties to consider along with their compensation model for franchisees. So, even if the official “franchise fee” appears low, read the fine print about other expenses.
Be sure that you aren’t expecting to earn completely passive income from owning a franchise either. Franchisees take an active role in running their businesses.