Veterans make up about 7 percent of the population in the United States. About 14 percent of franchise owners are veterans, making it a popular choice for those transitioning to civilian life.
There are plenty of good reasons for this connection. Veterans are likely to develop strong communication and management skills along with a strong work ethic. Those qualities translate well to franchise ownership, both those directly serving consumers and those providing business services.
For franchises, recruiting veteran franchisees can lead to successful entry into new markets with leadership you can trust. For veterans, these opportunities represent a good investment by providing the freedom to build their own civilian careers while still delivering some structure.
Because of these benefits, many companies offer special rates and other incentives to promote investment in veteran franchises. This can make it easy for those who have served to access quality business opportunities, but how do you find the franchise opportunity that’s right for you?
Franchises for Veterans to Consider
Here are 30 of the best franchises for veterans and more about the costs and requirements of owning and operating each:
1. Budget Blinds
Budget Blinds franchises provide custom window coverings and shop-at-home service for customers. This means there’s plenty of flexibility. Veterans can do much of their work from home while keeping costs reasonable. You pay $89,950 in initial fees. The total investment comes out to $124,950. However, veterans get a $15,000 discount as a thank you for serving in the military.
2. Juice It Up!
Juice It Up! franchises provide juice, smoothies, and bowls in a quick-service environment. They are part of the growing market for healthy food options. The company looks for franchisees with strong communication and management skills. The initial investment for the franchises is $25,000 with startup costs ranging from $214,375 to $390,475. The company is also a member of VetFran. They offer a 60 percent discount to qualified veterans, along with other incentives.
3. Marco’s Pizza
Marco’s Pizza franchises are part of a quick service and delivery pizza brand that focuses on quality ingredients. The company doesn’t require any business experience. They focus more on people and community-minded individuals. The fee for the franchises is $25,000. Initial investment ranges from $223,535 to $586,410. Qualified veterans and first responders get a $10,000 discount on the initial fee. Those with service-connected disabilities may have the fee waived entirely.
4. Sport Clips
Sport Clips offers hair cutting and styling franchises with a sports theme. The company focuses on creating a fun environment and supportive culture throughout its franchises. The franchise fee is $59,500 for the first three stores. Startup costs range from $233,800 to $388,300. However, qualified veterans receive a 20 percent discount on licensing fees.
5. Two Men and a Truck
Two Men and a Truck franchises provide moving services with locations throughout the country. The company has been around for more than 35 years and is part of a fairly recession-proof industry. The initial fee for the franchises is $50,000. Startup investment ranges from $100,000 to $585,000 for new franchises. However, veteran franchisees can receive a 10 percent discount on fees.
Experimax franchises provide computer and cell phone repair services in small retail locations. This is currently a popular business since many consumers experience cracked screens or other small issues that need attention quickly. Franchisees get a turnkey business opportunity with a $49,500 franchise fee and between $142,000 and $351,000 in startup costs. The company provides specialized franchising for veterans including training programs to make the transition as easy as possible.
7. Visiting Angels
Visiting Angels offer home care franchises that are part of the thriving senior care and health industry. The initial fee is $45,950. Startup costs range from $123,460 to $161,150. The company serves many senior veterans. The franchises provide an opportunity to care for these senior veterans so they can stay at home. This can be a rewarding experience for those who have served.
8. Pillar to Post
Pillar to Post franchises provide home inspection services throughout the United States. The business model allows franchisees to mainly run operations from home and enjoy plenty of scheduling flexibility. The licensing fee is $24,500. Startup costs range from $41,195 to $50,995. The company offers a 20 percent fee discount to veterans. It touts the ability for franchisees to serve as leaders and shape their own opportunities.
9. Mr. Handyman
Mr. Handyman franchises provide various repairs and home improvement services. Franchisees can run many operations from home and keep startup costs fairly low. It’s perfect for those looking into franchises where they get to fix things and help homeowners. The initial franchise fee is $59,900. Startup costs range from $117,500 to $149,100 for new franchises to get up and running. Franchisees who qualify for VetFran benefits get a 15 percent discount.
10. The UPS Store
The UPS Store is a popular shipping and packing destination, with franchises throughout the country. It’s one of the most recognizable companies in the industry, making it a potentially valuable opportunity. New franchises don’t require a ton of retail space or hugely expensive equipment. You pay a $29,950 fee for new franchises. A traditional location costs between $137,849 and $566,585. Rural locations cost between $133,470 and $378,227. Store-in-store locations cost between $64,894 and $285,263. However, qualified veterans can have the initial fee waived and enjoy up to $300,000 in other incentives.
11. DreamMaker Kitchen & Bath
DreamMaker franchises provide kitchen and bathroom remodeling services. It’s a perfect franchise opportunity for those who enjoy working with their hands and building beautiful spaces. The fee for new franchises is $40,000 to $48,000, depending on territory size. Initial startup costs range from $142,575 to $364,550. However, qualified veterans can receive a $5,000 discount on the franchise fee.
12. Five Star Painting
Five Star Painting is a home improvement franchise that provides interior and exterior painting services. It’s ideal for those who want to keep costs low, manage their own schedule, and work closely with homeowners. You can be involved in the painting process while also managing a team in your franchise. The fee for the franchises is $45,000. Initial startup investment ranges from $74,700 to $184,250 for new franchises. There’s also a VetFran discount of 15 percent off the initial franchise fee for those who qualify.
DreamVacations is a travel agency with independently run franchises throughout the country. The opportunity is low cost and flexible, since you can work with clients remotely. It’s one of the top franchises available for those who want to work in the travel industry. The initial investment for new franchises ranges from $495 to $9,800, depending on your travel industry experience. There’s basically no other overhead or inventory to purchase. Additionally, veterans can get 20 percent off the franchise fee.
14. Molly Maid
Molly Maid franchises offer a popular house cleaning service. Franchisees enjoy recurring clients, schedule flexibility, and ongoing support. You get the freedom to build your client book and schedule in the way that works best for your lifestyle. If you find the right customers, such as busy professionals and senior citizens living alone, you can do very well. There’s a $14,900 fee for the franchises to get started. The initial investment for new franchises ranges from $110,000 to $155,200. Qualified veterans can receive a 15 percent discount.
15. Sylvan Learning
Sylvan Learning is a tutoring franchise that partners with local schools and students throughout the country. Those looking for business opportunities that involve teaching or working with kids may appreciate this franchise. The company has more than 40 years in business and is known for its community involvement. There’s a $24,000 fee and between $70,270 to $163,625 in startup costs for new franchises. A veteran discount is available on the fee as well.
16. Fast Signs
FastSigns is a printing and graphics business that offers franchise opportunities for those who want to enjoy some creativity at work. It’s also one of the top business services franchises for veterans. If you’re set on the B2B sector, this may be the option for you, though some consumers may also use these services. The initial fee is $49,750, with between $218,596 and $298,679 in startup costs. About 10 percent of the company’s franchisees served in the military. Fast Signs offers a fee discount, reduced royalties, and additional financing opportunities for veterans and first responders.
17. Mosquito Joe
Mosquito Joe offers pest control franchise opportunities for those looking to work outside and enjoy flexible scheduling. You also don’t need a retail space or significant staffing. As a result, this may be perfect for those looking for franchises for veterans that are relatively affordable. There’s a $40,000 fee and initial investment between $95,600 and $140,000. The company is a VetFran member and provides financial incentives for those who qualify.
18. Oxi Fresh
Oxi Fresh is a carpet cleaning business that allows franchisees to provide services for both homeowners and business clients. As a result, franchisees will provide both consumer and business services. They provide a devoted management team and a proven marketing program. Franchisees can generally run their daily operations from anywhere. They don’t need an expensive storefront or huge team to get started. There’s a $39,900 fee for new franchises. Initial investment ranges from $39,900 to $50,000. The company also offers a 10 percent veteran discount for those who qualify.
19. Snap-on Tools
Snap-on is a popular tool brand with franchises throughout the country. The business opportunity is perfect for self-starters and those with sales experience. You can even start a mobile sales business to keep overhead low and enjoy maximum flexibility. Those seeking franchises for veterans that don’t require making a huge investment in retail space may appreciate this option. The initial fee for the franchises and working capital ranges from $36,594 to $55,122, with between $172,076 to $375,503 in total expenses. Veterans can receive up to $20,000 in tool inventory incentives.
20. Grease Monkey
Grease Monkey is an international franchise business that offers oil changes and similar services. This type of service is always in demand. Franchisees enjoy proven systems and a team of experienced automotive leaders that care. However, you don’t necessarily need automotive experience to thrive. The company’s franchises are owned by people from all walks of life. The initial investment ranges from $156,695 to $347,850, with a $35,000 fee for the franchises. Veterans can receive up to $10,000 off that initial fee.
21. Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness offers an international franchise opportunity for those interested in the fitness industry. It’s a fast-growing industry and this is a recognizable brand in many markets. It may be especially interesting to those seeking franchises for veterans in this industry. There’s a $42,500 franchising fee and between $98,430 and $523,824 in startup costs. The company offers grant opportunities to help connect veterans with startup capital.
22. Baskin Robbins
Baskin Robbins is a popular ice cream brand with franchises around the country. The company looks for franchisees with strong leadership skills and community connections. You don’t necessarily need industry experience to get up and running. Ice cream is something that’s always in demand. The initial fee ranges from $12,500 to $25,000, with total costs between $123,952 and $558,830. Veterans may have the initial fee waived and enjoy reduced royalties.
23. Crunch Fitness
Crunch Fitness is a gym brand with a focus on community. The company provides memberships and group classes with multiple revenue streams. If you’re looking for a franchise for veterans that lets you stay active and engage with loyal customers, this is a solid option. The initial investment is between $304,500 and $2,129,500, including a $25,000 fee for the franchises. The company offers undisclosed discounts to qualified veterans.
Checkers is a popular fast-food chain with a racing theme. It’s a proven business model that focuses mainly on drive-thru services. The company has plenty of brand recognition throughout the country. There’s a $30,000 fee per location. Initial investment ranges from $254,000 to $1,431,000. As a supporter of VetFran, the company waives the initial fee for qualified veterans.
Hobbytown is a retail business that offers games, models, and various other hobby related products. The franchise opportunity gives individuals the chance to implement proven systems while still maintaining that small business feel. The franchise fee is $20,000, with a total investment of around $225,000. Active military and veterans may receive a $5,000 discount on the initial fee.
26. Pearle Vision
Pearle Vision is an eye care franchise. However, you do not need a medical background to own one. The company provides a turnkey business model and an efficient supply chain for glasses and optical supply services. This allows you to easily connect with the professionals and products you need to get started and run a successful franchise. The financial requirements range from $415,521 to $644,264, including a $30,000 franchise fee. Honorably discharged veterans may receive a 20 percent discount.
Subway is one of the most recognizable quick-service restaurant companies in the world. The franchise opportunity includes business resources, support, and scalability. However, you don’t need a huge space or extensive staff to get started. New entrepreneurs looking for recognizable franchises likely can’t do better than this. The initial franchise fee is $15,000. Total investment ranges from $100,000 to $342,400. The company offers a 50 percent franchise fee discount to veterans and waives it entirely for those looking to open a Subway on a military base.
Ziebart offers appearance and protection services for vehicles. This includes things like window tinting, rust protection, and undercoating. Those seeking franchises for veterans who enjoy working in the automotive industry may appreciate this option. The brand has more than 60 years of experience and focuses on providing ongoing support to franchisees. The initial investment ranges from $228,200 to $450,500, which includes a $36,000 franchise fee. However, that fee is completely waived for eligible military veterans.
ChemDry is a carpet cleaning franchise. The company offers patented cleaning products and has more than 40 years of industry experience. Additionally, this business can be run from home for the most part. This keeps financial requirements minimal and provides plenty of flexibility for franchisees. The initial licensing fee is $23,500. Total upfront investment ranges from $$67,645 to $185,757. The company provides a 10 percent veteran discount toward the initial licensing fee, along with financing options for those who don’t have tons of access to capital right away. ChemDry also does not require specific business experience, but instead values hard work and resourcefulness.
30. School of Rock
If you are a musician or like music and find the idea of teaching rewarding, this is a great franchise. School of Rock provides musical education services to kids in communities around the country. It’s a perfect opportunity for those who care about kids or enjoy working with young people who have a passion for music. Each location offers classes and lessons for kids in various age groups and those looking to learn different instruments and musical styles. The initial franchise fee is $49,900. Total upfront investment ranges from $271,500 to $494,100. Qualified veterans can receive a 10 percent discount on the fee for new franchises.
Why are veterans a good fit for franchising?
Veterans tend to possess strong leadership and communication skills, which are ideal for managing teams in a small company. The training that members of the military receive is often enough to help them face down nearly any challenge. This makes them especially well suited for the ups and downs of owning a company. Some also appreciate structure, which is a big part of the appeal of a franchise. They receive enough freedom to find and lead their own team and build something for themselves. However, they also get proven systems and processes that can lead to success if they follow the franchise model properly.
Does the VA help veterans buy a franchise?
No, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. does not provide any loans or financial assistance for veterans franchise opportunities. However, the U.S. Small Business Administration does have a special Veterans Advantage loan program to support veteran business opportunities, including franchises. Additionally, the VetFran program of the International Franchise Association Foundation helps interested veterans find affordable franchise opportunities through discounts and other incentives.
Does McDonald’s offer incentives to veteran franchise owners?
No, McDonald’s currently does not publicly promote any special offers and incentives for veterans looking to purchase franchises. The company did not respond to inquiries from Small Business Trends regarding this point. To find out more about franchise opportunities with McDonald’s, you can reach out to the company directly. They may provide additional information to specific veteran franchisees. However, there are no official programs currently on the company’s website or other promotional materials.