31 Best Low-Cost Franchise Opportunities (For 2024)

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 11 months ago
  • Blog
  • 1
man cheering at laptop

Franchises are a great way to start a new business, since they already have the business systems in place. But that initial franchise fee can really limit the options business owners have. Don’t worry! We’ve found 31 low-cost franchises to get you started as a business owner.

We’ve interviewed some amazing franchisors and franchisees like Brandon Vaugh and Mike Andes. Brandon started Wise Coatings and quickly built it into a system that works for other business owners. Mike’s story is even more amazing! Find out why!

Best Low-Cost High-Profit Franchises

We’ve narrowed down the low cost franchises with high profit to:

  1. Wise Coatings
  2. American Business Systems
  3. Proforma
  4. Healthy YOU Vending 

Find out why these outperform most franchises!

#1. Wise Coatings

• Franchise fee: $50,000
• Initial investment: $117,400-$160,000
• Royalty fees: 5%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $5.1 million 
• No. of U.S. franchises: 7

Wise Coatings is the nation’s leading concrete floor coating company and one of the best franchises to buy for new business owners looking for a turnkey business for sale in the home services industry. Our YouTube interview with Wise Coatings founder Brandon Vaughn can give you more insights about how to run a successful franchise and the typical day-to-day of a concrete flooring business owner.

While their franchise fee is on the higher side compared to other options on this list, they have in-house financing options available, and that fee comes with extensive training and support from their corporate office.

#2. American Business Systems

• Franchise fee: $28,990
• Initial investment: $28,990
• Royalty fees: $0
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $5.9 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 450

American Business Systems is the largest independent medical billing company in the United States and one of the best low cost franchise options for entrepreneurs interested in the healthcare industry. The initial franchise fee is all-inclusive, covering the extensive training program, lifetime 24/7 phone support, and all the marketing and tools to support their 12 income-generating services. Most franchise owners break even in less than a year with a single client or earn a 6-figure income with 4-5 clients, making it one of the most profitable franchises you can run from home. 

#3. Proforma

Screenshot of proforma success system from onlyproforma website

• Franchise fee: $34,500
• Initial investment: $44,030-$59,695
• Royalty fees: 5-8%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $407.4 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 682

Promotional products are a $150 billion industry, and Proforma is the leading franchise in this space. It can be operated from a home or leased office, and the fact that you don’t need a brick-and-mortar storefront earns its place on our list of low cost franchises. The initial franchise fee includes technology, training, and a startup kit. The Proforma Success System gives franchisees all the tools they need to plan and scale their business, with a worldwide support center and coaches for ongoing help. 

#4. Healthy YOU Vending

• Franchise fee: $55,000
• Initial investment: $55,000-$185,000
• Royalty fees: $0
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $6 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 1,800

If you want to be your own boss without spending all your time at work, Healthy YOU Vending is one of the best franchises to own. The higher initial investment amount is balanced by the lack of ongoing royalties, meaning your profits are all yours. That investment comes with an established brand and high customer demand for a healthier vending option. This makes Healthy YOU Vending a great way to get franchise owner support while earning passive income. 

Start Vending Without a $55K Initial Franchise Fee!

Check out our Vending Machine Blueprint and learn how to make over $60K each month with machine vending.

#5. MaidThis

MaidThis is a remote cleaning franchise company started by Neel Parekh in 2013 and today it has 17 franchisees. The company makes over $166K per month.

• Franchise Fee: $39,000
• Total Investment: $50,400-$72,650
• Royalty Fee: 7%
• Space Needed: 100-2,000 square feet
• Employees: Work it yourself or hire employees. 
• Territories: You can buy more than one territory if they are available in your area.
• Franchising Funding Assistance: Yes, through third party financing services.

Learn more about the remote cleaning business franchise below.

#6. Spray-Net

Spray-Net's approach to residential painting narrows it down to a science and speeds up the process. The company currently has just 40 franchisees and its process is patented, meaning it’s totally unique and can’t be offered by any other painter or home improvement company.

• Franchise Fee: $45,000
• Total Investment: $170,825-$241,825
• Royalty Fee: 8%
• Space Needed: 100-2,000 square feet
• Employees: Hire employees or subcontractors to do the cleaning. 
• Territories: You can buy more than one territory if they are available in your area.
• Franchising Funding Assistance: Yes, through third party financing services.

Learn more about starting a painting franchise below.

What Is the Cheapest Franchise Available? 

woman holding franchise block and a money bag

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest franchise to start, look no further—we’ve found it for you. In fact, it’s one of four cheap franchises under $1000. Keep reading to find out if Dream Vacations is for you.

#7. Dream Vacations

• Franchise cost: $495-$10,500
• Initial investment: $1,795-$21,000
• Royalty fees: 1.5-3%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $7.3 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 1,618

Run by the parent company World Travel Holdings, Dream Vacations is the #1 home-based travel franchise. Not only is it among the cheapest franchises to start, its low ongoing costs make it arguably the cheapest franchise to own, period. Dream Vacations also offers some of the best discounted investment prices for veterans, including 30% off the Dream Vacations franchise fee and waived training fees for military veterans and their spouses. 

What Is the Cheapest, Most Profitable Franchise to Own?

You’ll love this next one! They have multiple ways to pay franchise fees, an amazing founder, and are a franchise for $10K in revenue in your first two months. 

#8. Augusta Lawn Care Services

• Franchise fee: $6,999-$25,000
• Initial investment: $12,999-$82,500
• Royalty fees: $699-$1,200/month
• Average annual sales (company-wide): $6.7 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 92

The lawn care and landscaping industries are ideal for first-time entrepreneurs because you don’t need special skills or years of experience to get started. Augusta Lawn Care Services makes it even easier with their low cost franchises. The profit potential is high with 93% of franchisees earning more than $10K franchise revenue within 60 days, and an average monthly revenue of over $37,000 across all locations. 

Check out our interview with Mike below.

Wondering How to Buy a Franchise with No Money?

Mike has a franchise for small business hopefuls where you can get a franchise for sale by going to work for an Augusta Lawn Care Franchise for two years. His flat rate franchise fees are a rarity when you compare franchises for sale. Check out the three-part series where we follow one of the franchise owners who started by working for Mike.

Find out how to buy a franchise in greater detail or keep reading for more opportunities for franchising a business.

Lowest Initial Investment: Cheap Franchises Under $1,000 Franchise Fee

Franchising a small business doesn’t have to be expensive. Keep reading for low franchise fees. You can even find cheap franchises under $10,000 all-in!

#9. Cruise Planners

• Franchise fee: $695-$10,995
• Initial investment: 
$2,295-$23,465
• Royalty fees: 
1.5%-3%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$17 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
2,564

Cruise Planners is a network of home-based travel agents who sell full-service vacation packages. The Cruise Planners franchise fee includes a 6-day hands-on training program at Cruise Planners STAR University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, along with their award-winning marketing program and access to their ongoing support and development, like their Cruisitude Academy mobile training program. 

#10. Stroll

woman pointing on a laptop

• Franchise fee: $570
• Initial investment: 
$1,545-$10,370
• Royalty fees: 
15%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$131 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 355

The custom publications produced by Stroll have a hyper-local focus, producing hundreds of magazines aimed at specific neighborhoods or cities. As a franchisee, your role is to gather content, find advertisers, and host events to boost readership. That makes this an ideal franchise for creative entrepreneurs like writers and photographers, as well as community organizers and others who are plugged into their local cultural scene. 

#11. Buildingstars

• Franchise fee: $995-$46,995
• Initial investment: 
$2,245-$53,200
• Royalty fees: 
10%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$29 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
968

Buildingstars is more than just another cleaning franchise. Their management program encourages franchisees to grow their business ownership. At the technician level, the low initial franchise fee makes it easy to become your own boss. If you want more small business revenue, you can move up to a manager’s franchise with larger client portfolios, and high performance can earn you an invitation to their corporate program.

#12. Sign Gypsies

screenshot of franchise opportunities from signgypsies website

• Franchise fee: $1,000
• Initial investment: $4,150-$9,900
• Royalty fees: 
0%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$3.6 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
800

Sign Gypsies calls themselves “the idea that launched a million smiles,” adding a special touch to celebrations with custom yard signs. This makes it among the most unique as well as the most affordable franchises. Franchisees keep all of their profits, and the time commitment can be minimal. In fact, about half of their owners use Sign Gypsies as additional income to their full-time job.

Cheap Franchises Under $5,000 Franchise Fee

#13. Jazzercise

• Franchise fee: $1,250
• Initial investment: 
$2,445-$21,775
• Royalty fees: 
20% plus $169-$325/year Music Royalty Fees (Class Owner Franchisee) or $120 per year (Instructor Franchisee)
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$93 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
7,761

A Jazzercise franchise is one of the cheapest franchises you can buy, period. They offer two franchise models. The Instructor Franchisee is perfect for those who just want to teach, while the Class Owner Franchisee is for entrepreneurs who want to own their own business. While the Jazzercise franchise fee is higher for Class Owner Franchisees, both options are very affordable and include access to proprietary choreography, branding and marketing material, and a worldwide support network of other franchisees.

#14. Jan-Pro

woman holding an ipad on an orange table

• Franchise fee: $2,520-$44,000
• Initial investment: 
$3,985-$51,605
• Royalty fees: 
10%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$47 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
10,418

Jan-Pro is a low cost franchise business and the #1 commercial cleaning services franchise in the United States. Their initial franchise fee and startup costs vary depending on whether you choose a unit- or home-based franchise, or a master franchise that oversees a group of individual units. The Master Franchise is the more profitable franchise option, while the home-based franchise is the most affordable. 

#15. Stratus Building Solutions

• Franchise fee: $3,600-$69,000
• Initial investment: 
$4,450-$79,750
• Royalty fees: 
5%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$27.7 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
2,900

Stratus Building Solutions is a commercial cleaning service that provides regularly scheduled office cleanings for businesses across the United States. It’s the third-fastest growing franchise in the country, as well as one of the best low cost franchises thanks to their Janitorial Unit Franchise option, a great way for new business owners to open a new franchise location with a low initial investment. A more experienced franchise owner can instead opt for the Master Franchise option, a scalable model that gives you an exclusive territory of sub-franchisees to oversee. 

#16. RooterMan

• Franchise fee: $4,975
• Initial investment: 
$45,075-$82,475
• Royalty fees: 
Varies (flat rate based on population)
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$77.7 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
749

RooterMan offers residential and commercial plumbing services, from leak detection and repairs to cleaning and septic work. All RooterMan operations are local businesses, owned and operated within their community. You don’t need a plumber’s license in most states to own drain cleaning franchises, and the franchise fees include training in use of their patented drain cleaning equipment.. While equipment is not included in the franchise fee, franchisees get an exclusive discount. 

What Franchise Can You Open for $10000?

bearded man thinking with a cloud bubble speech on the side

Need a franchise? $10K will cover you with these franchises. Do franchises make you rich? Probably not, but these businesses don’t require business loans to get started because it costs less than $10K for your business. Finances will start improving quickly when you don’t have to pay small business loans.

#17. Momleta/Baby Boot Camp

• Franchise fee: $5,000-$8,000
• Initial investment: 
$6,050-$13,179
• Royalty fees: 
0% ($240/month service fee)
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$18.4 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
Information not available

The Baby Boot Camp franchise through Momleta is the perfect low cost franchise opportunity for moms who want to make money anywhere. The initial franchise fee includes all the equipment you’ll need to run stroller fitness classes along with a training boot camp, and you don’t need any fitness experience to get started. 

#18. 1040TaxBiz

woman looking at the monitor

• Franchise fee: $1,000
• Initial investment: 
$1,000-$3,000
• Royalty fees: 
20-30%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$7 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
397

Where do those pop-up tax preparers come from every year? A good portion of them are low cost franchises from 1040TaxBiz. The company offers two models: a seasonal operation that’s only open during tax season, and a year-round shop that offers tax guidance for businesses or complex personal returns. They provide franchisees everything they need to operate, including training, software, and ongoing support. 

Cheap Franchises For $10K or Less Franchise Fee

We have even more businesses you can get started for under $10K.

#19. United Country Real Estate

• Franchise fee: $8,000-$20,000
• Initial investment: 
$10,480-$51,100
• Royalty fees: 
6-12%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$33 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
430

United Country Real Estate is the only property management and real estate franchise firm focused specifically on rural areas. Franchise locations are available in Mexico, Canada, and Central America, as well as the United States. The initial investment and startup costs are low compared to other property management franchises, making this an affordable franchise opportunity for real estate agents. 

#20. Anago Cleaning Systems

screenshot of cleaning franchise from anagocleaning website

• Franchise fee: $5,015-$31,000
• Initial investment: 
$11,265-$68,250
• Royalty fees: 
10%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$1.6 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
1,791

Anago is a commercial cleaning franchise with a variety of janitorial, disinfection, and other cleaning services for businesses. Their proven business model offers two levels. The unit franchisee option is the best low cost franchise option, letting you become a business owner with low startup costs. Experienced entrepreneurs can opt for the master franchisee model to purchase an exclusive territory of cleaning franchises.

#21. Superglass Windshield Repair

• Franchise fee: $5,000-$17,500
• Initial investment: 
$18,685-$84,205
• Royalty fees: 
4%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$13.2 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
336

As one of the world’s largest glass repair companies, Superglass Windshield Repair is a cheap franchise to open and a great choice for entrepreneurs in the automotive sector. Their mobile business model gives it a lower overhead cost than other franchises in the auto industry. Franchisees get access to ongoing training along with marketing resources and strategies to help scale their revenue quickly.

Cheap Franchises: Restaurant Franchise Businesses

woman holing a restaurant franchise card

Interested in the food industry? Consider these franchising opportunities.

#22. Krispy Krunchy Chicken

• Franchise fee: $2,500
• Initial investment: 
$10,000-$30,000
• Royalty fees: 
$0
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$3.4 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
2,600

The food franchise industry can be expensive to get into. Krispy Krunchy Chicken is among the top cheap restaurant franchises both for profitability and franchisee experience. It’s also a great add-on for small business owners, as it’s easy to integrate into a convenience store, supermarket, or other existing retail outlet. Along with a low franchise fee, it requires a minimal ongoing investment since there are no royalties.

#23. Chester’s

• Franchise fee: $0
• Initial investment: 
$15,950-$288,118
• Royalty fees: 
0%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$17 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
1,098

If you’re looking for cheap fast food franchises, Chester’s should be at the top of your list. It’s a smart business investment, one of the few options that’s both royalty-free and has no franchise fees, with the initial costs all going straight into the restaurant. While Chester’s doesn’t have in-house financing, they have third party lender relationships that give franchisees excellent terms.

#24. Chefs for Seniors

screenshot of low cost franchise from chefsforseniors website

• Franchise fee: $8,000-$13,000
• Initial investment: 
$12,575-$29,375
• Royalty fees: 
8%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$18.7 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
78

Founded by chef Barrett Allman, Chefs for Seniors is one of the best low cost franchises for cooks and food lovers. The company provides fresh food for seniors cooked right in their homes, a unique business model that both fills a need and has a high demand and revenue potential. That growth is only likely to accelerate as the U.S. population ages and the need for this type of service grows, making this a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a soon-to-be booming industry.

#25. Southern Maid Donuts

• Franchise fee: $5,000
• Initial investment: 
$64,000-$227,000
• Royalty fees: 
Varies
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$27.8 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
100

Started in 1937, the delicious donut recipes of Southern Maid Donuts have stood the test of time, and that long history is part of why this is among the best low cost franchises in the food industry. The initial franchise fee grants you the license, as well as the recipes, training, operating manuals, and guidance throughout the opening process. 

Best Low Cost Franchises 2024

These are more great opportunities for you to find a franchise. Check out some of the best low-cost franchises for 2024!

#26. Fit4Mom

screenshot of franchise information from fit4momfranchise website

• Franchise fee: $7,495-$13,395
• Initial investment: 
$8,245-$28,185
• Royalty fees: 
4%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$227.1 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
250

The three franchise models of Fit4Mom have varying franchise fees, but whichever way you go, it’s a low cost franchise with the potential to be a very profitable business. The initial investment costs are scaled to the size of the territory, so the more you put in, the more clients you’ll likely get. All models get access to all of their fitness programs, along with training in all of the programs.

#27. Help-U-Sell Real Estate

• Franchise fee: $17,750
• Initial investment: 
$29,650-$67,650
• Royalty fees: 
6%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$1.1 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
103

The original fee-for-service real estate company, Help-U-Sell offers a range of affordable services for home sellers. It’s also one of the top low cost franchises for real estate agents and other professionals in the property management industry. The franchise fee covers extensive training, marketing materials, and ongoing marketing and operations support for franchisees. 

#28. NextHome

man working on a laptop

• Franchise fee: $4,500-$8,750
• Initial investment: 
$16,250-$220,345
• Royalty fees: 
$200-$210/month
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$1.9 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
578

Another top path to business ownership for real estate professionals, NextHome’s affordable franchises are available under a 1-year or 5-year franchise agreement, and their royalty structure is flexible, too. They were top among cheap franchises 2022, ranked #1 across industries by Franchise Business Review. Franchisees get access to ongoing marketing and operational support in addition to the robust training program.

Low Cost Franchise: Online Business

female online seller on orange color background

#29. Phoenix Ecom

• Franchise fee: $30,000
• Initial investment: 
$40,000
• Royalty fees: 
Varies
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
Information not public
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
Information not public

Phoenix Ecom is the best franchise opportunity in the online retail space. They help Amazon store owners scale with automated inventory management and account health monitoring. While the franchise fee is on the higher side, the other startup costs are minimal, and they have financing options available. It’s also ideal for first-time entrepreneurs looking to buy their own businesses, with a step-by-step onboarding process and fully automated processes that deliver passive income.

#30. Fastest Feedback

• Franchise fee: $5,000
• Initial investment: 
$5,000-$35,000
• Royalty fees: 
0%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
Information not available
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
1,000

Fastest Feedback is a B2B company that helps businesses across industries gather better insights from their customers. It’s among the best low cost franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs interested in digital marketing. Franchisees get an exclusive territory and can earn a 6-figure profit in their first year. You won’t need to take out a business loan to start it, either, thanks to the low initial franchise fee.

#31. Blam Digital Marketing

man showing an open laptop

• Franchise fee: $13,000-$26,000
• Initial investment: 
$19,997-$32,997
• Royalty fees: 
Varies
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$5 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
Information not available

The Blam Partnership Programme helps tech entrepreneurs become small business owners and create multiple income streams. As a Blam franchisee, you’ll provide services like SEO, digital marketing, social media management, mobile apps, and AI websites for SMBs around the world. You can start making revenue within 14 days of starting their training program, putting this among the top low cost franchises you can start quickly. The classic package includes digital marketing courses, web and app design strategy training, logo creation and marketing material, and ongoing mentorship and support, and the perks go up at the Boost and Elite levels. 

Bonus: The Most Fun Franchise

#32. Skyhawks Sports & Supertots Sports Academy

• Franchise fee: $15,000-$42,500
• Initial investment: 
$30,300-$89,750
• Royalty fees: 
6-9%
• Average annual sales (company-wide): 
$18 million
• No. of U.S. franchises: 
231

Here's a little something extra! We've saved one of the best for last, since it's sure to leave you smiling:

Skyhawks Sports is one of the most unique low cost franchise opportunities, giving franchise owners a chance to give back to their community while they grow their business. Their mission is to provide afterschool and summer activities for kids ages 4-14, whether that’s a baseball, football, or soccer program, a sports tournament, or sports-based summer camps.

Which Franchise Business Sounds Best to You?

We’ve covered franchising opportunities that span a wide range of industries. From cleaning companies to exercise, construction to food, marketing, even traveling! Which franchise business would you like to learn more about?

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One thought on “31 Best Low-Cost Franchise Opportunities (For 2024)”

  • Renita L Jackson

    Let’s go

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