20 franchises you can start for under $100,000

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A logo of the sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery Jimmy John’s hangs outside one of their shops in downtown Washington, DC, June 9, 2016
A US sandwich chain is being sued for locking its low-paid workers into non-compete agreements more typical of high-tech workers or top executives. The state of Illinois, where Jimmy John’s is headquartered, accuses the company of requiring employees to sign clauses barring them from working at competing sandwich stores within two miles of one of its outlets for at least two years after leaving the company.
/ AFP / Mladen Antonov (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

DALLAS (STACKER) — Becoming a business owner is a dream for many, and while the idea of starting a business might seem overwhelming or even unattainable, one potentially less daunting option for those seeking to be their own boss is to buy into a franchise.

Franchises are licenses offered by an existing company that allows individuals to operate their own branches of the business under that company’s name and brand. In order to qualify for a franchise, potential buyers must meet the requirements of the franchisor, including a certain amount of liquid assets. Franchisees are often required to pay franchise fees and weekly royalties to the franchise owner and are expected to keep up on new training requirements and continuing education.

Being part of a franchise also has some great benefits, though, as potential owners have the advantage of being able to look at the success rate and track record of the company prior to committing. Knowing a lot about the business itself isn’t always necessary, as franchisors usually offer extensive training and provide ongoing support to their franchisees. Initial costs are often lower, and having an established brand to start with can make it less risky than trying to launch an independent business alone. Franchises also tend to be more successful than other startups, as the company already has a following and a proven business model. Companies offering franchises find it beneficial for their business as a whole, as it allows them to grow and expand into new markets.

Bigger franchises, like McDonald’s, might require initial investments in the millions, but there are plenty of franchise options out there that won’t break the bank. Stacker has rounded up data from the Franchise Opportunities Network to find some of the most affordable and lucrative franchise options available for less than $100,000. Ranked by startup cost from highest to lowest, take a look at these business opportunities for would-be moguls everywhere.

Allstate Insurance Company

Minimum cash required to start business: $100,000

For insurance agents looking to run their own offices, Allstate offers affordable franchises with a reasonable investment. There are no franchise or licensing fees, and Allstate does not take control of any of the buyer’s capital. Those seeking to purchase an Allstate franchise should keep in mind that while Allstate doesn’t require any previous insurance sales experience to buy a franchise, passing a state licensing exam is required for anyone selling insurance in the United States.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Minimum cash required to start business: $100,000

A popular nationwide chain, Dickey’s offers the potential for very high returns with a fairly low investment. The initial franchise fee is between $15,000–$20,000 and a liquidity of $100,000 is required, with a 20-year term and 10-year renewal. Restaurants can be a profitable venture, but budding franchise owners should make sure they understand that the food industry can also be one of the most fickle, and having previous experience as a manager or food service worker might be helpful.

Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Minimum cash required to start business: $100,000

Cruising has become a popular way to travel, with more than 20 million people choosing to vacation this way each year. Entrepreneurs can become a part of this fast-growing industry with an investment of just $100,000. Expedia CruiseShipCenters is a Small Business Administration-approved franchise, making it eligible for certain types of federal financing options, and they also offer a 15% discount to veterans and first responders. The franchise is available throughout the U.S., but is not registered in some states; potential owners should verify whether or not the company is registered in their individual state.

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Minimum cash required to start business: $80,000

Owning a Jimmy John’s means an instant following of loyal customers. While sales vary from store to store, some Jimmy John’s restaurants gross upwards of $1 million a year, and the business has grown from just 1,300 franchise units in 2011 to more than 2,100 today. While the initial investment of $80,000 might feel affordable, those funds must be available in cash or stocks and cannot be borrowed. Owners also pay weekly royalty fees along with advertising and development fees, and are charged for cooperative advertising programs.

Scenthound

Minimum cash required to start business: $75,000

Animal lovers who want to turn that love into a successful career might be intrigued by a franchise with Scenthound. Started in 2005, with franchises available as of 2017, this dog grooming business requires an initial cash investment of $75,000 and financial prequalification. Franchise candidates are also expected to have a minimum net worth of $300,000 and a credit score of 700, and must be willing to work full-time at their location for one year.

Kumon Math and Reading Center

Minimum cash required to start business: $70,000

Ranked by Entrepreneur as #1 in its category in the Franchise 500 for the last 18 years, Kumon helps students improve their math, reading, and study skills. With a required initial cash investment of $70,000 and $150,000 net worth requirement, this education-based business can be a fairly easy, low-cost way to own a franchise. While a teaching background is not required, potential owners must have a college degree and be proficient in math and reading.

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