These 101 Franchises Are the Best of the Best

This story appears in the May 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Making it into Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500® is quite an achievement. But a select group of franchises have even more to brag about. They’re what we call the “best of the best”—the franchises that ranked at the top of their industry categories—and you’ll find all 101 of them listed on the following pages.

These companies were ranked based on Entrepreneur’s objective, quantifiable criteria, including system size, growth rate and financial strength and stability. But there are many other factors to consider in searching out the best franchise for you. This list is not intended as a recommendation of any particular company but as a starting point for your research. Always read a company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant and talk to other franchisees before investing in any opportunity.

Automotive


Appearance Services

Ziebart

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #171

ziebart.com

Startup cost: $172K-$331K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 357/12

Oil-Change Services

Jiffy Lube International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #27

jiffylube.com

Startup cost: $221K-$400K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,979/0

Transmission Repair

AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #124

aamcofranchises.com

Startup cost: $240.3K-$346.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 677/21

Wheels & Tires

Big O Tires 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #158

bigofranchise.com

Startup cost: $238.2K-$1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 362/40

Windshield Repair

Novus Glass

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #113

novusfranchising.com

Startup cost: $46.8K-$229.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,627/17

Miscellaneous Auto Products & Services

J.D. Byrider

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #223

franchise.jdbyrider.com

Startup cost: $675.5K-$5.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 135/30

Miscellaneous Repair & Maintenance Services

Midas International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #35

midasfranchise.com

Startup cost: $203.1K-$424.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,190/6

Business Services


Advertising Services - Publishing

Coffee News

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #137

coffeenews.com

Startup cost: $10.3K-$11.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 799/5

Advertising Services - Miscellaneous

Money Mailer Franchise 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #185

moneymailer.com

Startup cost: $58.1K-$119K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 197/45

Business Brokerages

Transworld Business Advisors

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #219

discover.tworld.com

Startup cost: $57.2K-$74.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 174/0

Business Coaching & Consulting

FocalPoint Coaching 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #276

focalpointcoaching.com

Startup cost: $61.6K-$113.95K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 126/0

Property Management

Real Property Management

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #148

realpropertymgt.com

Startup cost: $56.6K-$99.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 270/0

Shipping Services

InXpress

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #250

inxpress.com

Startup cost: $55.3K-$120.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 262/0

Signs

Sign-A-Rama 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #71

discoversignarama.com

Startup cost: $92.1K-$234.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 949/0

Staffing

Express Employment Professionals

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #66

expressfranchising.com

Startup cost: $110K-$195K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 702/0

Training Programs

Sandler Training

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #189

sandler.com

Startup cost: $88.2K-$105.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 255/0

Miscellaneous Business Services

Proforma

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #89

onlyproforma.com

Startup cost: $4.7K-$50.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 712/0

Children's Businesses


Child Care

Goddard Systems 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #105

goddardschoolfranchise.com

Startup cost: $704.7K-$880K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 428/0

Children’s Enrichment Programs

Bricks 4 Kidz

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #102

bricks4kidz.com

Startup cost: $33.8K-$51.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 625/2

Children’s Fitness Programs

Soccer Shots Franchising 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #180

soccershotsfranchising.com

Startup cost: $18.7K-$25.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 152/8

Children’s Retail

Once Upon A Child

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #140

onceuponachild.com

Startup cost: $242.3K-$373.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 293/0

Tutoring

Kumon Math & Reading Centers

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #20

kumonfranchise.com

Startup cost: $72.2K-$149.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25,356/28

Miscellaneous Children’s Businesses

GameTruck Licensing 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #254

gametruckpartyfranchise.com

Startup cost: $118.3K-$318.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 70/0

Financial Services


Business Financial Services

Padgett Business Services

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #214

smallbizpros.com

Startup cost: $99.98K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 391/0

Insurance

Estrella Insurance

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #226

estrellainsurance.com

Startup cost: $49.95K-$84K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/0

Tax Services

H&R Block

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #18

hrblock.com/franchise

Startup cost: $31.5K-$148.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,846/6,165

Miscellaneous Financial Services

ACFN-The ATM Franchise Business

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #482

acfnfranchised.com

Startup cost: $40.4K-$67.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 233/0

Food/Full-Service Restaurants


Buffet Restaurants

Golden Corral Franchising Systems 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #100

goldencorralfranchise.com

Startup cost: $1.9M-$5.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 384/114

Sports Bars/Pubs

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #390

thegreeneturtle.com

Startup cost: $1.5M-$1.8M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25/12

Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants

Denny’s 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #8

dennysfranchising.com

Startup cost: $1.3M-$2.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,541/161

Food/Quick Service


Baked Goods - Cookies

Great American Cookies

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #145

greatamericancookies.com

Startup cost: $183.4K-$317.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 343/0

Baked Goods - Pretzels

Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #34

auntieannes.com

Startup cost: $194.9K-$367.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,598/17

Baked Goods - Miscellaneous

Cinnabon

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #65

cinnabon.com

Startup cost: $180.1K-$385.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,245/1

Chicken - Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #59

buffalowildwings.com

Startup cost: $1.4M-$3.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 585/495

Chicken - Miscellaneous

KFC 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #16

kfcfranchise.com

Startup cost: $1.3M-$2.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 13,846/5,029

Coffee

Dunkin’ Donuts

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #11

dunkinfranchising.com

Startup cost: $216.1K-$1.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 11,310/0

Frozen Desserts - Frozen Yogurt

Menchie’s

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #111

menchies.com

Startup cost: $218.3K-$385.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 478/1

Frozen Desserts - Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #43

baskinrobbinsfranchising.com

Startup cost: $102.9K-$388.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,546/6

Frozen Desserts - Miscellaneous

Rita’s Italian Ice

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #84

ritasice.com

Startup cost: $140.2K-$413.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 555/0

Hamburgers

Jack in the Box

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #4

jackinthebox.com

Startup cost: $1.3M-$2.4M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,786/465

Mexican Food

Taco Bell

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #19

tacobellfranchise.com

Startup cost: $1.2M-$2.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,157/896

Pizza

Pizza Hut 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #9

pizzahutfranchise.com

Startup cost: $297K-$2.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 12,956/2,011

Sandwiches - Philly Cheesesteak

Charleys Philly Steaks

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #98

charleys.com

Startup cost: $152.2K-$451.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 489/47

Sandwiches - Submarine

Subway

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #3

subway.com

Startup cost: $116.6K-$263.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 42,227/0

Sandwiches - Miscellaneous

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #6

jimmyjohns.com

Startup cost: $330.5K-$519.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,123/39

Smoothies

Smoothie King

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #79

smoothiekingfranchise.com

Startup cost: $176.3K-$403.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 666/17

Miscellaneous Quick Service

Nathan’s Famous 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #151

nathansfamous.com

Startup cost: $276.4K-$1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 315/5

Food/Retail Sales


Vending

Fresh Healthy Vending

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #357

freshvending.com

Startup cost: $119.3K-$206.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 185/35

Miscellaneous Food Businesses

Edible Arrangements International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #40

ediblearrangements.com

Startup cost: $156.99K-$276.98K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,148/4

Health


Health Products

Miracle-Ear 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #41

miracle-ear.com

Startup cost: $119K-$287.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1208/8

Health Services

HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #114

healthsourcechiro.com

Startup cost: $57.7K-$253.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 366/0

Home Improvement


Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Kitchen Tune-Up

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #203

kitchentuneup.com

Startup cost: $45.8K-$55.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 165/0

Organization/Storage Systems

ShelfGenie Franchise Systems 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #220

shelfgenie.com

Startup cost: $70.1K-$131.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 132/40

Painting

CertaPro Painters Ltd.

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #101

ownacertapro.com

Startup cost: $129K-$161.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 453/0

Wood Refinishing

N-Hance

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #125

nhancefranchise.com

Startup cost: $24.3K-$131.98k

Total franchises/co.-owned: 347/0

Miscellaneous Home-Improvement Businesses

Budget Blinds 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #50

budget-blinds-franchise.com

Startup cost: $89.2K-$187.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 934/0

Hotels & Motels


Hampton Hotels

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #1

hiltonworldwide.com/development

Startup cost: $3.7M-$13.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,963/1

Maintenance


Carpet, Upholstery & Drapery Services

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #63

chemdryfranchise.com

Startup cost: $39.99K-$139.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,565/0

Commercial Cleaning

Jan-Pro Franchising International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #12

jan-pro.com

Startup cost: $3.1K-$50.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 11,676/0

Electrical Services

Mister Sparky

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #285

mistersparky.com

Startup cost: $66.2K-$602.9k

Total franchises/co.-owned: 99/6

Handyman Services

HandyPro International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #384

handypro.com

Startup cost: $69.2K-$127.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 36/0

Home Repairs - Miscellaneous

The Glass Guru

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #234

theglassguru.com

Startup cost: $30.2K-$119.99K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 86/1

HVAC Services

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #144

onehourheatandair.com

Startup cost: $79.3K-$707.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 266/38

Lawn Care

Weed Man

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #91

weedmanfranchise.com

Startup cost: $68.1K-$85.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 556/0

Pest Control

Mosquito Squad

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #343

mosquitosquadfranchise.com

Startup cost: $14.6K-$62.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 141/0

Plumbing

Rooter-Man

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #94

rooterman.com

Startup cost: $46.8K-$137.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 498/21

Residential Cleaning

The Maids

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #38

maids.com

Startup cost: $98.6K-$126K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,113/60

Restoration Services

Servpro

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #7

servpro.com

Startup cost: $138.6K-$187.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,664/0

Window Cleaning

Fish Window Cleaning Services 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #154

fishwindowcleaning.com

Startup cost: $78.2K-$139.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 305/1

Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses

American Leak Detection

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #115

americanleakdetection.com

Startup cost: $76.8K-$259.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 365/27

Personal Care


Fitness Businesses

Anytime Fitness

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #2

anytimefitness.com

Startup cost: $78.7K-$371.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,733/36

Hair Care

Supercuts

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #5

regisfranchise.com

Startup cost: $113.9K-$233.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,314/1,124

Massage Services

Massage Envy Spa

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #51

massageenvy.com

Startup cost: $412.6K-$938.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,055/0

Senior Care

Comfort Keepers

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #57

comfortkeepersfranchise.com

Startup cost: $83.1K-$114.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 798/0

Tanning Salons

Palm Beach Tan

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #159

palmbeachtan.com

Startup cost: $555.1K-$821.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 240/175

Miscellaneous Personal Care Businesses

The Woodhouse Day Spa

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #374

woodhousespas.com

Startup cost: $499.1K-$658.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 39/2

Pets


Dog Training

Sit Means Sit Dog Training

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #293

sitmeanssit.com

Startup cost: $45K-$123.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 82/1

Pet Care

Dogtopia

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #363

dogdaycare.com

Startup cost: $318.4K-$496.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 26/5

Pet Stores

Wild Birds Unlimited

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #149

wbu.com

Startup cost: $104.2K-$172.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 288/0

Recreation


Sports Businesses

American Poolplayers Association

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #271

poolplayers.com

Startup cost: $16.7K-$19.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 307/6

Sports Equipment & Apparel

Fleet Feet Sports

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #246

fleetfeetsports.com

Startup cost: $178K-$335K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 107/22

Travel Agencies - Cruise-Only

Cruise Planners

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #22

cruiseplannersfranchise.com

Startup cost: $2.1K-$21.99K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,757/1

Travel Agencies - Miscellaneous

Results! Travel

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #69

resultstravel.com

Startup cost: $25-10.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 656/0

Retail


Apparel & Accessories

Plato’s Closet

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #108

platoscloset.com

Startup cost: $233.4K-$387.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 408/0

Batteries

Batteries Plus Bulbs

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #72

batteriesplus.com

Startup cost: $208.5K-$385.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 586/42

Convenience Stores

7-Eleven 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #10

franchise.7-eleven.com

Startup cost: $37.2K-$1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 53,027/489

Electronics Stores

Cellairis Franchise 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #82

cellairis.com

Startup cost: $43.1K-$397K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 577/51

Tools Distribution

Snap-on Tools

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #25

snapon.com

Startup cost: $152.7K-$318.98K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,581/210

Vitamins

GNC Franchising

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #23

gncfranchising.com

Startup cost: $167.9K-$294.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,188/3,419

Miscellaneous Retail Businesses

Aaron’s

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #15

aaronsfranchise.com

Startup cost: $275.7K-$782.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 782/1,326

Services


Dry Cleaning & Delivery Services

Martinizing Dry Cleaning

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #399

martinizingfranchise.com

Startup cost: $305K-$593.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 422/0

Embroidery & Screen Printing

EmbroidMe

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #143

discoverembroidme.com

Startup cost: $93.7K-$246.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 460/0

Home Inspections

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #109

pillartopost.com

Startup cost: $33.4K-$41.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 460/0

Moving/Junk-Removal Services

Two Men and a Truck International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #164

twomenandatruckfranchising.com

Startup cost: $178K-$548.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 248/1

Paint & Sip Studios

Painting with a Twist

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #260

paintingwithatwist.com

Startup cost: $94.3K-$131.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 152/4

Postal & Business Centers

The UPS Store

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #21

theupsstore.com

Startup cost: $150.2K-$420.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,793/0

Printing

Minuteman Press International 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #73

minutemanpress.com

Startup cost: $63.6K-$185.96K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 931/0

Real Estate

RE/MAX 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #75

remax.com

Startup cost: $37.5K-$259K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,665/21

Miscellaneous Services

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #96

popalock.com/franchising.php

Startup cost: $99.99K-$133.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 437/3

Tech


Electronics Repairs

CPR Cell Phone Repair

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #175

cellphonerepair.com

Startup cost: $24.6K-$228.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 169/3

Miscellaneous Tech Services

CMIT Solutions 

2015 Franchise 500 rank: #232

cmitfranchise.com

Startup cost: $129.2K-$171.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 143/0

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