The Top 100 Low Cost Franchises

Everyone’s looking for a bargain these days–including would-be franchisees. If you’re among those who want to dream big without spending big, never fear. There are plenty of businesses that can be started for less than $50,000, and this is just the place to begin your search:

Entrepreneur’s list of the Top 100 Low-Cost Franchises for 2010 >>

The ranking includes many of the usual low-cost suspects: Tax services, including the No. 1 franchise on our list, H & R Block. Commercial cleaning, which dominates the list with 14 companies. And real estate companies that keep costs low by allowing existing real estate businesses to convert to their brand.
But there’s plenty of variety as well–everything from dance fitness classes (Jazzercise, No. 6) to youth sports leagues (I9 Sports, No. 44) to outdoor advertising (Billboard Connection, No. 58).

As varied as they are, one thing that many of these companies have in common is that franchisees take their products and services directly to customers–thus saving money on office or retail space. Take Stretch-N-Grow, for instance. Despite being in a competitive industry, the children’s fitness company leaped to its highest Franchise 500® ranking ever, No. 162. Its franchisees save money–and maintain a steady customer base–by bringing fitness classes to schools, day-care facilities and rec centres rather than renting or buying retail space and waiting for kids to come to them.

The companies here are listed in the order that they ranked in our 2010 Franchise 500®, a ranking based on objective, quantifiable measures of franchise success such as system size, growth and financial strength and stability. But don’t let a ranking–or a low price-tag–be your only guide in buying a franchise. Before investing in any business, do your homework to find out if it’s right for you. That includes reviewing legal documents, consulting with accountants and attorneys and talking to current and former franchisees.

So without further ado:

Here are the 2010 top 20 Franchises >>

100. Colbert/Ball Tax Service

Type of company: Tax preparation & electronic filing

Startup costs: $33,235 - $50,735

99. Pets Are Inn

Type of company: Pet lodging service in private homes

Startup costs: $49,950 - $75,150

98. JumpBunch Inc.

Type of company: Children's sports & fitness program

Startup costs: $33,700 - $78,400

97. HomeWell Senior Care

Type of company: In-home senior care

Startup costs: $48,500 - $67,500

96. DIGIKIDS

Type of company: Children's identification products & services

Startup costs: $31,800 - $39,700

95. Interior Magic Int'l.

Type of company: Auto appearance reconditioning

Startup costs: $33,050 - $100,060

94. DoodyCalls

Type of company: Pet waste removal

Startup costs: $44,730 - $71,920

93. The Original Basket Boutique

Type of company: Gifts, gift baskets, corporate gifts

Startup costs: $47,500 - $59,000

92. Referral Institute LLC

Type of company: Referral training, coaching, consulting

Startup costs: $28,150 - $30,720

91. The Whole Child Learning Co.

Type of company: Children's enrichment/tutoring

Startup costs: $32,600 - $38,800

90. TSS Photography

Type of company: Youth sports, school & event photography

Startup costs: $30,250 - $75,150

89. Inxpress

Type of company: Shipping services

Startup costs: $45,300 - $108,200

88. National Property Inspections Inc.

Type of company: Home & commercial property inspections

Startup costs: $37,000 - $39,000

87. Grout Doctor Global Franchise Corp.

Type of company: Grout, tile & stone care

Startup costs: $20,405 - $39,915

86. Surface Specialists Systems Inc.

Type of company: Kitchen/bath repair, refinishing & resurfacing, acrylic tub liners

Startup costs: $46,000 - $75,500

85. Unishippers Global Logistics LLC

Type of company: Shipping service

Startup costs: $46,125 - $605,700

84. The Grout Medic

Type of company: Tile & grout maintenance/restoration

Startup costs: $21,300 - $65,050

83. Cartex Limited

Type of company: Leather, vinyl, plastic & cloth repair

Startup costs: $39,850 - $90,550

82. Pillar To Post Inspection Services

Type of company: Home inspections

Startup costs: $31,000

81. Drama Kids Int'l. Inc.

Type of company: After-school drama classes & summer camps

Startup costs: $19,000 - $57,950

80. Computer Troubleshooters

Type of company: Small-business technology consulting

Startup costs: $28,800 - $81,500

79. Pressed4Time Inc.

Type of company: Dry cleaning pickup & delivery, shoe repair

Startup costs: $35,910 - $44,810

78. Young Rembrandts Franchise Inc.

Type of company: Art classes for children ages 3 to 12

Startup costs: $40,265 - $48,600

77. Fresh Coat

Type of company: Interior painting

Startup costs: $38,850 - $63,850

76. Property Damage Appraisers

Type of company: Auto & property appraisals for insurance cos.

Startup costs: $21,530 - $49,250

75. MTOclean Inc.

Type of company: Residential, commercial & carpet cleaning, pressure washing

Startup costs: $17,300 - $86,600

74. Aerowest/Westair Deodorizing Services

Type of company: Restroom deodorizing services

Startup costs: $8,472 - $49,868

73. Griswold Special Care

Type of company: Non-medical home-care services

Startup costs: $60,000 - $85,000

72. Leadership Management Inc.

Type of company: Executive/management training & development

Startup costs: $35,000 - $42,500

71. Guard-A-Kid

Type of company: Children's identification & safety products

Startup costs: $20,900 - $37,500

70. Chester's

Type of company: Quick-service chicken restaurant

Startup costs: $53,400 - $344,500

69. Tax centres of America

Type of company: Tax preparation & electronic filing

Startup costs: $20,100 - $63,749

68. Office Pride Commercial Cleaning

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $14,900 - $59,000

67. The Alternative Board

Type of company: Peer advisory boards & business coaching

Startup costs: $46,827 - $92,727

66. Billboard Connection Inc.

Type of company: Ad agency specializing in outdoor media

Startup costs: $42,815 - $66,420

65. Critter Control Inc.

Type of company: Urban/rural wildlife management

Startup costs: $12,750 - $80,500

64. Kinderdance Int'l. Inc.

Type of company: Children's movement/educational program

Startup costs: $14,950 - $46,100

63. RSVP Publications

Type of company: Direct-mail advertising

Startup costs: $49,499 - $180,599

62. Furniture Medic

Type of company: Furniture restoration & repairs

Startup costs: $45,520 - $81,269

61. Money Mailer Franchise Corp.

Type of company: Direct-mail advertising

Startup costs: $43,470 - $70,530

60. Mr. Sandless

Type of company: Sandless wood floor refinishing

Startup costs: $27,550 - $56,100

59. Decorating Den Interiors

Type of company: Interior decorating services & products

Startup costs: $45,280 - $53,690

58. Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc.

Type of company: Carpet, upholstery & air-duct cleaning

Startup costs: $25,960 - $191,550

57. AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services

Type of company: Home inspections

Startup costs: $34,750 - $65,350

56. The Growth Coach

Type of company: Small-business coaching & mentoring

Startup costs: $47,200 - $76,400

55. Certified Restoration DryCleaning Network

Type of company: Textile restoration services

Startup costs: $40,550 - $230,500

54. N-Hance

Type of company: Wood floor & cabinet renewal systems

Startup costs: $30,880 - $116,870

53. Mint Condition Franchising Inc.

Type of company: Janitorial & building maintenance services

Startup costs: $4,890 - $45,400

52. I9 Sports

Type of company: Youth sports leagues, camps & clinics

Startup costs: $44,900 - $69,900

51. Disaster Kleenup Int'l.

Type of company: Insurance restoration services

Startup costs: $17,895 - $118,250

50. Mr. Appliance Corp.

Type of company: Household appliance services & repairs

Startup costs: $43,350 - $94,620

49. My Gym Children's Fitness centre

Type of company: Children's early learning/fitness program & facility

Startup costs: $34,250 - $228,750

48. OctoClean Franchising Systems

Type of company: Janitorial services

Startup costs: $9,480 - $182,150

47. SuperGlass Windshield Repair

Type of company: Windshield repair

Startup costs: $9,910 - $31,000

46. Ident-A-Kid Services of America

Type of company: Children's identification products & services

Startup costs: $34,005 - $44,205

45. Maid Brigade

Type of company: Residential cleaning

Startup costs: $62,900 - $142,900

44. Fast-teks On-site Computer Services

Type of company: On-site computer repair services

Startup costs: $34,650 - $60,600

43. Right at Home Inc.

Type of company: Senior home care & medical staffing

Startup costs: $63,590 - $99,680

42. Bevinco Bar Systems Ltd.

Type of company: Liquor inventory-control services

Startup costs: $36,900 - $50,600

41. Re-Bath LLC

Type of company: Bathroom remodeling

Startup costs: $42,820 - $217,170

40. Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

Type of company: Heating, ventilation & air conditioning services

Startup costs: $64,300 - $183,900

39. One Hour Heating & Air

Type of company: Residential HVAC service/replacement

Startup costs: $42,015 - $535,870

38. colours On Parade

Type of company: Mobile automotive appearance services

Startup costs: $20,527 - $327,127

37. Stretch-N-Grow Int'l. Inc.

Type of company: On-site children's fitness program

Startup costs: $23,600

36. BuildingStars Inc.

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $2,195 - $52,795

35. Goin' Postal

Type of company: Retail shipping & business services

Startup costs: $48,784 - $135,500

34. American Poolplayers Association

Type of company: Recreational billiard league

Startup costs: $17,080 - $32,650

33. Cruise Holidays

Type of company: Cruise travel agency

Startup costs: $10,350 - $233,350

32. ERA Franchise Systems LLC

Type of company: Real estate

Startup costs: $47,700 - $210,900

31. HouseMaster Home Inspections

Type of company: Home inspections

Startup costs: $54,500 - $81,200

30. OpenWorks

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $16,450 - $119,950

29. ExpressTax

Type of company: Tax preparation & electronic filing

Startup costs: $16,475 - $48,400

28. Visiting Angels

Type of company: Non-medical in-home care services for seniors

Startup costs: $52,285 - $84,035

27. Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

Type of company: In-home tutoring services

Startup costs: $27,650 - $56,600

26. Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Type of company: Carpet & upholstery cleaning

Startup costs: $44,900 - $65,900

25. CruiseOne Inc.

Type of company: Cruise & travel agency

Startup costs: $4,575 - $26,265

24. Novus Glass

Type of company: Glass repair & replacement, accessories

Startup costs: $20,800 - $203,500

23. Rooter-Man

Type of company: Plumbing, drain & sewer cleaning

Startup costs: $46,750 - $137,600

22. RE/MAX LLC

Type of company: Real estate

Startup costs: $40,000 - $241,000

21. CleanNet USA Inc.

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $6,655 - $92,950

20. United Country Real Estate

Type of company: Real estate brokerage, auction & marketing services

Startup costs: $11,790 - $33,350

19. Proforma

Type of company: Printing & promotional products

Startup costs: $4,730 - $53,195

18. Comfort Keepers

Type of company: Nonmedical in-home care

Startup costs: $57,000 - $79,320

17. Home Helpers/Direct Link

Type of company: Non-medical care services

Startup costs: $47,200 - $86,400

16. Cruise Planners/American Express

Type of company: Cruise & tour travel agency

Startup costs: $1,595 - $19,290

15. Chem-Dry Carpet Drapery & Upholstery Cleaning

Type of company: Carpet, drapery & upholstery cleaning; tile & stone care

Startup costs: $25,600 - $121,450

14. System4

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $5,460 - $37,750

13. Coffee News

Type of company: Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants

Startup costs: $8,925 - $9,925

12. Anago Cleaning Systems

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $8,543 - $65,406

11. Merry Maids

Type of company: Residential cleaning

Startup costs: $52,550 - $70,450

10. Bonus Building Care

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $9,020 - $41,919

9. ServiceMaster Clean

Type of company: Commercial/residential cleaning & disaster restoration

Startup costs: $47,072 - $141,303

8. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $8,200 - $38,100

7. Instant Tax Service

Type of company: Retail tax preparation & electronic filing

Startup costs: $39,000 - $89,000

6. Jazzercise Inc.

Type of company: Dance fitness classes

Startup costs: $2,980 - $75,500

5. Stratus Building Solutions

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $3,450 - $57,750

4. Kumon maths & Reading centres

Type of company: Supplemental education

Startup costs: $36,538 - $145,250

3. Jan-Pro Franchising Int'l. Inc.

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $3,145 - $50,405

2. Jani-King

Type of company: Commercial cleaning

Startup costs: $13,150 - $93,150

1. H & R Block

Type of company: Tax preparation & electronic filing

Startup costs: $34,438 - $110,033

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