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By Mike McLeod Updated on August 24, 2023

Best Low-Cost Franchises to Open

If you have goals of becoming an entrepreneur but aren’t sure what type of business to start, a franchise could 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 a franchise fee of less than $50,000. 

Let’s go through the top affordable franchises across several industries to help you find the best cheap franchises with good profit potential.

  • 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 considered.
    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 to Buy

Opening one of these affordable franchises can net you high returns on your initial investment. 

Some can even be opened without a physical location, which means you could be a mobile business or even run a profitable business from the comfort of your home.

Company Franchise Fee
Momleta $5,000-$8,000
Soccer Shots $34,500
Proforma Up to $19,500
Superglass Windshield Repair $5,000-$17,500
Property Management Inc.® $15,000+
Mosquito Hunters $35,000
Anago Cleaning Systems $5,015-$31,000
Padgett Business Services® $15,000+
Huntington Learning Center $28,000
Pillar to Post Home Inspectors $24,500

MOMLETA : $5,000-$8,000

Mothers balance on strollers as they work out. MOMLETA is a low-cost franchise where mothers can bring their children to exercise classes.

Founded in 2001, MOMLETA (originally named Baby Boot Camp) offers affordable franchise opportunities for fitness-minded entrepreneurs.

Franchisees offer wellness programs and various exercise classes geared toward mothers’ fitness needs. Options range from core workouts and run clubs to Baby Boot Camp, in which the attending mothers’ babies sit in an interactive stroller that’s utilized as a part of the exercise equipment.

Franchisees host classes at their own MOMLETA studio, but after the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the company also offers live Zoom classes or on-demand classes in their content library.

Franchise fees start at just $5,000, with your total initial investment averaging more than $10,000. You can choose among 3 franchise fee tiers — each tier corresponds with your exclusive territory’s population size. For instance, the price is $8,000 to access a population of up to 300,000.

MOMLETA is one of the best low-cost franchises for female entrepreneurs who love children and staying fit.

Soccer Shots: $34,500

Members of a children’s soccer team cheer together. The Soccer Shots is an option for someone looking for a low-cost franchise to own.

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.

The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 cut short or canceled many youth sports’ seasons, so overall revenue took a hit that year. In 2021, Soccer Shots announced reopening plans that include social distancing measures and new cleaning rules, among other changes, to curb the risk of spreading the virus and its variants.

Whether you are interested 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: $19,500

The Proforma business model offers marketing and promotional assistance to other business owners. This includes branded materials, custom packaging, apparel and more.

The franchise fee is $19,500, but keep in mind there are other training and startup fees, adding about $10,000-$15,000  to your full investment, so Proforma isn’t the cheapest franchise to own.

However, Proforma can be a low-cost franchise with 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, offering 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: $5,000-$17,500

For over 25 years, SuperGlass Windshield Repair has provided aspiring entrepreneurs with a tried and tested business model, making it one of the best franchises to buy on our list.

For a franchise fee of as little as $5,000 (plus equipment and training costs), you could own a profitable business repairing auto glass. The company provides on-the-job and classroom training as well as ongoing marketing support.

Among the cheap franchises, 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 control 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 franchises  for people looking to get their feet wet in the real estate industry.

Mosquito Hunters: $35,000

Mosquito population growth has been on the rise in the U.S., and these insects can spread diseases, including the Zika and West Nile viruses and malaria. You can help control the threat by joining the Mosquito Hunters franchise. Mosquito Hunters workers are hired by residential or commercial property owners to ward off mosquitos and ticks. 

The franchise fee for Mosquito Hunters is reported around $35,000, but your initial investment will range from more than $71,000 and $94,000. There’s a $10,000 deduction available for veterans, minorities and first responders.

Because the work primarily takes place at outdoor locations, you can operate this franchise from your home and reduce your overhead costs.

Anago Cleaning Systems: $5,015-$31,000

Commercial cleaning companies are great low-cost franchise opportunities to consider. Among them, Anago Cleaning Systems stands out. In fact, in 2021, Anago Cleaning Systems was ranked #2 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Top 50 Franchises Under $50K.

Anago has 2 franchise options: a master franchise owner and a unit franchise owner. The master franchise owner holds a marketing/sales position and oversees the unit franchise owners, who operate the cleaning services. However, a master franchise owner’s franchise fee is $98,000, while a unit owner has a lower franchise fee, with the cost ranging from about $5,000 to $31,000.  

As a unit franchise owner, you’ll run the business behind the scenes while your staff performs the cleaning.

Anago guarantees you a book of clients right away, so you don’t have to worry about finding clients when you’re starting up. The client guarantee, coupled with the minimal investment, 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. It’s not the cheapest franchise to own because on top of the franchise fee your initial investment — which can include costs for computer equipment, software, necessary licenses and office space — runs from $20,000 to just shy of $100,000. However, the premium that businesses pay for accounting services makes it a potentially lucrative industry to get into.

Huntington Learning Centers: $28,000

Huntington Learning Centers provide tutoring and test preparation for students in kindergarten through high school. 

Founded in 1977, Huntington has developed a reputation for improving students’ school and testing performances. In 2020, it was ranked #10 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Top Low-Cost Franchises Under $150K.

The franchise fee is $28,000 for a 10-year agreement; U.S. military veterans can have that franchise cost reduced by 25%. Remember that it’s more expensive to set up an education center, so your total initial investment will be more than $100,000. 

You don’t have to be an educator to franchise with Huntington Learning Centers, and the company provides 4 weeks of training for franchisees.

Pillar to Post Home Inspectors: $24,500

Two men conduct a home inspection. If you’re looking for an affordable franchise, some home inspection firms could be a good choice.

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 $24,500, and your initial investment (after equipment and training) could be a little more than $41,000.

What makes this one of the best low-cost franchises to own 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 among affordable franchises 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 the action 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.

Mike McLeod is a former senior SEO specialist at Fast Capital 360. He has a passion for giving small business owners, like you, the financial and strategic tools they need to realize the American dream.
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