The Best Franchise Brands Of 2019, By Category

We ranked the top categories to highlight the best 104 franchise brands.

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This story appears in the April 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you’re interested in becoming a franchisee, you’ll find there are thousands of concepts vying for attention. Maybe you’ve narrowed down your interest to a certain category -- like food or fitness -- but even then there may be dozens or hundreds of companies to choose from. So which one is best? It’s a question that requires research and perhaps a bit of soul-searching.

Karimpard | Getty Images

At Entrepreneur, we’ve done our own research -- more than 40 years of it -- to come up with our system of evaluating which franchises come out on top. Our annual Franchise 500 ranking evaluates companies on more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. And the best of the best based on that evaluation -- the 104 companies that ranked not only in the Franchise 500 but also at the top of their industry categories -- can be found here.

Related: Our Top 10 Franchise Categories for 2019

Remember, though, that this list is not intended as a specific recommendation of any particular company. Our formula is based on objective factors that are important to consider, but finding the franchise that’s best for you will require considering factors that may be just as important but not as easy to measure or rank. So do your homework: Read the FDD, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and talk to as many current and former franchisees as you can.

Automotive

Appearance Services

Maaco Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 180

Startup cost: $362.3K - $567.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 510/0

Oil-Change Services

Jiffy Lube International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 90

Startup cost: $234K - $372.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,078/0

Repair & Maintenance Services

Carstar Franchise Systems

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 96

Startup cost: $283.7K - $829.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 603/1

Wheels & Tires

Big O Tires

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 172

Startup cost: $281K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 449/0

Windshield Repair

Novus Glass

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 120

Startup cost: $46.2K - $249.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,991/32

Miscellaneous Auto Products & Services

Line-X

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 272

Startup cost: $125.3K - $318.98K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 576/6

Business Services

Advertising Services

BirthdayPak

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 183

Startup cost: $22K - $140.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25/0

Business Brokerages

Transworld Business Advisors

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 257

Startup cost: $74.9K - $97.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 274/0

Business Coaching & Consulting

The Alternative Board (TAB)

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 286

Startup cost: $45.6K - $94.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 252/27

Coworking Spaces

Office Evolution

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 160

Startup cost: $127K - $961K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 52/8

Printing/Marketing Services

Minuteman Press International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 123

Startup cost: $64.2K - $166.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 966/0

Property Management

Property Management Inc.

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 262

Startup cost: $21.3K - $106.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 209/1

Signs

FastSigns International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 95

Startup cost: $193.5K - $289.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 683/0

Staffing/Recruiting

Express Employment Professionals

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 66

Startup cost: $135K - $206K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 775/4

Training Programs

Dale Carnegie Training

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 166

Startup cost: $52.2K - $226.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 271/2

Miscellaneous Business Services

YESCO Sign & Lighting Service

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 161

Startup cost: $65K - $352.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 57/39

Children's Businesses

Childcare

Primrose School Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 55

Startup cost: $553.2K - $7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 382/0

Children's Enrichment Programs

Bach to Rock

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 128

Startup cost: $291.9K - $504.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25/7

Children's Fitness Programs

The Little Gym International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 118

Startup cost: $181.5K - $431.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 421/0

Children's Retail

Once Upon A Child

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 129

Startup cost: $268.5K - $396.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 369/0

Swimming Lessons

Goldfish Swim School Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 50

Startup cost: $1.3M - $3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 69/1

Tutoring

Kumon Math & Reading Centers

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 14

Startup cost: $69.6K - $148.97K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 25,854/27

Miscellaneous Children's Businesses

Apex Leadership Co.

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 469

Startup cost: $80.5K - $113.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/8

Financial Services

Business Financial Services

Lendio Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 288

Startup cost: $38.6K - $111.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 42/0

Insurance

Brightway Insurance

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 127

Startup cost: $123.4K - $158.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 165/1

Tax Services

H&R Block

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 220

Startup cost: $31.6K - $149.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,068/6,761

Miscellaneous Financial Services

ACFN-The ATM Franchise Business

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 449

Startup cost: $39.4K - $64.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 256/0

Food: Full-Service Restaurants

Sports Bars/Pubs

Buffalo Wild Wings

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 116

Startup cost: $1.99M - $3.8M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 638/638

Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants

Golden Corral Restaurants

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 34

Startup cost: $2.2M - $6.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 448/43

Food: Quick-Service Restaurants

Asian Food

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 221

Startup cost: $135.7K - $527K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 185/0

Baked Goods: Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabon

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 74

Startup cost: $185.2K - $330.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,512/1

Baked Goods: Doughnuts

Duck Donuts Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 247

Startup cost: $348.4K - $568K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 69/0

Baked Goods: Pretzels

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 79

Startup cost: $199.5K - $385.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,934/13

Baked Goods: Miscellaneous

Great American Cookies

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 186

Startup cost: $160.5K - $461.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 376/0

Chicken

KFC US

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 23

Startup cost: $1.4M - $2.8M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 20,775/668

Coffee

Dunkin'

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 2

Startup cost: $228.6K - $1.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 12,871/0

Frozen Desserts: Custard

Culver's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 6

Startup cost: $2M - $4.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 661/6

Frozen Desserts: Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 12

Startup cost: $93.6K - $401.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,041/0

Frozen Desserts: Miscellaneous

Kona Ice

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 67

Startup cost: $124.8K - $147.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,111/23

Hamburgers

McDonald's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 1

Startup cost: $1.1M - $2.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 34,521/2,885

Hot Dogs

Wienerschnitzel

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 126

Startup cost: $303.6K - $1.4M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 323/0

Mexican Food

Taco Bell

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 4

Startup cost: $525.1K - $2.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,299/606

Pizza

Pizza Hut

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 16

Startup cost: $327K - $2.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 15,325/93

Sandwiches: Philly Cheesesteak

Charleys Philly Steaks

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 102

Startup cost: $252.1K - $580.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 539/56

Sandwiches: Submarine

Jersey Mike's Subs

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 9

Startup cost: $178.5K - $746.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,441/84

Sandwiches: Miscellaneous

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 11

Startup cost: $329.5K - $557.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,737/56

Smoothies/Juices

Smoothie King

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 22

Startup cost: $263.6K - $844.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 944/28

Miscellaneous Quick-Service Restaurants

Captain D's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 139

Startup cost: $781K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 242/290

Food: Retail Sales

Candy

Kilwins Chocolates Franchise

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 68

Startup cost: $423.3K - $790.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 116/2

Miscellaneous Food/Beverage Businesses

Edible Arrangements

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 108

Startup cost: $189.8K - $348.95K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,215/4

Health

Health Products

Miracle-Ear

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 63

Startup cost: $119K - $287.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,425/16

Physical Therapy

Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 64

Startup cost: $138.8K - $399K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 376/10

Miscellaneous Health Services

American Family Care

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 107

Startup cost: $125.8K - $1.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 130/66

Home Improvement

Flooring

Floor Coverings International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 194

Startup cost: $153.9K - $222.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 174/0

Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 173

Startup cost: $83.4K - $128.99K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 149/1

Organization/Storage Systems

Closet Factory

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 329

Startup cost: $208.5K - $356K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 66/13

Painting

360 Painting

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 265

Startup cost: $85.5K - $132.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 111/0

Miscellaneous Home-Improvement Businesses

Budget Blinds

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 35

Startup cost: $110.1K - $235.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,154/0

Lodging

Campgrounds

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 202

Startup cost: $62K - $3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 84/0

Hotels & Motels

Hampton by Hilton

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 27

Startup cost: $6.9M - $17.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,381/0

Maintenance

Carpet & Upholstery Services

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 72

Startup cost: $34.1K - $162.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,553/0

Commercial Cleaning

Jan-Pro Franchising International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 39

Startup cost: $4.2K - $54.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,790/0

Electrical Services

Mister Sparky

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 395

Startup cost: $68.6K - $401.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 112/7

Home Repairs

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 113

Startup cost: $81.8K - $535.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 338/33

Lawn Care/Landscaping

Lawn Doctor

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 58

Startup cost: $101.8K - $115.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 568/0

Leather & Vinyl Repair

Fibrenew

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 207

Startup cost: $94.1K - $106.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 239/0

Pest Control

Mosquito Joe

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 47

Startup cost: $90.6K - $135.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 286/2

Plumbing

Rooter-Man

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 93

Startup cost: $46.8K - $137.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 639/46

Pool Maintenance

ASP-America's Swimming Pool Company

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 292

Startup cost: $96.2K - $143.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 265/0

Residential Cleaning

Merry Maids

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 38

Startup cost: $86.8K - $123.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,719/5

Restoration Services

Servpro

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 28

Startup cost: $159.3K - $213.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,687/0

Restroom Maintenance

Enviro-Master International Franchise

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 269

Startup cost: $172.3K - $298.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 72/0

Window Cleaning

Window Gang

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 201

Startup cost: $34.4K - $81.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 99/122

Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses

American Leak Detection

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 259

Startup cost: $76.8K - $259.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 162/13

Personal Care

Fitness Businesses

Planet Fitness

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 7

Startup cost: $969.6K - $4.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,540/68

Hair Care

Great Clips

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 8

Startup cost: $136.9K - $258.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,261/0

Massage & Spa Services

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 133

Startup cost: $500.6K - $604.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 379/1

Salon Suites

Salons by JC

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 188

Startup cost: $550.6K - $1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 81/10

Senior Care

Interim HealthCare

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 144

Startup cost: $125.5K - $198.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 560/0

Miscellaneous Personal-Care Businesses

Palm Beach Tan

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 86

Startup cost: $478.6K - $788.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 265/199

Pets

Pet Services

Camp Bow Wow

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 193

Startup cost: $783.5K - $1.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 146/10

Pet Stores

Pet Supplies Plus

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 46

Startup cost: $463.4K - $993.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 227/215

Recreation

Paint-&-Sip Studios

Painting with a Twist

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 163

Startup cost: $98.8K - $200.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 302/1

Sports Equipment & Apparel

Fleet Feet

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 104

Startup cost: $187K - $413K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 145/31

Trampoline Parks

Urban Air Adventure Park

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 97

Startup cost: $1.7M - $2.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 46/5

Travel Agencies

Cruise Planners

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 60

Startup cost: $2.3K - $23.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,570/1

Miscellaneous Recreation Businesses

Freedom Boat Club

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 270

Startup cost: $144.2K - $193.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 149/19

Retail

Apparel & Accessories

Plato's Closet

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 187

Startup cost: $255K - $400.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 479/0

Convenience Stores

7-Eleven

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 10

Startup cost: $47.1K - $1.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 63,754/2,439

Tools Distribution

Snap-on Tools

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 18

Startup cost: $171.4K - $359.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,663/170

Miscellaneous Retail Businesses

Ace Hardware

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 13

Startup cost: $272.5K - $1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,946/122

Services

Dry Cleaning

Tide Dry Cleaners

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 167

Startup cost: $640.4K - $1.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 82/11

Embroidery & Screen Printing

Big Frog Custom T-Shirts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 467

Startup cost: $114.5K - $244.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/0

Home Inspections

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 98

Startup cost: $36.4K - $44.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 574/0

Laboratory Services

Any Lab Test Now

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 423

Startup cost: $113.1K - $194.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 172/0

Locksmith Services

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 203

Startup cost: $96.9K - $130.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 558/4

Moving/Junk-Removal Services

College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 143

Startup cost: $89.3K - $208.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 104/2

Photography & Video Services

Multivista

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 373

Startup cost: $125.5K - $538.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 71/5

Postal & Business Centers

The UPS Store

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 5

Startup cost: $168.9K - $398.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,071/0

Real Estate

RE/MAX

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 15

Startup cost: $40K - $230.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,985/0

Security Services

Signal 88 Security

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 256

Startup cost: $46.95K - $218.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 405/0

Miscellaneous Services

Pirtek

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 115

Startup cost: $161.9K - $782.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 488/4

Tech

Electronics Repairs & Sales

CPR Cell Phone Repair

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 24

Startup cost: $55.7K - $170.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 507/4

Miscellaneous Tech Services

CMIT Solutions

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 91

Startup cost: $125.97K - $170.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 205/0

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.