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The Top 15 Franchises for Under $25,000 in 2024


Franchising isn’t just for a select few — it’s for anyone looking to start their own business. But the idea of franchising can feel overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to the money involved.

While some franchisors offer in-house or third-party financing to get started, it’s still a big investment. That’s why many people keep an eye out for low-cost franchise opportunities.

The 2024 Franchise 500 Ranking breaks down the top 15 franchises under $25K, making them more doable for anyone who wants to dive into the world of franchising without breaking the bank.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now and take this quiz to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

1. Stratus Building Solutions

Founded: 2004

Franchising since: 2006

Overall rank: 23

Number of units: 3,641

Change in units: +50.6% over 3 years

Initial investment: $4,450-$79,750

Leadership: Rob Lancit, VP Franchise Development

Parent company: N/A

As a popular cheap franchise to open, Stratus Building Solutions specializes in commercial cleaning and disinfection services. As a franchisee, you will offer commercial, carpet, post-construction and even medical-grade cleaning services, all while using healthy and environmentally friendly products. At Stratus, you can open a small business franchise, but for those who are executive types, you can even open your own mini-franchise system as a master franchisee.

2. Jan-Pro Cleaning and Disinfecting

Founded: 1991

Franchising since: 1992

Overall rank: 36

Number of units: 10,654

Change in units: +5.3% over 3 years

Initial investment: $4,830-$58,070

Leadership: Gary Bauer, Brand President

Parent company: Empower Brands

Owning a Jan-Pro Cleaning and Disinfecting franchise allows you to operate your own cleaning and maintenance enterprise that is renowned for its exceptional brand reputation. As a franchisee, you will buy-in to a proven business model and a loyal customer base.

Related: Want to Become a Franchisee? Run Through This Checklist First.

3. Anago Cleaning Systems

Founded: 1989

Franchising since: 1991

Overall rank: 51

Number of units: 1,835

Change in units: +7.2% over 3 years

Initial investment: $11,265-$68,250

Leadership: Adam Povlitz, CEO and President

Parent company: Anago Cleaning Systems

Depending on your franchising goals, you can either purchase a franchise territory and sell individual units (as a master franchisee) or you can operate an individual franchise unit of Anago Cleaning Systems. Either way, you will start your franchising journey with a reputable brand in an “always-on” cleaning industry.

4. Dream Vacations

Founded: 1991

Franchising since: 1992

Overall rank: 54

Number of units: 1,874

Change in units: +20.7% over 3 years

Initial investment: $1,795-$21,000

Leadership: Brad and Jeff Tolkin, Co-CEOs/Chairmen

Parent company: World Travel Holdings

If a flexible work schedule combined with a love of travel is your thing, then Dream Vacations might be the franchise for you. Founded in Florida, Dream Vacations provides vacations, cruises and other travel services to its customers, including packages with hotel deals, travel insurance and grand tours.

Related: Is Franchising Right For You? Ask Yourself These 9 Questions to Find Out.

5. Cruise Planners

Founded: 1994

Franchising since: 1999

Overall rank: 122

Number of units: 2,720

Change in units: -13% over 3 years

Initial investment: $2,295-$23,465

Leadership: Michelle Fee, CEO

Parent company: CP Franchising LLC

Michell Fee used to be a travel agent and had the desire to run her own business. She quickly then opened Cruise Planners out of South Florida to plan memorable vacations and packages for her customers. Fast-forward to today, and Cruise Planners has an extensive network of franchisees doing the same for their customers with a positive attitude and a flexible work schedule.

6. Corvus Janitorial Services

Founded: 2004

Franchising since: 2004

Overall rank: 124

Number of units: 1,959

Change in units: +55.2% over 3 years

Initial investment: $9,575-$34,500

Leadership: Brennen Randquist, Co-CEO

Parent company: Corvus Holdings LLC

Corvus Janitorial Services provides a full-range of commercial cleaning services to its customers in order to provide healthier and safer environments. As a franchisor, Corvus helps its franchisees with technical support, training and even customer acquisitions as you continue to grow!

Related: Find Out Which Brands Have Ranked on the Franchise 500 for Longest, Earning a Spot In our New ‘Hall of Fame’

7. Sanford Rose Associates

Founded: 1959

Franchising since: 1970

Overall rank: 127

Number of units: 182

Change in units: +32.8% over 3 years

Initial investment: $11,400-$14,800

Leadership: Karen Schmidt, President

Parent company: Kaye/Bassman Int’l. Corp.

For over 60 years, Sanford Rose Associates has been a standout in the staffing and recruiting industry. Franchisees have an opportunity to help people find employment and engage with a recognized leader in the staffing industry.

8. Leadership Management International

Founded: 1966

Franchising since: 1966

Overall rank: 168

Number of units: 489

Change in units: +5.8% over 3 years

Initial investment: $20,000-$27,500

Leadership: Randy Slechta, CEO

Parent company: Leadership Management International Inc.

Do you have a passion for empowering people to achieve their goals? When Paul J. Meyer founded Leadership Management International, he wanted to provide courses and programs so that his clients could meet and surpass goals in their professional and personal lives. If you want to inspire others and build up their self-confidence, Leadership Management International might be right for you.

Related: Is Franchising Right For You? Ask Yourself These 9 Questions to Find Out.

9. Estrella Insurance

Founded: 1980

Franchising since: 2008

Overall rank: 180

Number of units: 200

Change in units: +22.7% over 3 years

Initial investment: $12,250-$84,000

Leadership: Jose Merille, Vice-President

Parent company: Confie Estrella Inc.

Want to join the insurance industry without working directly for one of the big insurance giants? This is where Estrella Insurance, a company specializing in home, boat, auto and commercial insurance services, comes in with major brand recognition and relationships with the biggest insurance providers. As a franchisee, you are set up to succeed in selling insurance by leveraging over 40 years of Estrella’s customer service experience and national marketing campaigns.

10. American Poolplayers Association

Founded: 1981

Franchising since: 1982

Overall rank: 255

Number of units: 340

Change in units: +2.7% over 3 years

Initial investment: $23,211-$29,026

Leadership: Greg Fletcher, President

Parent company: American Poolplayers Association Inc.

Professional pool players Terry “Texas Terry” Bell and Larry “The Iceman” Hubbart partnered and founded the American Poolplayers Association, the first organized recreational pool league system in the United States. You do not have to be a billiards aficionado to be a League Operator (franchisee), but you do have to be organized in order to run local leagues and events. In fact, you may see a local customer end up at the annual championships in Las Vegas.

Related: Start Your Own Business or Buy a Franchise: Which Is Right For You?

11. NextHome

Founded: 2014

Franchising since: 2014

Overall rank: 265

Number of units: 594

Change in units: +43.5% over 3 years

Initial investment: $16,250-$220,345

Leadership: James Dwiggins, CEO and Cofounder

Parent company: N/A

Looking to franchise in the real estate industry? NextHome is an affordable and transformative option as they set their brokers up with streamlined processes and marketing, bringing ease to the real estate business. NextHome’s processes are consumer-focused, so franchisees can focus less on the woes of the real estate industry and more on aiding buyers and sellers.

12. Sign Gypsies

Founded: 2014

Franchising since: 2020

Overall rank: 278

Number of units: 716

Change in units: +89.4% over 3 years

Initial investment: $4,150-$9,900

Leadership: Jason Hess, Franchise Development Officer

Parent company: Sign Gypsies LLC

Sign Gypsies is for the creative who enjoys the business behind yard signs. As a franchisee, you will have constant access to the corporate team as you provide signs to your local customers for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other yard sign needs.

Related: Franchise vs. Independent Business? 12 Experts Weigh the Options

13. Buildingstars

Founded: 1994

Franchising since: 2000

Overall rank: 294

Number of units: 1,055

Change in units: +16.4% over 3 years

Initial investment: $2,445-$53,200

Leadership: Chris Blase, President

Parent company: Facility Brands Inc.

Buildingstars franchisees help local businesses clean their offices and workspaces. Not only do you get franchisor support, but there is also a Rising Star Management Program to develop and aid franchisees in their professional aspirations.

14. Card My Yard

Founded: 2014

Franchising since: 2017

Overall rank: 350

Number of units: 533

Change in units: +123.0% over 3 years

Initial investment: $9,800-$18,000

Leadership: Josh Arnold, Franchise Growth Officer

Parent company: CMY Franchising

With a catchy name and a relatively cheap initial investment, Card My Yard is an excellent opportunity for franchisees in the signage business. For every personal or not-so-personal occasion, why send a greeting card when you can transform a lawn? There are very few overhead costs as a franchisee and you can deliver cheer even by running the business at home.

Related: How to Find a Good Franchise Lawyer

15. Augusta Lawn Care Services

Founded: 2014

Franchising since: 2019

Overall rank: 388

Number of units: 133

Change in units: +600.0% over 3 years

Initial investment: $12,999-$82,500

Leadership: Mike Andes, Founder

Parent company: N/A

Don’t stress about starting a lawn care business from scratch. Augusta Lawn Care Services offers franchisees a strong support network, proven business model and personalized marketing services to help make them successful.



This story originally appeared on Entrepreneur

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