18 Best Low-Cost Franchises to Open a Franchise in 2021

At some point in our lives, we have all thought of becoming business owners. Some converted their thoughts into reality but some are still wondering how to. Many have the ambition but struggle with finances to start a full-fledged business from scratch. A low-cost franchise is something you should consider while planning to try out your entrepreneurial streak. It is the easiest way to get into business ownership. It doesn’t involve many challenges like the ones you will face while starting your business from scratch. 

Some franchises have an expensive buy-in cost but there are many other affordable ones too, that will help you realize your dream of becoming a business owner. 

We have curated a list of the 18 best low-cost franchises that you can invest in and make a profitable business and business owner out of it. The franchises that are mentioned have an upfront fee of $50,000 or less and $110,000 or less as a total initial investment for the franchise. 

Low-Cost Franchise Opportunities – What you Should Expect?

You may think owning a franchise is easy but it is not as easy as it seems to be. It is not meant for everyone, though it saves you a lot of effort that you would usually put in if you were starting your business from the ground up. There are many advantages to starting a franchise over your business as you don’t have to do any major base work for the business. An established brand and customer base are already there when it comes to owning a franchise. The parent company, commonly called the franchisor, has already put in efforts to create the brand like conceptualization, developing marketing tools, and logo of the brand.  The franchisee that is you only needs to look into the day-to-day activities and carry out your responsibilities as a business owner. 

All businesses need capital to function, buying a franchise also requires capital. You need to invest your precious time into the franchise along with an upfront franchise fee and initial investment. 

Consider these 4 main cost criteria while buying a franchise:

  1. Franchise fee – Like any other business, you are required to pay a one-time upfront franchise fee to buy the franchise.   
  2. Initial investment – A business cannot start without an initial investment. Franchises also have an initial investment that will cover many things like labor, materials, and tools to launch your business. 
  3. Ongoing investments – The monetary funds you require to run the business in progress make up the ongoing investment. 
  4. Personal Finances – There are a few franchises that need owners to have a minimum net worth, only then do you become eligible to buy a franchise. And others require liquidity. 

Typically these franchise fees, initial investments, and other expenses are what deter people from entering the business because not everybody has that kind of capital available. Big companies like McDonalds have an initial investment of more than 1 million dollars. But you need not worry, there are many other franchises that you can invest in that are affordable and belong to varied industries like travel, fitness, cleaning, and many more. You will be happy to know that many low-cost franchises are home-based businesses and don’t require a physical office. The comfort and ease that come along with a low-cost franchise business are noteworthy. 

Even though buying an affordable franchise is possible, it may not always be a well-known brand that means your business may not have a high profit. Make sure you do your research, check all the franchise paperwork, and calculate if the future of the franchise is positively uptrending in terms of revenue and customer demand. 

Here are the 18 best low-cost franchises you can choose from to fulfill your business dreams. The list is accompanied by information regarding financing and bank loans for your benefit and ease. Turn your dreams into reality with these franchises and become a business owner. 

18 Best Low-Cost Franchises To Start in 2021

Here is the list of 18 cheapest franchises to start in 2021

1. Jan-Pro

Franchise fee: $2,520 to $44,000

Initial investment:  $3.985 to $51,605

Image: jan-pro

Jan-Pro is a commercial cleaning service that provides its services to businesses. The company has two types of franchises in its business model. One is for the person who is doing all the cleaning, it is home-based otherwise known as a unit franchise. The second is the master franchise which handles a cluster of units and oversees their work. 

2. Jazzercise Inc.  

Franchise fee: $1250 

Initial investment: $2,500 to $38,000

Image: Jazzercise Inc.

This one is a great fitness franchise opportunity if you are interested in everything fitness. This company that was founded in 1969 started the dance party craze and has made a cool comeback with its hip dance classes and workout routines. It is one of the best fitness franchises there is. It involves a decent initial investment, choosing an ideal location, and getting your dancing groove on. Jazzercise is one of the most affordable franchises as it has a low franchise fee and initial investment as compared to others. 

3. Coverall

Franchise fee: $13,500 to $40,320

Initial investment: $16,498 to $51,361

Image: Coverall

Coverall is another commercial cleaner that had a presence in 8,575 locations at the beginning of 2017. And it has been franchising for over 30 years now. It has worked for more than 40,000 customers over the years from around the world. The company was established in 1985 and is still running successfully. Investing in good old company’s is a safe bet as they have years of experience to back you up. 

4. Cruise Planners

Franchise fee: $10,995

Initial investment: $2,095 to $23,367

If you are a travel bug and would love to own a travel business, this is for you. Cruise Planners, an American Express franchise representative is a good investment. It is one of the most renowned cruise planning companies in the country. The best part about this franchise is that you can set it up in your home and work out of your home. This makes the initial investment one of the lowest. 

5. Fit4Mom

Franchise fee: $5,495 to $10,495

Initial investment: $6,205 to $24,285

Fit4Mom has grown out of StrollerStrides fitness programs which are for young moms. They offer franchising opportunities across the nation that too with low and lucrative startup costs and scheduling options. Fit4Mom franchisee allows fitness instructors to run their Stroller Strides classes. Run these classes in your community or you can also schedule them according to your convenience. 

6. Chester’s

 Franchise fee: $3,500

Initial investment: $8.639 to $296,598

This fried chicken franchise offers the widest range of initial investments that lie anywhere between $8,000 and $30,000. You can start a new franchise in a new location under a 5 figure number depending on your plans and current assets. Chester’s is worth considering when looking for a low-cost food franchise with good returns. 

7. Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Franchise fee: $9,630 to $35,700

Initial investment: $10,930 to $39,400

Vanguard Cleaning Systems is a good franchise to invest in. It is another commercial cleaning company and it is worth noting that most of the top franchising companies are commercial cleaners. Even though it is not a glamorous job it still is great from the perspective of investments and franchising. 

8. Dream Vacations 

Franchise fee: $3,245 to $21,850

Initial investment: $495 to $9,800

Dream Vacations is another home-based travel agency like Cruise Planners. It offers award-winning training so you will have a seamless startup up and running. They are also a keen company and love to hear travelers’ experiences hence they offer heavy discounts on trips and vacations to the franchise owners to learn their travel experience.  

9. Anago Cleaning Systems

Franchise fee: $4,590 to $32,348

Initial investment: $10,440 to $68,458

Anago Cleaning Systems is a cleaning company that offers office cleanings scheduled regularly and commercial cleaning services at regular intervals. It was established in 1989 and has unit and master franchises around the world. 

10. Town Money Saver

Franchise fee: $29,900

Initial investment: $5,700 to $17,000

It was conceptualized in 1992 and franchised in 2005. They distribute monthly and direct-mail advertising flyers and also coupons to businesses and homes. It creates good low-cost franchise opportunities for many aspiring business owners. 

11. Dale Carnegie Training

Franchise fee: $10,000 to $30,000

Initial investment: $19,700 to $174,500

Dale Carnegie Training is a great investment for anybody who has a passion for teaching. As a franchisee, you will train future leaders and teach them important subjects that are business-related that include leadership, sales, investments, and self-improvement. 

12. Coffee News 

Franchise fee: $9,750 to $10,750

Initial investment: $8,500

Coffee News is a company that distributes free weekly publications to coffee shops, local restaurants, and hotels. It also sells ads for local businesses to generate money. The weekly publications have jokes, news, and much more. Again, a good investment for starting a low-cost franchise. 

13. Soccer Shots

Franchise fee: $41,034 to $53,950

Initial investment: $34,500

If you love fitness, kids, and the fun outdoors, Soccer Shots is made for you. It was founded by two professional soccer players. In 2019, they enrolled more than 350,000 kids in the youth soccer programs. And it is noteworthy that they are growing at the rate of 60% year after year. 

To help you with the franchising fees they also provide in-house financing. Many franchising locations in western and central America are available. 

14. Buildingstars International

Franchise fee: $995 to $46,995

Initial investment: $2,245 to $53,200

Buildingstars International is yet another commercial cleaning company. But unlike others, it has three investment paths. First, a part-time working technician. Second, an onsite manager who will oversee big teams and large buildings. And third, the corporate manager, who gets to share greater responsibility and revenue as well. This is a good low-cost franchise under $1000. 

15. Little Kickers

Franchise fee: $15,000

Initial investment: $25,000 to $35,000

Little Kickers offers good low-cost franchise opportunities. It is a company that teaches soccer to young kids. If you are good at handling kids and wish to do something for your community, this is a good choice. It is a good low-cost franchise with high profit. 

16. Padgett Business Services

Franchise fee: $15,000 to $56,000

Initial investment: $20,200 to $99,975

Image: Padgett Business Services

Padgett Business Services offers many services like business advice, tax advice, payroll solutions, and other services related to business. If you love accounts or are an accountant who wishes to work for yourself but needs a dependable and well-recognized brand this company is great for you. It is one of the best low-cost franchises available in the market. 

17. Chem-Dry

Franchise fee: $23,500

Initial investment: $56,495 to $162,457

Image: Chem-Dry

Chem-Dry was founded in 1977, it is a carpet cleaning company. It has become a successful business over the years. They also support their franchises well to become successful. 

The cost to become a franchise varies widely depending on how much you can invest initially in the pieces of equipment. They also help you with their internal financing aid to get you going. 

18. Mosquito Squad

Franchise fee: $15,000 to $32,500

Initial investment: $17,505 to $79,425

Image: Mosquito Squad

Mosquito Squad does the uber-cool job of saving our neighborhoods from mosquitoes. It was founded in 2009. Who knew killing mosquitoes could be a profitable business. It is a nationwide popular pest control company with over 200 franchises and sales of $50 million. 

They also have third-party lender relationships to help you with financing, this makes it easy to set up your franchise. Also, the cheap franchise fee makes it a good low-cost franchise to begin with. 

Financing Options to Buy Low-cost Franchises

There are many options for different price points while buying low-cost franchises. You can always opt for loans if you are concerned about affordability. Many small business loans are available that you can use to pay for the initial cost of franchising. As franchises already have a history of profit, lenders don’t mind extending loan offers. Make sure you research all the possible loan benefits before getting one. 

Friends and family loan

If you are lucky to have friends and family who have money to spare, use it for starting your low-cost franchise. There are many benefits of taking a loan from friends and family. As they have flexible terms, no high-interest rate, and the capacity to take more risks than the banks or traditional money lenders. 

There is no doubt that loan from family and friends also involves many drawbacks. It should be noted that any kind of loan taken should always be well-documented and before any money is exchanged, repayment conditions should be decided and written down. This helps to steer away from any strain in the relationship and also, this document is important if you wish to write off your loan for tax return deduction. 

Franchisor financing  

The best way to get financing help is by contacting your franchisor itself. They have a better experience at financing as they must have helped somebody earlier as well. Many have an internal financing system or relationship with lenders.

Make sure you compare these financing schemes with other outside lenders as well to get the best rate of interest and borrowing terms.  

Traditional term loan

Traditional term loan allows you to secure an upfront fixed amount of capital from a lender that you need to pay back with interest over a fixed period. Some term loans have restrictions for using its funds for buying a franchise especially one without profit history, best to inform before signing up for it. 

SBA 7(a) loan

The U.S. Small Business Administrations loan programs are quite popular as they have low-interest rates and long repayment terms. The application process for SBA 7 loans is lengthy and selective. Those who have poor credit should find other options. This loan is good for business acquisition and buying franchises. 

Equipment financing

Opt for Equipment Financing if the franchise you are buying has high equipment costs. It is similar to a car loan where the equipment itself works as the collateral on the loan. Those who opt for this come across fewer personal collaterals. 

Final Words

These are the 18 best low-cost franchises that you can open in 2021 and turn your dreams of becoming a business owner into reality. The franchises mentioned in this post are dependable and have promising returns. Franchises with low-cost startups are great as you don’t need to worry about finances, depending on your budget you can find the right franchise and become a business owner. 

Frequently Asked Question on Low-Cost Franchises

1. How Much does Dutch Bros Franchise Cost?

The franchise cost for Dutch Bros is up to $30,000 with the total investment range starting from $150,000 up to $500,000

2. How Much does Little Caesars Franchise Cost?

The Little Caesars Franchise cost involves a franchise fee of $20,000 and a total investment that covers a net worth requirement of $350,000 and $150,000 as a liquid asset requirement. 

3. How Much does the Sonic Franchise Costs?

The Sonic franchise has a franchise fee of $22,500 to $45,000.

4. How Much does the Firehouse Subs Franchise Costs?

This sandwich franchise has a franchise fee of $20,000 and the total investment ranges from $92,255 to $824,846