This Map Shows Where the Best American Franchises Started



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Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to expand a franchise? This map breaks down the most highly ranked franchises in the United States according toentrepreneur.com.

Our ranking considers a variety of different factors, including the company’s size, financial strength, startup costs, brand reputation, and growth potential. Bear in mind that purchasing a franchise often requires additional financial commitments beyond an initial investment, like liquidity and net worth requirements to ensure the establishment’s viability. We mapped each franchise according to its headquarter location, and added a color-coded layer for how much the lowest possible initial investment would cost. The results are certainly a shock to those who may have considered starting or expanding their own franchises.

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If you are hunting for a bargain, look no further than Coffee News out of Maine, which costs only $9,750. This is the cheapest high-quality franchise available on the market, and entrepreneur.com still ranked it #354, ahead of almost 150 other competitors, most of which cost far more in additional upfront capital. HuHut gets an honorable mention from us as a restaurant chain specializing in Mongolian-themed food out of Montana. HuHut’s success shows that if you have a great product, it doesn’t matter where you start.

The only two franchises headquartered east of the Mississippi River for under $100,000 are Coffee News and Minuteman Press in New York (information for franchises in West Virginia was not available). Even for companies based in the South, the best franchises can cost a pretty penny—Newk’s Eatery is by far the most expensive at $932,000, followed by American Family Care at $807,500 out of Alabama. This suggests that if you want to find a low-cost bargain for starting a reputable franchise, it might be best to look for companies headquartered away from the coasts and towards companies located in the central United States, like 7-Eleven in Texas or RE/MAX in Colorado.

Even with its occasional low costs, the Upper Midwest is home to some of the most expensive franchises in the country.  From Freddy’s Steakburgers in Kansas ($606,288) to Goldfish Swim School in Michigan ($1,335,283), it can be quite pricey to establish add a new location for one of these franchises. In fact, if you want to own a Culver’s restaurant, the Wisconsin-based company will require you to pay over $1.8 million. Who knew selling butter burgers would be so pricey?

Data: Table 1.1
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