Simply the Best: the Top Franchises in 110 Categories

These 110 franchises have all found a way to be at the peak of their industry in the present day.

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This story appears in the May 2018 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

With more than 1,000 companies applying for the 2018 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, just getting on our list was an achievement. But some companies rose even higher above the rest, claiming the highest ranking in their category. These 110 franchises range from one of the newest (Lendio) to one of the oldest (Baskin-Robbins), but whatever their age, they all found a way to be at the peak of their industry in the present day. We’ve highlighted what just a few of these companies have done to get to the top, and how they plan to stay there.

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Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000

The 2018 Franchise 500 rankings, from which this list is derived, are determined by an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength and financial strength and stability. But this list is not intended as an endorsement of any particular company. Always do your own research to find what franchise is truly the best for you. Read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant and talk to current and former franchisees.

Automotive

Appearance Services

Ziebart

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 151

Startup cost: $227K - $450K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 379/12

Oil-Change Services

Valvoline Instant Oil Change

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 34

Startup cost: $162.3K - $2.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 734/384

Transmission Repair

AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 315

Startup cost: $223.6K - $330.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 630/0

Wheels and Tires

RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 202

Startup cost: $500K - $1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 83/14

Windshield Repair

SuperGlass Windshield Repair

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 402

Startup cost: $9.9K - $31K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 332/0

Miscellaneous Repair and Maintenance Services

Carstar Franchise Systems

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 255

Startup cost: $283.7K - $824.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 533/1

Miscellaneous Auto Products and Services

Line-X

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 149

Startup cost: $125.6K - $319.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 553/4

Business Services

Advertising Services

Valpak Direct Marketing Systems

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 128

Startup cost: $80.6K - $200.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 129/14

Business Brokerages

Transworld Business Advisors

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 291

Startup cost: $69.6K - $91.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 210/0

Business Coaching and Consulting

The Alternative Board (TAB)

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 234

Startup cost: $45.4K - $94.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 226/28

Printing/Marketing Services

Minuteman Press International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 141

Startup cost: $64.2K - $164.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 965/0

Property Management

Property Management Inc.

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 152

Startup cost: $19.9K - $86.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 199/1

Signs

FastSigns International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 70

Startup cost: $182.3K - $267.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 674/0

Staffing/Recruiting

Express Employment Professionals

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 69

Startup cost: $130K - $206K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 761/0

Training Programs

Dale Carnegie Training

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 171

Startup cost: $51.2K - $186.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 271/2

Miscellaneous Business Services

Yesco

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 143

Startup cost: $65K - $352.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 57/49

Children's Businesses

Childcare

Primrose School Franchising

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 27

Startup cost: $716.7K - $5.8M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 353/0

Children's Enrichment Programs

School of Rock

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 163

Startup cost: $136.9K - $339.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 180/20

Children's Fitness Programs

Goldfish Swim School Franchising

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 55

Startup cost: $1.3M - $2.9M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 62/1

Children's Retail

Once Upon A Child

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 58

Startup cost: $254.1K - $390.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 357/0

Tutoring

Kumon Math & Reading Centers

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 20

Startup cost: $69.8K - $141.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25,827/32

Miscellaneous Children's Businesses

Apex Leadership Co.

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 263

Startup cost: $80.5K - $113.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 92/0

Financial Services

Business Financial Services

Lendio Franchising

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 201

Startup cost: $40.2K - $106.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 33/0

Insurance

Fiesta Auto Insurance and Tax

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 194

Startup cost: $49.7K - $107.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 175/0

Tax Services

H&R Block

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 286

Startup cost: $31.6K - $149.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,027/6,655

Miscellaneous Financial Services

ACFN-The ATM Franchise Business

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 474

Startup cost: $39.4K - $64.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 239/0

Food: Full-Service Restaurants

Sports Bars/Pubs

Brass Tap

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 213

Startup cost: $791.97K - $1.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 46/1

Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants

Golden Corral Restaurants

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 54

Startup cost: $2.1M - $6.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 402/69

Food: Quick-Service Restaurants

Asian Food

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 240

Startup cost: $133.7K - $527K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 184/0

Baked Goods: Pretzels

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 124

Startup cost: $199.5K - $385.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,814/14

Baked Goods: Miscellaneous

Cinnabon

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 98

Startup cost: $182.8K - $327.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,464/2

Barbecue

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 170

Startup cost: $289.9K - $421.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 549/5

Chicken

Wingstop Restaurants

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 31

Startup cost: $346.8K - $733.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,035/21

Coffee

Dunkin' Donuts

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 3

Startup cost: $228.6K - $1.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 12,538/0

Frozen Desserts: Custard

Culver Franchising System

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 13

Startup cost: $1.8M - $4.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 623/8

Frozen Desserts: Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 41

Startup cost: $93.6K - $401.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,982/0

Frozen Desserts: Ices

Kona Ice

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 83

Startup cost: $120.2K - $143K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 894/14

Frozen Desserts: Miscellaneous

Yogurtland Franchising

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 469

Startup cost: $309.3K - $702K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 316/12

Hamburgers

McDonald's

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 1

Startup cost: $1M - $2.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 34,108/3,133

Hot Dogs

Wienerschnitzel

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 166

Startup cost: $303.6K - $1.4M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 320/0

Mexican Food

Taco Bell

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 8

Startup cost: $525.1K - $2.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,889/797

Pizza

Papa John's International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 16

Startup cost: $130.1K - $844.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,410/645

Sandwiches: Philly Cheesesteak

Charleys Philly Steaks

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 160

Startup cost: $225.6K - $532.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 519/56

Sandwiches: Submarine

Jersey Mike's Subs

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 24

Startup cost: $193.2K - $660.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,219/58

Sandwiches: Miscellaneous

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 11

Startup cost: $329.5K - $557.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,657/63

Smoothies/Juices

Smoothie King

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 35

Startup cost: $225.7K - $778.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 876/26

Miscellaneous Quick Service

Orion Food Systems

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 212

Startup cost: $59.5K - $140K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 996/0

Food: Retail Sales

Candy

Kilwins Chocolates Franchise

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 94

Startup cost: $392.5K - $591.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 107/2

Miscellaneous Food Businesses

Edible Arrangements

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 53

Startup cost: $195.5K - $327.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,239/6

Health

Health Products

Pearle Vision

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 72

Startup cost: $400.3K - $605.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 421/102

Physical Therapy

Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 117

Startup cost: $82.3K - $390K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 252/17

Miscellaneous Health Services

The Joint

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 109

Startup cost: $211.4K - $339.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 337/47

Home Improvement

Flooring

Floor Coverings International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 156

Startup cost: $153.4K - $214.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 166/0

Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 173

Startup cost: $83.4K - $127.99K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 144/1

Lighting Services

Christmas Decor

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 433

Startup cost: $19.6K - $62.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 257/0

Organization/Storage Systems

Tailored Living

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 131

Startup cost: $156.9K - $297.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 207/0

Painting

360 Painting

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 287

Startup cost: $76.7K - $123.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 82/0

Wood Refinishing

N-Hance Wood Refinishing

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 159

Startup cost: $62.2K - $160.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 479/0

Miscellaneous Home-Improvement Businesses

Budget Blinds

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 23

Startup cost: $110.1K - $230.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,132/0

Lodging

Campgrounds

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 265

Startup cost: $52K - $3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 85/0

Hotels and Motels

Hampton by Hilton

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 29

Startup cost: $6.9M - $17.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,277/0

Maintenance

Carpet, Upholstery, and Drapery Services

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 137

Startup cost: $56.5K - $161.96K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,536/0

Commercial Cleaning

Jan-Pro Franchising International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 51

Startup cost: $3.99K - $51.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,486/0

Glass Repair/Replacement

Glass Doctor

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 179

Startup cost: $128.8K - $265.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 180/0

Handyman Services

Handyman Connection

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 253

Startup cost: $101.8K - $159K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 82/0

Home Repairs: Miscellaneous

Precision Door Service

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 226

Startup cost: $67.8K - $515.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 86/1

HVAC Services

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 104

Startup cost: $81.8K - $535.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 318/34

Lawn Care/Landscaping

Weed Man

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 59

Startup cost: $68.5K - $85.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 335/0

Leather and Vinyl Repair

Fibrenew

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 185

Startup cost: $93.3K - $104.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 241/0

Pest Control

Mosquito Joe

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 42

Startup cost: $66.6K - $127.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 234/2

Plumbing

Rooter-Man

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 107

Startup cost: $46.8K - $137.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 613/22

Pool Maintenance

ASP-America's Swimming Pool Company

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 101

Startup cost: $96.2K - $143.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 254/0

Residential Cleaning

Merry Maids

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 38

Startup cost: $86.8K - $123.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,667/3

Restoration Services

Servpro

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 12

Startup cost: $158.1K - $211.95K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,749/0

Restroom Maintenance

Enviro-Master International Franchise

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 82

Startup cost: $166.3K - $292.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 70/2

Window Cleaning

Fish Window Cleaning Services

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 193

Startup cost: $83.2K - $146.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 271/1

Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses

AdvantaClean

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 148

Startup cost: $105.2K - $240.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 236/1

Personal Care

Fitness Businesses

Anytime Fitness

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 17

Startup cost: $89.4K - $677.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,617/38

Hair Care

Great Clips

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 7

Startup cost: $136.9K - $258.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,285/0

Lash and Brow Services

Amazing Lash Studio

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 136

Startup cost: $270.4K - $584.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 176/0

Massage and Spa Services

Massage Envy

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 45

Startup cost: $434.8K - $1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,189/0

Salon Suites

Salons by JC

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 108

Startup cost: $545.6K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 72/10

Senior Care

Right at Home

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 49

Startup cost: $78.3K - $137.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 553/0

Miscellaneous Personal-Care Businesses

Palm Beach Tan

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 52

Startup cost: $479K - $789.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 257/189

Pets

Pet Care

Camp Bow Wow

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 146

Startup cost: $859.6K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 134/9

Pet Stores

Pet Supplies Plus

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 32

Startup cost: $555.4K - $1.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 198/210

Miscellaneous Pet Services

Sit Means Sit Dog Training

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 340

Startup cost: $49.8K - $145.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 119/1

Recreation

Paint-and-Sip Studios

Painting with a Twist

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 168

Startup cost: $89.3K - $188.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 285/4

Sports Equipment and Apparel

Fleet Feet Sports

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 90

Startup cost: $180K - $338K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 137/34

Trampoline Parks

Sky Zone

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 81

Startup cost: $1.3M - $2.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 180/1

Travel Agencies

Cruise Planners

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 60

Startup cost: $2.1K - $22.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,564/1

Miscellaneous Recreation Businesses

Freedom Boat Club

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 309

Startup cost: $144.2K - $193.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 121/19

Retail

Apparel and Accessories

Plato's Closet

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 97

Startup cost: $253.1K - $399.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 472/0

Convenience Stores

7-Eleven

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 2

Startup cost: $37.6K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 61,086/1,019

Tools Distribution

Snap-on Tools

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 30

Startup cost: $169.5K - $350.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,696/162

Vitamins

GNC Franchising

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 85

Startup cost: $180.5K - $347.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,084/3,506

Miscellaneous Retail Businesses

Ace Hardware

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 19

Startup cost: $272.5K - $1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,932/101

Services

Dry Cleaning and Delivery Services

Zips Dry Cleaners

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 135

Startup cost: $855.4K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 51/2

Embroidery and Screen Printing

Big Frog Custom T-Shirts

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 225

Startup cost: $180.2K - $239.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 80/0

Home Inspections

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 64

Startup cost: $34.4K - $42.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 560/0

Laboratory Services

ARCpoint Labs

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 272

Startup cost: $145.3K - $249.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 105/2

Locksmith Services

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 93

Startup cost: $99.7K - $134.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 558/3

Moving/Junk-Removal Services

Two Men and a Truck International

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 87

Startup cost: $95K - $666K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 300/2

Photography and Video Services

Multivista

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 252

Startup cost: $128.5K - $541.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 62/5

Postal and Business Centers

The UPS Store

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 4

Startup cost: $177.96K - $402.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,979/0

Real Estate

RE/MAX

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 5

Startup cost: $37.5K - $225K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,560/0

Security Services

Signal 88 Security

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 89

Startup cost: $73K - $268.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 416/7

Miscellaneous Services

Pirtek

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 78

Startup cost: $113.6K - $633K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 484/4

Tech

Electronics Repairs

uBreakiFix

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 18

Startup cost: $60.4K - $220.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 307/18

Miscellaneous Tech Services

CMIT Solutions

2018 Franchise 500 Rank: 186

Startup cost: $127.2K - $173.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 175/0

Tracy Stapp Herold

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.