With more than 5,000 available choices, picking a franchise brand to partner with is one of the biggest decisions a new entrepreneur or investor can make.
We know it may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help with information on searching for a franchise and our picks for the top 25 franchise brands of 2022. All entries on this list provide an excellent return on investment, a strong track record of success, and innovative methods and services that help them stand out in a sea of options.
If you’re interested in a specific type of franchise, use the links below to review our picks for that industry:
Personal Care and Services
Hair and Beauty
Before we get to the list, it’s essential to know what makes a successful franchise and what you should look for when evaluating your options. Pay attention to factors such as how a franchise will fit into your life stage, finances, and circumstances, and discuss these investment decisions with a franchise-savvy attorney, broker, or advisor.
We evaluate franchise opportunities by reviewing the Financial Disclosure Documents (FDDs) and looking closely at these six factors:
Return on Investment: Investments to purchase and build out a new franchise location range from $200k to more than $700k – but the ROI on some franchises can average from 30% to as high as 200%.
Growth: Growth is another vital factor in ensuring the long-term success of a business. Look for a franchise with room to grow as your business succeeds and evolves. A strong track record of annual growth is a good indicator of sound investment.
Leadership: The first pillar of a strong business is its people. When evaluating a franchise opportunity, look beyond the numbers. Get to know the leadership team and explore their partnership approach. As a franchisee, you’ll be working closely with brand leaders, so be sure to find alignment before investing.
Sustainability: Sustainable brands are more attractive to consumers and more successful in the long run. Sustainability can lower costs and add resiliency to your supply chain, so look for a brand with a strong track record of sustainable practices.
Recession and pandemic resistance: The past three years served as a proving ground for business owners. Franchises historically perform well through major global events like recessions and public health crises. Look for opportunities in recession-resistant industries that provide essential services such as health care, personal services, home and auto repair, education, and others.
Manageability: Good systems and management models are a cornerstone of franchise success. Look at the business model and evaluate it against current economic conditions, employment numbers, and your personal ability to run and scale the business. Look for options that align with your lifestyle and capabilities.
Check out these successful franchise opportunities. Every brand on the list meets the criteria of high ROI, healthy growth, quality leadership, sustainable practices, recession resistance, and manageable business models. We’ve broken the list down by category so you can read more about opportunities in the areas that interest you.
CertaPro is the largest commercial and residential painting company in the US. Founded and franchised in 1992, this company has more than 480 franchise locations. CertaPro is a subsidiary of the First Service Brands company, whose portfolio includes California Closets, Paul Davis Restoration, and Pillar To Post Coverings International.
This is an active franchise model. The ideal franchisee is an active owner-operator with an executive management and leadership background.
Numbers at a Glance
Units: 380+ franchised units
Average number of employees: 2 to 10
Investment: Liquid capital is $75,000; total investment is $90,000 to $242,000 (including an initial franchise fee of $64,900)
Minimum net worth: $250,000
Founded in 2005 and franchised in 2007, this residential junk hauling brand offers one-stop shopping for moving, junk removal, on-demand labor services, and more. Its stress-free approach to an in-demand household service has helped the company grow to more than 300 franchisees across the country.
Numbers at a Glance
Units: 315+ franchised units
Average number of employees: 6 to 10
Investment: Liquid capital is $70,000; total investment is $200,000 to $250,000
Minimum net worth: $200,000
This innovative franchise takes a unique approach to the flooring service category by removing the flooring sales element from the business model. Franchisees instead focus on providing top-quality installation of floors from trusted subcontractors, which allows customers to source the materials independently. This model also allows customers to get exactly the materials they want and enjoy speedy, professional installation.
Because the franchise relies on subcontracting to service customer needs, franchise owners act as a point of contact for customers to ensure a quality, professional experience.
Average number of employees: 0
Investment: Liquid capital is $75,000; total investment is $79,000 to $113,000
As an often overlooked cost-savings measure for customers, insulation is perfect as a franchise opportunity, since it offers customer value and a low-overhead business for entrepreneurs. Founded in 2018, Koala uses a friendly approach to educate customers about the benefits and cost efficiency of insulation. Franchisees run their mobile business from a home or office, coordinating installations for custom-manufactured insulation products. The business offers a low employee headcount model, scalability, and in-depth training to create an easy-entry, scalable franchise business.
Average number of employees: 4 to 8
Investment: Liquid capital is $150,000; total investment is $146,000 to $190,000
Commercial hygiene and restoration services is a growing service industry with continual opportunities for new franchisees to start and scale a business. Founded in 2009 and franchised in 2011, Enviro-Master offers franchisees a comprehensive sales and marketing system, including lead generation, access to national accounts, administrative support, and training to deliver first-rate service to commercial clients across several industries. The company offers hygiene and restoration solutions, including hand wash/drying systems, restroom hygiene, sanitary paper management, tile and grout cleaning, and more.
Average number of employees: 2
Investment: Liquid capital is $100,000; total investment is $255,000 to $352,000
Minimum net worth: $300,000
Low-rise commercial and residential window cleaning is another growing opportunity for a franchisee who wants to manage employees in a labor-based business with high recurring revenue opportunities. Fish Window Cleaning offers systems and a straightforward sales process that allows franchisees to excel within the competitive market. Franchise owners do not directly participate in labor; rather, they manage a staff of employees, developing routes and maintaining commercial relationships for year-round service.
Average number of employees: 5 to 20
Investment: Initial investment varies; total investment is $100,000 to $165,000 depending on package size
Minimum net worth: $100,000
Innovative technology and great back-end systems make Smash my Trash a highly desirable franchise opportunity with room to grow. Featuring a patent-pending commercial waste compaction system, this service allows commercial haulers to reduce trash volume in a container by up to 70 percent, which greatly improves the cost efficiency of commercial waste hauling from construction sites, etc. Smash My Trash has experienced record growth, from a single company-owned unit in 2015 to more than 525 franchised units since franchising the business in 2019. This business opens the possibility of either owner-operator or semi-passive business models.
Average number of employees: 2 to 4
Investment: Liquid capital is $175,000; total investment is $323,000 to $396,000
Minimum net worth: $500,000
Private and supplemental education is a huge industry, measuring over $92B in 2020 and growing at an average of 7 percent per year. An early player in the private tutoring industry, Tutor Doctor has established more than 700 franchise territories across 15 countries since 2000. This franchise allows owners to manage a network of one-on-one tutors in a home-based setting, eliminating the need for the brick-and-mortar learning centers that are common in other brands. Prime territories are available for franchisees looking to enter the education franchise market with a trusted and well-established brand.
Average number of employees: 1
Investment: Liquid capital is $54,700; total investment is $73,000
Another entry to the growing private education sector, Mathnasium offers math education services that promise to make learning fun and engaging for students. While private and supplemental education has become more desirable over the last decade, the COVID-19 disruption caused accelerated growth for the tutoring model. Parents and caretakers are looking to this model to provide post-pandemic support for learning losses that kids suffered during lockdowns. Mathnasium learning centers offer in-person and online mathematics education two to three times per week in one-hour sessions. They offer services for students struggling with math, as well as gifted students looking for further enrichment and progress. The company features franchised territories worldwide and a modest investment relative to the potential earnings in this fast-growing sector.
Units: 1,100+ global units
Average number of employees: 8
Investment: Total investment is $113,000 to $150,000
Minimum net worth: $112,000
This well-known eye care company founded in 1961 offers a full range of optical services for children and adults, including exams, retail frame options, contact lens services, and more. With more than 550 locations across the US and Canada and plans for aggressive expansion, this company offers the strength of high brand recognition, proven systems, and an essential service category that makes for franchise success.
Average number of employees: Varies
Investment: Liquid capital is $100,000; total investment is $520,000 to $849,000
Finding screen repair options can be a frustrating process for commercial and residential clients. Sizing and quality issues make it difficult to get quality repair services. Screenmobile, which was founded in 1980, solves this issue with an innovative mobile business model that brings expertise and on-site fabrication services right to your door. The workshop offers a wide range of options for home and business screening, including solutions for pets, solar, motorized, and patio enclosure screens. The company is unique within the industry, with no other competitors offering a to-your-door fabrication service.
Units: 110, with 143 franchise licenses awarded
Average number of employees: 0 to 3
Investment: Liquid capital is $30,000; total investment is $92,000 to $184,000
As a nationally recognized automotive body shop, Maaco franchises offer high brand recognition, excellent systems, and opportunities to expand in the high-return automotive repair and restoration industry. Since 1972, Maaco has offered consumers a trusted and high-quality experience that uses up-to-date practices and technology to restore one of their most important and expensive personal assets. The Maaco brand is looking for franchise partners focused on multi-unit ownership and offers support and training for first-time owners to scale into a network of up to 20 locations.
Investment: total investment is $281,000 to $495,500
Minimum net worth: $900,000+ and a credit score of 700
Another nationally recognized brand in the automotive industry, Meineke offers total automotive care to keep customer vehicles running smoothly. Since 1972, Meineke has cultivated a reputation as a trusted repair and maintenance brand for customers looking to keep their cars on the road longer. This recession-proof industry provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to enter a high-return industry with the systems, support, and backing of a well-known brand.
Investment: Liquid capital is $250,000 minimum; total investment is $250,000 to $550,000
Fun experiences are a cornerstone of the child hair care experience. These specialized businesses make it more enjoyable for kids to sit still for a trim and even look forward to their trip to the salon. Sharkey’s offers a fun, interactive salon experience with video entertainment, toys, balloons, and small ride-on toys to keep kids engaged while they wait. For franchise owners, Sharkey’s offers a proven business model in a recession-resistant industry and a semi-passive opportunity that allows you to run multiple units if desired.
Investment: Liquid capital is $150,000; total investment is $163,000 to $223,000
Minimum net worth: $350,000
This franchise, founded by a family of salon professionals in 2010, offers a unique model within the salon industry. The salon suite concept offers salon professionals an affordable, customizable, and convenient space within a larger facility, allowing them to run their independent businesses without the frustration and expense of running a stand-alone physical location. For franchise owners and their customers, this model offers the best of both worlds, with a more private, upscale experience that appeals to clients looking for an experience as much as a haircut. The Phenix framework allows professionals to focus on high-value activities like building their network and skills, leaving the maintenance and infrastructure to a trusted partner.
Investment: Liquid capital is $300,000; total investment is $632,000 to $1.16M
Minimum net worth: $1,000,000
Beauty and personal services offer a wealth of opportunities for franchisees to open new locations and territories. Lash Lounge, founded in 2006, offers lash extension and care services with non-invasive, non-surgical beauty enhancement options in a friendly, well-maintained store environment. The result is high-quality beauty results and a business model that encourages recurring revenue.
Units: 108, with another 250 franchise licenses awarded
Average number of employees: 3
Investment: Liquid capital is $150,000; total investment is $220,000 to $496,000
Minimum net worth: $500,000 (of which $150,000 must be liquid)
Skincare is a growing sub-segment of the larger beauty market, with plenty of room for new franchisees looking to combine their interest with providing high-quality services with a proven business model. Heyday Skincare offers this opportunity for new franchisees by niching into facial treatments that are usually found as a component of a more extensive spa menu. By specializing in this facet of spa care, the company offers a membership model in which customers can get regular, high-quality care personalized for their needs. As a business model, this results in high customer satisfaction and retention for healthy recurring revenue.
Investment: Liquid capital is $350,000; total investment is $768,000 to $1M
Minimum Net worth: $1,000,000
Massage and skincare services are a perennial favorite for consumers looking to relax, reduce stress, and maintain their health. Since 2004, Hand and Stone has offered comprehensive massage services with both à la carte and membership-based options for customers across the country. The spa focuses on providing a streamlined, enjoyable experience with plenty of opportunities for upselling and enhancements.
Average number of employees: 15 in year 1, expanding to 25 in year 2
Investment: Liquid capital is $150,000; total investment is $568,000 to $675,000
Minimum net worth: $750,000
Fitness and wellness are rapidly growing industries that have rebounded well after the health and social distancing concerns of the pandemic. This modern approach to yoga instruction and fitness services offers a variety of classes to meet any fitness goal. Yoga Six serves clients at every activity and fitness level, promotes health and well-being, and encourages community in an attractive, customer-friendly space that makes it ideal for franchisees looking to grow in the fitness category. Yoga Six is a subsidiary brand of parent franchisor XPONENTIAL Fitness and has deep experience in many facets of the fitness industry.
Units: 105 units, with 514 licenses sold
Average number of employees: 8 to10
Investment: Liquid capital is $100,000; total investment is $289,000 to $499,000
This well-known franchise brand offers both gentle and high-energy fitness experiences based on ballet training, and it is ideal for a variety of fitness levels. Pure Barre has a strong and enthusiastic following among clients and offers a sense of community along with fitness. Founded in 2001, Pure Barre has grown to more than 700 studios. It offers franchisors strong systems and proprietary class offerings with various formats to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers looking for something more than a gym membership.
Average number of employees: 7 to 10
Investment: Liquid capital is $100,000; total investment is $202,000 to $462,000
For consumers looking for varied, exciting, total body workouts with a class-based format, Spenga offers an alternative to routine classes or circuit-based training. The fitness format combines 20-minute segments of spin, strength, and yoga to keep clients motivated and engaged through their workouts. This combination of variety and high-intensity keeps customers returning for the “Best. Workout. Ever” promised in the company’s tagline. Spenga is a solid opportunity for fitness-minded entrepreneurs interested in delivering a new concept that breaks the traditional fitness industry mold.
Average number of employees: 12
Investment: Liquid capital is $250,000; total investment is $289,000 to $858,000
Fitness coaching is another popular sub-category of the financial industry, with clients looking for personalized results and added accountability. This low-cost and profitable model offers intense workouts that meet the needs of older clients, providing safe and approachable workout regimens that still deliver dramatic results. The model consists of semi-private classes that give each client personal access to their fitness coach, as well as access to specialized equipment to enhance their experience and results. This model solves many of the objections clients have to traditional gym experiences.
Investment: Liquid capital is $75,000; total investment is $148,000 to $382,000 depending on suite/studio selections
If you want a food service brand with star power, look no further than Big Chicken. Founded by legendary NBA star (and franchise mogul) Shaquille O’Neal, this chain offers a combination of a famous frontman and well-made, childhood-favorite foods reimagined for the grown-up crowd. The brand features signature items such as Lucille’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese (complete with a tasty Cheez-It crust) and the company’s flagship chicken sandwiches. As a new franchise brand offered by a well-established franchise entrepreneur and hospitality brands group, this is a highly desirable entry into the food service franchise category. The brand is especially interested in partnering with multi-unit owners to grow its network.
Investment: Total investment is $450,000 to $1.4M
Minimum net worth: Unavailable
Bringing a Northwest favorite comfort food together with a well-established franchise system has reaped big rewards for this newer entry to the growing fast-casual foodservice category. Founded in Seattle in 2003 and franchised in 2005, Teriyaki Madness brings an Emerald City staple to a wider audience with fast, family-friendly food and service. The restaurant operates across the US, Canada, and Mexico, and offers made-to-order menu items fast using a streamlined service and modular ingredients approach. The brand capitalizes on global trends and preferences for fresh, Asian food choices and has experienced healthy growth and territory expansion since its opening.
Units: 110 open units and 136 franchisees with 257 additional licenses awarded
Average number of employees: 18 to 22 (4 to 6 per shift)
Investment: Liquid capital is $200,000; total investment is $346,000 to $769,000
The information we’ve shared with you can help you review some key information about a selection of top franchise brands. As mentioned earlier, each of the brands we’ve included meets high-ROI criteria and healthy growth potential, as well as other critical factors.
As you looked these franchise brands over, you undoubtedly noticed the high (in some cases, exorbitantly high) initial capital requirements. Would you be interested in investing in many of the best franchises available without those high upfront costs? You can.
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(1) Portfolio IRR projections are calculated using all cash flows, including the initial investment of $25,000,000 of offering proceeds, annual earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”), less estimated corporate taxes, and the sale of the entire portfolio at the end of the fifth year at 5x EBITDA.
(2) Cash Yield projections are calculated as the arithmetic mean (average) of five years of annual cash flows (including EBITDA, less estimated corporate taxes) divided by the initial investment of $25,000,000 of offering proceeds.
(3) Equity IRR projections are calculated using the initial investment of $25,000,000 of offering proceeds and the sale of the entire portfolio at the end of the fifth year at 5x EBITDA.