The Best Franchise Brands of 2020

Check out the top franchises, in every category.

By
This story appears in the April 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What are the top full-service restaurants? What about the top personal-care brands, or children’s businesses, or home-improvement providers? Those are the kinds of questions we answer every year with this, our annual “best of the best” list.

AlphaSpirit | Shutterstock

We’ve crunched the numbers from our 2020 Franchise 500 list, identifying the 113 companies that performed best in their categories. Among them, you’ll naturally find a lot of familiar names — companies that have dominated their categories for decades. But you might be surprised at how many relatively new concepts worked their way to the top as well. Whatever the story, all the companies on this list have something to teach about how to overcome competition and achieve franchising success.

Related: Franchise 500: Our Definitive Ranking of 2020's Strongest Franchises

As always, remember that this list is not intended as an endorsement of any particular company. These are the best franchises in their respective categories based on our objective ranking criteria — like size and growth, cost and fees, and financial strength — but there’s more to finding the franchise that’s right for you. So always do your homework before investing: Read the FDD, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and talk to current and former franchisees.

Automotive

Appearance Services

Ziebart

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 149

Startup cost: $291.8K-$463.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 376/12

Oil-Change Services

Valvoline Instant Oil Change

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 57

Startup cost: $174.5K-$2.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 750/502

Repair & Maintenance Services

Carstar Franchise Systems

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 120

Startup cost: $298.2K-$804.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 675/2

Wheels & Tires

Big O Tires

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 91

Startup cost: $311K-$1.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 457/1

Windshield Repair

Novus Glass

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 116

Startup cost: $54.5K-$258.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,014/30

Miscellaneous Auto Products & Services

Line-X

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 327

Startup cost: $126.4K-$366.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 571/3

Business Services

Advertising Services

BirthdayPak

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 313

Startup cost: $29.5K-$144.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 27/2

Business Brokerages

Transworld Business Advisors

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 119

Startup cost: $74.9K-$97.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 294/1

Business Coaching & Consulting

ActionCoach

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 346

Startup cost: $47.9K-$189.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 788/2

Printing/Marketing Services

Minuteman Press International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 114

Startup cost: $74.9K-$180.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 967/0

Property Management

Property Management Inc.

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 281

Startup cost: $22.8K-$175.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 247/1

Signs

FastSigns International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 55

Startup cost: $197.2K-$313.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 710/0

Staffing/Recruiting

Express Employment Professionals

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 51

Startup cost: $140K-$211K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 800/0

Training Programs

Leadership Management International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 189

Startup cost: $20K-$27.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 458/0

Miscellaneous Business Services

YESCO Sign & Lighting Service

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 169

Startup cost: $65K-$352.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 61/37

Children's Businesses

Childcare

Primrose School Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 54

Startup cost: $637.9K-$6.4M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 405/0

Children's Enrichment Programs

School of Rock

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 219

Startup cost: $192.2K-$422.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 197/41

Children's Fitness Programs

The Little Gym International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 179

Startup cost: $186.5K-$441.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 442/0

Children's Retail

Once Upon A Child

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 110

Startup cost: $246.7K-$391.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 385/0

Swimming Lessons

Goldfish Swim School Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 28

Startup cost: $1.4M-$3.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 101/1

Tutoring

Kumon Math & Reading Centers

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 12

Startup cost: $73.4K-$154.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 26,256/22

Financial Services

Business Financial Services

Lendio Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 272

Startup cost: $30.2K-$117.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 69/0

Insurance

Goosehead Insurance Agency

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 129

Startup cost: $41.5K-$116.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 535/0

Tax Services

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 197

Startup cost: $45.1K-$110.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,922/1857

Miscellaneous Financial Services

Motto Mortgage

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 395

Startup cost: $47.8K-$68.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 111/0

Food: Full-Service Restaurants

Sports Bars/Pubs

Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 122

Startup cost: $1.2M-$3.99M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 30/5

Steakhouses

Golden Corral

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 90

Startup cost: $2.3M-$6.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 448/36

Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 240

Startup cost: $1.2M-$2.5M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 751/26

Food: Quick-Service Restaurants

Asian Food

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 165

Startup cost: $133.7K-$535K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 195/0

Baked Goods: Bakery Cafes

la Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 125

Startup cost: $1.2M-$3.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 53/30

Baked Goods: Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnabon

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 53

Startup cost: $108.5K-$368.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,539/1

Baked Goods: Doughnuts

Shipley Do-Nuts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 157

Startup cost: $410K-$771.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 290/12

Baked Goods: Pretzels

Auntie Anne's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 400

Startup cost: $199.5K-$385.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,892/11

Baked Goods: Miscellaneous

Great American Cookies

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 136

Startup cost: $177.7K-$476.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 383/0

Chicken

KFC

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 24

Startup cost: $1.4M-$2.8M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 22,774/329

Coffee

Dunkin'

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 1

Startup cost: $395.5K-$1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 12,957/0

Frozen Desserts: Custard

Culver's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 9

Startup cost: $1.97M-$4.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 709/6

Frozen Desserts: Ice Cream

Baskin-Robbins

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 13

Startup cost: $93.6K-$401.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,072/0

Frozen Desserts: Miscellaneous

Kona Ice

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 60

Startup cost: $127.8K-$151.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,180/19

Hamburgers

McDonald's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 3

Startup cost: $1.3M-$2.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 35,461/2647

Hot Dogs

Wienerschnitzel

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 87

Startup cost: $303.6K-$1.4M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 328/0

Mexican Food

Taco Bell

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 2

Startup cost: $525.5K-$2.96M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,662/474

Pizza

Pizza Hut

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 10

Startup cost: $357K-$2.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 17,120/56

Sandwiches: Philly Cheesesteak

Charleys Philly Steaks

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 126

Startup cost: $253.2K-$582.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 562/59

Sandwiches: Submarine

Jersey Mike's Subs

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 8

Startup cost: $237.4K-$766.97K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,520/72

Sandwiches: Miscellaneous

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 23

Startup cost: $313.6K-$556.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,763/55

Seafood

Captain D's

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 140

Startup cost: $1M-$1.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 244/291

Smoothies/Juices

Smoothie King

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 14

Startup cost: $263.6K-$844.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,037/36

Miscellaneous Quick-Service Restaurants

Orion Food Systems

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 228

Startup cost: $59.5K-$140K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,032/0

Food: Retail Sales

Candy

Kilwins Chocolates Franchise

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 105

Startup cost: $381.3K-$898.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 130/2

Miscellaneous Food/Beverage Businesses

Nothing Bundt Cakes

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 45

Startup cost: $431.6K-$600.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 301/6

Health

Chiropractic Services

The Joint

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 78

Startup cost: $182.7K-$368.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 419/55

Eye Care

Pearle Vision

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 58

Startup cost: $77.7K-$620.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 418/107

Health Products

Miracle-Ear

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 98

Startup cost: $119K-$352.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,417/54

Physical Therapy

Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 33

Startup cost: $148.8K-$819K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 388/19

Miscellaneous Health Services

Profile by Sanford

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 64

Startup cost: $445K-$699.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 131/30

Home Improvement

Flooring

Floor Coverings International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 154

Startup cost: $154.2K-$222.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 157/0

Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Miracle Method Surface Refinishing

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 163

Startup cost: $84.5K-$145K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 153/1

Organization/Storage Systems

GarageExperts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 231

Startup cost: $51.5K-$146K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 90/0

Painting

CertaPro Painters

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 238

Startup cost: $133.3K-$169.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 359/0

Window Coverings

Budget Blinds

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 17

Startup cost: $110.3K-$234.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,213/0

Wood Refinishing

N-Hance Wood Refinishing

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 263

Startup cost: $51.97K-$167K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 590/0

Miscellaneous Home-Improvement Businesses

USA Insulation

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 223

Startup cost: $149.8K-$270K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 38/1

Lodging

Campgrounds

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 264

Startup cost: $62K-$3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 81/0

Hotels & Motels

Hampton by Hilton

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 30

Startup cost: $7.6M-$20.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,491/0

Maintenance

Carpet & Upholstery Services

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 74

Startup cost: $67.6K-$178.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,576/0

Commercial Cleaning

Jan-Pro Franchising International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 34

Startup cost: $4.2K-$54.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 9,155/0

Crime-Scene Cleaning

Bio-One

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 247

Startup cost: $80.98K-$127.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 88/0

Garage Door Repairs/Installation

Aladdin Doors Franchising

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 350

Startup cost: $32.4K-$99.95K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 43/2

Home Repairs

Screenmobile

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 162

Startup cost: $91.98K-$183.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 121/1

HVAC/Duct-Cleaning Services

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 143

Startup cost: $81.8K-$550.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 350/33

Lawn Care/Landscaping

Lawn Doctor

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 52

Startup cost: $100K-$116.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 592/0

Leather & Vinyl Repair

Fibrenew

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 275

Startup cost: $87.8K-$99.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 249/0

Pest Control

Mosquito Joe

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 218

Startup cost: $95.6K-$140K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 285/4

Plumbing

Rooter-Man

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 85

Startup cost: $46.8K-$137.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 666/29

Pool Maintenance

ASP America's Swimming Pool Company

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 84

Startup cost: $108.1K-$145.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 310/0

Residential Cleaning

The Maids

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 35

Startup cost: $63.3K-$141.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,278/174

Restoration Services

Servpro

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 27

Startup cost: $160.1K-$213.95K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,715/0

Restroom Maintenance

Enviro-Master International Franchise

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 341

Startup cost: $180K-$324.1K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 77/0

Window Cleaning

Window Gang

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 256

Startup cost: $34.4K-$81.2K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 104/117

Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses

ChemStation

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 211

Startup cost: $324K-$441.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 56/6

Personal Care

Fitness Businesses

Planet Fitness

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 7

Startup cost: $1.1M-$4.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,779/80

Hair Care

Great Clips

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 15

Startup cost: $136.9K-$259.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,371/0

Lash & Brow Services

Amazing Lash Studio

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 307

Startup cost: $224.7K-$482.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 222/7

Massage & Spa Services

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 151

Startup cost: $532.6K-$618.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 433/1

Salon Suites

Sola Salon Studios

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 76

Startup cost: $531.2K-$1.7M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 436/25

Senior Care

Interim HealthCare

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 141

Startup cost: $125.5K-$198.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 593/0

Waxing

European Wax Center

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 56

Startup cost: $359.7K-$564.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 725/5

Miscellaneous Personal Care Businesses

Palm Beach Tan

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 20

Startup cost: $498.3K-$802.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 325/230

Pets

Pet Care

Dogtopia

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 71

Startup cost: $757.3K-$1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 95/10

Pet Stores

Pet Supplies Plus

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 50

Startup cost: $440.6K-$1.3M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 261/222

Miscellaneous Pet Businesses

Sit Means Sit Dog Training

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 374

Startup cost: $49.8K-$145.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 137/0

Recreation

Adventure Parks/Entertainment Centers

Urban Air Adventure Park

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 80

Startup cost: $2.3M-$2.96M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 95/2

Paint & Sip/DIY Studios

Painting with a Twist

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 213

Startup cost: $118.5K-$285.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 298/3

Sports Equipment & Apparel

Fleet Feet

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 86

Startup cost: $187K-$413K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 150/29

Travel Agencies

Cruise Planners

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 46

Startup cost: $2.3K-$23.6K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,061/1

Miscellaneous Recreation Businesses

Freedom Boat Club

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 178

Startup cost: $149.2K-$458.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 174/22

Retail

Apparel & Accessories

Uptown Cheapskate

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 354

Startup cost: $302.8K-$487.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 71/2

Convenience Stores

7-Eleven

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 11

Startup cost: $47.1K-$1.2M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 66,307/2382

Tools Distribution

Snap-on Tools

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 31

Startup cost: $172.2K-$375.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,597/207

Miscellaneous Retail Businesses

Ace Hardware

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 6

Startup cost: $286K-$2.1M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,179/133

Services

Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services

Tide Cleaners

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 97

Startup cost: $682.1K-$1.6M

Total franchises/co.-owned: 136/9

Embroidery & Screen Printing

Big Frog Custom T-Shirts

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 474

Startup cost: $183.2K-$250.8K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 94/0

Home Inspections

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 171

Startup cost: $37.1K-$45.9K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 577/0

Locksmith Services

The Flying Locksmiths

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 190

Startup cost: $181.6K-$426.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 85/1

Moving/Junk Removal Services

Two Men and a Truck International

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 175

Startup cost: $100K-$585K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 299/3

Photography & Video Services

TSS Photography

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 451

Startup cost: $20.4K-$74.7K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 179/0

Postal & Business Centers

The UPS Store

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 5

Startup cost: $138.4K-$470K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,166/0

Real Estate

HomeVestors of America

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 19

Startup cost: $56K-$426.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,102/0

Security Services

Security 101

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 305

Startup cost: $119.8K-$223.5K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 45/0

Miscellaneous Services

Pirtek

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 308

Startup cost: $161.9K-$782.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 513/5

Tech

Electronics Repairs & Sales

uBreakiFix

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 21

Startup cost: $55.4K-$236.3K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 513/15

Miscellaneous Tech Services

CMIT Solutions

2019 Franchise 500 Rank: 124

Startup cost: $127.97K-$175.4K

Total franchises/co.-owned: 233/0

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.