woman in apron standing outside cafe
Owning a franchise gives you the opportunity to be an entrepreneur without having to go through the initial steps of building your own brand. — Getty Images/pixdeluxe

One of the biggest challenges of launching a business is building and growing a brand from the ground up. That's why many entrepreneurs choose to invest in a franchise, which offers the perks of business ownership without the hassle of gaining brand recognition and market share.

Statista estimates that there are nearly 760,000 franchise establishments in the United States, from international chains like Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, to regional brands like Wawa and Sheetz. While franchises can be a pretty large investment, there are a lot of advantages to this entrepreneurial path. Aside from operating an established brand with a proven business plan, you also get access to corporate support, training and marketing materials to ensure that your business is successful.

If you're thinking about becoming a franchisee, you'll want to understand the full scope of startup costs, including your initial investment and any franchisee fees you may need to pay. Here are 10 popular franchises from a variety of industries and what it costs to get started.

[Read: 3 Things You Should Know About Buying a Franchise]


According to its website, Subway has more locations than any other chain in the quick service industry. If you want to open your own Subway sandwich shop in the U.S., you can expect a total estimated investment of $116,000 to $263,000. This includes a franchise fee of $15,000, plus a weekly 12.5% royalty and advertising fee on your gross sales.


McDonald's golden arches are recognizable around the world, so it's no surprise that franchisees love this popular fast food chain. It doesn't come cheap, though: Franchisees must pay an initial franchise fee of $45,000 and have a minimum of $500,000 non-borrowed liquid assets available. All told, you'll pay $1,008,000 to $2,214,080 to get your McDonald's restaurant up and running.

If you're thinking about becoming a franchisee, you'll want to understand the full scope of startup costs, including your initial investment and any franchisee fees you may need to pay.

Dunkin' Donuts

Coffee lovers can open their own Dunkin' Donuts restaurant for a total estimated investment of $109,700 to upwards of $1.6 million, not including real estate. Dunkin' Donuts states on its website that the franchise fee varies depending on the current market brand presence and circumstances.

Orangetheory Fitness

A relative newcomer to the industry, Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) claims it's the fastest-growing fitness franchise in the world. Franchisees can deliver OTF's science-backed, technology-tracked 60-minute workout programs to consumers who want to get fit and live healthier. According to the International Franchise Association, OTF franchises come with a $150,000 startup cost and a total investment of $488,000 to nearly $1 million.

Kiddie Academy

Quality early childhood education is incredibly important, so if you live in an area with a lot of families, you'll have no shortage of students for your Kiddie Academy franchise. This 40-year-old brand boasts freedom and flexibility for its franchisees, who must have a minimum of $250,000 liquid capital and a net worth of $750,000 to lease a Kiddie Academy location.

Massage Envy

Bring relaxation and stress relief to the clients of your Massage Envy franchise. Depending on real estate, your initial investment may range from $434,823 to $1,030,500. Massage Envy has a 10-year initial franchise agreement and charges a 6% ongoing royalty fee on gross sales.


This popular hair styling establishment boasts 8% annual category growth across its 2,600-plus locations. To earn the average annual revenue of $442,656, a Supercuts franchisee needs liquid assets of $150,000 and a net worth of at least $500,000.

[Read: 3 Expert Strategies for Choosing the Right Franchise]

Ace Hardware

With more than 5,200 stores and growing, Ace Hardware presents a great franchise opportunity for people who want to enter the DIY consumer market. You can open a new location or convert an existing storefront into an Ace, and retailers pay no royalty fees to the franchisor. FranchiseDirect puts the estimated initial investment at $286,000 to $1,067,230, depending on rent, opening inventory and other variable expenses.


If you've ever wanted to help people find their dream home or office space, consider opening a RE/MAX real estate franchise. This highly recognizable brand operates nearly 8,000 units across the U.S., Canada and other countries. According to FranchiseDirect, your initial investment might range from $17,500 to $37,500, which includes a franchise fee and a variety of opening costs.


7-Eleven boasts the title of the world's No. 1 convenience store. With this turnkey business opportunity, 7-Eleven delivers everything you need to start and run your business. The initial investment and franchise fee varies by store, but you can expect to make a down payment of about $20,000 on opening inventory, and pay for a variety of supplies, business licenses, permits, bonds and insurance costs.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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