If you have goals of becoming an entrepreneur but aren’t sure what type of business to start, a franchise may be a great opportunity.
Some of the best low-cost franchises in the U.S. offer you the ability to become a business owner for less than $50,000. These franchises may not have the same profit potential as mega-brands like McDonald’s, but they have proven business models and don’t cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to open.
Depending on which one you choose, you could also be up and running in as little as a week.
How We Created This Best Low-Cost Franchise List
While the initial franchise fee is important for making the cut on our list of the best low-cost franchise opportunities, it’s not the only criteria we took into account.
Sales, growth and track record were also considered.
It’s one thing to be cheap to open; it’s quite another thing to offer a smart investment opportunity. It takes the right mix of affordability and a proven business plan to provide franchise entrepreneurs the best chance of success.
But to make our list of the top low-cost franchise opportunities, fees had to come in under $50,000.
10 Best Low-Cost Franchises
Opening one of these franchises can net you high returns on your initial investment. They all require minimal equipment costs. Some can even be opened without a physical location.
This means you could run a profitable business from the comfort of your home.
|Baby Boot Camp||$5,000-$8,000|
|Proforma||Up to $20,000|
|Superglass Windshield Repair||$9,500+|
|Property Management Inc.®||$15,000+|
|Anago Cleaning Systems||$4,600+|
|Padgett Business Services®||$15,000+|
|Complete Weddings + Events||$18,000+|
|Pillar to Post Home Inspectors||$21,900|
Baby Boot Camp: $5,000-$8,000
Founded in 2001, Baby Boot Camp offers affordable franchise opportunities for fitness-minded entrepreneurs.
Franchisees will offer exercise classes geared towards keeping moms fit and growing their relationship with their child. Children are present at the classes, where they sit in an interactive Baby Boot Camp stroller that’s utilized as a part of the exercise equipment.
Franchise fees for (aptly named) “momtrepreneurs” start at just $5,000. Three tiers determine how large your exclusive territory is. For instance, the price is $8,000 for access to a population of up to 300,000.
Baby Boot Camp is one of the best low-cost franchises for female entrepreneurs who love children and staying fit.
Soccer Shots: $34,500
Keeping with the exercise theme is Soccer Shots. Franchisees can choose to be an owner/operator that’s more hands-on or an executive owner who hires coaches and directors to handle the day-to-day operations.
The up-front franchise fee totals $34,500. You’ll incur other fees for items such as training and insurance.
The business model speaks for itself. Top earners have made almost $250,000 in their first year, and generate millions after establishing their franchise. The company also boasts an average growth of 60% over an 8-year period.
Whether you have an interest in soccer or just want to open one of the best low-cost franchises with high profit margins, Soccer Shots could be for you.
Proforma: Up to $20,000
The Proforma business model offers marketing and promotional assistance to other business owners. This includes branded materials, custom packaging, apparel and more.
Depending on the scope of your franchise, the initial fee could be under $5,000. There are other training and startup fees involved, so expect to pay about $10,000-$15,000 more for your full investment.
Proforma is one of the top cheap franchises to consider due to its high-profit potential. Becoming a one-stop-shop for local businesses looking for promotional assistance can provide you with large orders and referrals.
Those with a business-to-business background or an eye for design could be perfect for Proforma.
Small business tip: Are you a military service veteran looking to start your own business? Proforma is a part of the VetFran program, which offers discounted fees and other financial incentives to veterans.
In the past, the company has offered grants or even waived their initial franchise fee for former service members. This makes Proforma one of the best low-cost franchises for veterans.
SuperGlass Windshield Repair: $9,500-$28,500
For over 25 years, SuperGlass Windshield Repair has provided aspiring entrepreneurs with a tried and tested business model, making them one of the best franchises with low startup costs on our list.
For as little as $9,500 (plus equipment and training costs), you could own a profitable business repairing auto glass. Flying rocks and other road hazards will be sure to keep you in business for years to come.
This is a great choice for car enthusiasts or those with a passion for working with their hands.
Property Management Inc.®: Starting at $15,000
Interested in real estate investing but don’t have the money or experience? Property Management Inc.® offers the opportunity to learn the ropes of landlordship for a low price.
As a franchise owner, you’ll take control of the maintenance, tenant relations and management of residential, commercial and vacation rental properties.
Franchise fees start at $15,000, making PMI the best low-cost option for franchisees looking to get their feet wet in the real estate industry.
Cruise Planners: $10,995
Travel agents with Cruise Planners can work from home, an office or even while on their own getaway.
It takes less than $11,000 to get started, and it only requires a small amount of training before you can reach your first client. Your total initial investment could be lower than $20,000.
Cruise Planners is also one of the best low-cost franchises for veterans, offering discounted fees and credits for marketing and designing for your business.
Vacation packages are offered as incentives as well, making this an obvious choice for travelers.
Anago Cleaning Systems: $4,600-$33,000
Commercial cleaning companies are great low-cost franchise opportunities to consider. Among them, Anago Cleaning Systems stands out.
As a unit franchise owner, you’ll run the business behind the scenes while your staff performs the cleaning.
The initial franchise fee is as low as $4,600 and will vary based on your territory, maxing out at $33,000.
Anago guarantees you a book of clients right away, so you don’t have to worry about finding clients when you’re starting up. Coupled with the minimal investment, this guarantee makes Anago one of the best affordable franchises regardless of industry.
Padgett Business Services®: Starting at $15,000
If you come from an accounting background, Padgett Business Services® may be a high-profit, low-cost franchise that interests you.
Padgett franchises offer B2B accounting, payroll and management services. An accounting background isn’t a must if you assemble the right team, but it will help you get started.
Initial franchising fees start at $15,000 and go up to $56,000 depending on your territory and experience.
The premium that businesses pay for accounting services makes it a potentially lucrative industry to get into.
Complete Weddings + Events: $18,000-$42,000
A franchise owner for Complete Weddings + Events assembles a team of DJs, photographers, videographers and more to make every event special for its clients.
The franchise fee starts at $18,000, and the total initial investment maxes out around $60,000 after equipment purchases.
Getting into the booming wedding industry means high profits for this low-cost franchise opportunity.
Pillar to Post Home Inspectors: $21,900
As the market continues to rebound from the housing crisis, more people are beginning to buy homes. With Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, you can own a franchise from a big name in the home inspection business.
The franchise fee is only $21,900, and your initial investment (after equipment and training) could be under $40,000.
What makes this one of the best low-cost franchises to open is the ability to work without a physical location. Your work is done at the home you’re inspecting, so you can run your business from your living room between site visits.
Pillar to Post is an excellent option for entrepreneurs with a construction background or an interest in real estate.
Why Open a Low-Cost Franchise?
Unlike starting a business from scratch, the best low-cost franchises will give you the proven, successful business model you need to earn money right away.
With the initial growing pains already taken care of, they’re a ready-made cure for your entrepreneurial itch. Branding and marketing are already done. Just take the name recognition already there and promote it in your area.
Some put you into action and working on the frontlines of your business, while others let you sit back and manage a team from behind the scenes.
Whatever interests you have, there are affordable franchise opportunities out there. Now it’s time to dig deeper and find out which choice interests you the most. You can be up and running a successful business in no time.