15 Fantastic Franchises Under 20K

franchises under 20k

If you’re looking for a fantastic business opportunity where you set your own schedule, you might want to consider buying a franchise. Why? Franchises attract many small business owners because the business model, marketing, training, branding and more are offered by the parent company — in other words, everything you need to run a successful business.

There is also the added benefit of a support network that comes from the franchisor. All of these benefits are geared toward helping you get up and running quickly.

In this post, we’ve put together 15 fantastic franchises that let you start your journey to financial independence — all are available for less than $20,000 too. We’ll also discuss how to choose the best franchise under 20K and what to look for in a cheap franchise. So, if you’re ready to become your own boss, read on!

The Benefits of Investing in a Franchise

The Benefits of Investing in a Franchise

A franchise is a business model in which a franchisee (the investor) purchases the right to operate a business under the brand name and system of an established company (the franchisor). Franchising is a popular business model because it offers a number of benefits to both the franchisor and the franchisee.

Benefits for the Franchisee

There are many benefits to investing in a franchise, including:

  • A proven business model: When you invest in a franchise, you are buying into a business model that has already been proven successful. The franchisor will provide you with training, support, and resources to help you run your business effectively.
  • A recognizable brand: Franchises typically have well-known brands that are recognized by consumers. This can give you a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry.
  • Economies of scale: Franchising can help you achieve economies of scale, which can lead to lower costs and higher profits. For example, the franchisor may be able to negotiate better deals on supplies and equipment because they are buying in bulk.
  • Access to a wider market: Franchising can give you access to a wider market than you would be able to reach on your own. The franchisor may have a national or even international presence, which can help you reach more customers.
  • Less risk: Franchising can be a less risky investment than starting a new business from scratch. The franchisor will provide you with training and support, which can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that new businesses face.

Benefits for the Franchisor

There are also benefits for the franchisor, including:

  • Increased brand awareness: Franchising can help to increase brand awareness for the franchisor. When franchisees are successful, they help to promote the franchisor’s brand to consumers.
  • Increased revenue: Franchising can help to increase revenue for the franchisor. Franchisees pay the franchisor a franchise fee, as well as royalties on their sales.
  • Reduced risk: Franchising can reduce the risk for the franchisor. The franchisor does not have to invest in the individual franchise locations, so they are not as exposed to financial risk.
  • Control over the brand: Franchising allows the franchisor to maintain control over the brand. The franchisor can set standards for the quality of products and services, as well as the way that the franchise is run.

Franchising can be a great way to start a business or expand an existing business. It offers a number of benefits to both the franchisor and the franchisee.

Here are some additional benefits of investing in a franchise:

  • Training and support: Franchises typically provide their franchisees with extensive training and support. This can help the franchisee to get up and running quickly and to avoid making common mistakes.
  • Access to resources: Franchises typically have access to a wide range of resources, including marketing materials, training programs, and financial assistance. This can help the franchisee to succeed in their business.
  • Networking opportunities: Franchisees often have the opportunity to network with other franchisees in the same system. This can be a valuable resource for sharing ideas and best practices.

Here are some potential drawbacks of investing in a franchise:

  • High cost: Franchises can be expensive to start up. This includes the franchise fee, as well as the cost of training, equipment, and inventory.
  • Lack of control: Franchisees typically have less control over their business than if they were to start their own business from scratch. They must adhere to the franchisor’s rules and regulations.
  • Competition: There may be other franchisees in the same system in your area, which can create competition for your business.

Franchising can be a great way to start a business or expand an existing business. However, it is important to do your research before investing in a franchise. Make sure that you understand the franchise agreement and that you are confident that you can be successful in the franchise business.


Can You Buy a Franchise For Less Than $20,000?

Yes, it is possible to buy a franchise for an initial investment under $20,000, and many people do. Some of these popular franchises include cruise planners, home inspection services, pet care businesses, digital franchises and more. And thanks to the weak economy, there has never been a better time to invest in your own franchise. Many established franchises are offering low-cost options, making it easier than ever to get started on the path toward entrepreneurship.

How Do You Choose the Best Franchise Under 20K?

Consideration PointGuidance
Personal ConsiderationsEvaluate your personal interests, goals, experience level, and available time and resources during your franchise search.
Franchise PotentialAnalyze different opportunities, comparing their costs, profitability potential, and growth outlook. Take note of all included and additional costs like franchise fees.
Industry TypePrioritize high-demand industries with a low barrier to entry. Evaluate potential franchise businesses based on their revenue potential and profitability.
Franchise ReputationLook for established franchises with positive reviews, robust financial performance, and a proven track record. Gather feedback from other franchisees about the franchise.
Support SystemEnsure the franchise opportunity you choose provides robust support and training to facilitate your success in the venture.
Interests and SkillsAlign your choice of franchise with your passions and skills.
Thorough ResearchCarry out extensive research on various franchises to find one that suits you. Consider financials, historical performance, and reputation.
Engage with FranchiseesSpeak with current and former franchisees for insights into the franchise, helping you understand the day-to-day operations better.
Financial PreparednessFranchising can be costly, ensure you have the necessary finances to cover the initial investment and ongoing costs, even for franchises under $20K.
Work EthicBe prepared to work hard as franchising, like any other business, requires dedication and long hours to be successful.
Low Startup CostsConsider franchises with low startup costs to make getting started and reaching profitability easier.
Proven Track RecordOpt for franchises with a proven track record of success to increase your chances of success.
Growing IndustryChoose a franchise in a growing industry to ensure demand for your products or services.

For the best success, it’s important to carefully consider all of your options when choosing franchises under 20K. The top ones to consider include the following:

  1. Personal considerations: Consider factors such as your personal interests, goals, experience level and available time and resources when doing your franchise search.
  2. The franchise’s potential: Research different opportunities and compare their costs, profitability potential and growth potential. For instance, some franchisors include costs like a franchise fee in the total investment. Others don’t, and the fee can be fairly substantial and recurring.
  3. The type of industry: Look for industries that are in high demand and have a low barrier to entry. You’ll want to buy into a lucrative industry too. So, evaluate potential franchise businesses based on their expected revenue and profitability.
  4. The franchise’s reputation: Look for established franchises with positive reviews, strong financial performance and a proven track record. In addition, make sure you get other franchisees’ feedback about the franchise.
  5. A strong support system: Make sure the opportunity you choose offers strong support and training to help you succeed in your new business venture.
  6. Consider your interests and skills: What are you passionate about? What are you good at? Choose a franchise that aligns with your interests and skills.
  7. Do your research: Research different franchises to find one that is a good fit for you. Consider the franchise’s financials, history, and reputation.
  8. Talk to current and former franchisees: Talk to current and former franchisees to get their insights on the franchise. This can help you get a better understanding of the day-to-day operations of the business.
  9. Make sure you have the necessary finances: Franchising can be expensive, even if you choose a franchise under $20K. Make sure you have the necessary finances to cover the initial investment and ongoing costs.
  10. Be prepared to work hard: Franchising is a business, and like any business, it takes hard work to be successful. Be prepared to put in the long hours and dedication necessary to make your franchise a success.
  11.  Look for franchises with low startup costs: There are a number of franchises that have low startup costs. This can make it easier to get started and to be profitable.
  12. Consider franchises with a proven track record: Look for franchises that have a proven track record of success. This can give you a better chance of success with your own franchise.
  13. Choose a franchise that is in a growing industry: The industry that your franchise is in should be growing. This can help to ensure that there is a demand for your products or services.

How to Choose the Right Franchise Under 20K: Our Methodology

When it comes to investing in a franchise, we understand that small business owners and entrepreneurs often have budget constraints. That’s why we’re here to help you navigate the world of franchises under $20,000. Our goal is to provide you with the insights and criteria you need to make an informed decision.

Let’s dive into the key factors to consider when choosing the best franchise opportunity within this budget range. Here’s a list of criteria, each rated on a scale of importance from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most crucial:

  • Initial Investment (5/5): The affordability of the franchise is paramount. Assess the initial costs, including franchise fees, equipment, and inventory.
  • Franchisor Support (4/5): Evaluate the level of support provided by the franchisor, such as training, marketing assistance, and ongoing guidance.
  • Profit Potential (4/5): Research the franchise’s profit potential and financial performance. Consider factors like the market demand and the franchise’s track record.
  • Brand Reputation (3/5): A well-established brand can provide credibility and attract customers. Research the reputation and recognition of the franchise.
  • Flexibility (3/5): Determine how much flexibility the franchise offers in terms of location, hours of operation, and business model.
  • Market Demand (5/5): Analyze the market demand for the products or services offered by the franchise in your chosen location. High demand can lead to greater success.
  • Franchise Agreement Terms (3/5): Carefully review the terms and conditions of the franchise agreement, including fees, royalties, and renewal options.
  • Training and Support (4/5): Assess the quality and availability of training and ongoing support from the franchisor. Adequate training is crucial for success.
  • Competitive Analysis (3/5): Research the competition in your area and assess your franchise’s competitive advantage and differentiation.
  • Growth Potential (4/5): Consider the potential for growth and expansion within the franchise system. Look for opportunities to scale your business.
CriteriaDescriptionImportance (1-5)
Initial InvestmentAssess the affordability of the franchise, including franchise fees, equipment, and inventory costs.5
Franchisor SupportEvaluate the level of support provided by the franchisor, including training, marketing assistance, and ongoing guidance.4
Profit PotentialResearch the franchise's profit potential and financial performance, considering market demand and the franchise's track record.4
Brand ReputationInvestigate the reputation and recognition of the franchise, as a well-established brand can attract customers and provide credibility.3
FlexibilityDetermine the level of flexibility the franchise offers in terms of location, operating hours, and business model.3
Market DemandAnalyze the market demand for the franchise's products or services in your chosen location, as high demand can lead to greater success.5
Franchise Agreement TermsCarefully review the terms and conditions of the franchise agreement, including fees, royalties, and renewal options.3
Training and SupportAssess the quality and availability of training and ongoing support provided by the franchisor, as adequate training is crucial for success.4
Competitive AnalysisResearch the competition in your area and evaluate your franchise's competitive advantage and differentiation strategies.3
Growth PotentialConsider the potential for growth and expansion within the franchise system, looking for opportunities to scale your business.4

Top Franchise Business Opportunities for Less than $20,000

If you are looking for top franchises that are less than $20K, here are some top opportunities to consider.

1. Dream Vacations

If you’re a person who digs travel, why not turn it into a moneymaking venture with Dream Vacations? For starters, the company allows you the freedom to operate your own home-based travel business while you help others plan their dream getaways. And they offer lower-cost franchises with no inventory. What’s more? You can own a travel franchise through them for as little as $3,500, which gives you access to training, marketing materials and a reservation system to help you build your business.

2. GetintheLoop Local

Number two on the list of franchises under 20K is GetintheLoop local, which is a digital franchise opportunity uniquely suited to those who love sales and marketing. Through them, you’ll empower scores of entrepreneurs to use the GetintheLoop platform to help local businesses increase their revenue through powerful mobile marketing. Plus, you will have the earning potential to get back your initial investment in months instead of years.

3. Jani King

Founded in the 1960s, Jani King offers comprehensive janitorial and commercial cleaning services. Additionally, they have 10,000 franchises that offer their superior services to tens of thousands of clients. They also have over 120 regional support offices that can help you get your franchise started. Plus, you can buy a Jani King franchise for as little as $3,000 and start your own business—all from the comfort of your home.

4. Home Inspection Service

Len Franckowiak founded the Home Building Institute (HBI), which is a school that formally taught the ins and outs of building homes. One of the courses at HBI was Old House Rehab, and it taught the art of inspecting and analyzing older houses. When Franckowiak was called on by his students for his insight into home conditions, he recognized a need for home inspection services.

After that, he started BrickKicker in 1992 to provide opportunities to make money in the real estate market. Franchisees providing home inspection services through BrickKicker can expect to make a total investment of $14,150 – $32,950. Note: If you’re a veteran, you can get $2,000 to $4,000 of their franchise fee.

5. Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care

Snaggle Foot might be the right franchise for you if you want a scalable business with strong growth potential and love dogs and kitties. The company is a premium service provider for pet parents, offering a full suite of pet care and home services, including pet sitting, pet taxi services, dog walking, house-sitting, backyard cleaning and in-home boarding. The company also offers online scheduling with a mobile app. With low startup costs starting at $12,000, it’s hard to beat Snaggle Foot in terms of being a highly affordable and flexible opportunity.

6. Starscapes

Starscapes is a home decor and night sky painting company that specializes in custom murals for nurseries, children’s rooms and master bedrooms. With no franchise fees and everything you need to get started provided by the company, it’s easy to see how this business opportunity could be a great fit for those with an artistic flair and an entrepreneurial spirit. Finally, for only $1,995 in startup costs, including help from the Starscapes marketing team, DVDs, equipment, and supplies, Starscapes is easily the cheapest franchise under 20K on this list.

7. TSS Photography

TSS Photography began franchising in 1984, and since then, they’ve built a solid reputation as a go-to provider of high school senior, youth sports and event photography services. With an initial investment of $10,500, shutterbug entrepreneurs get photography training and assistance with business and marketing development and daily operations. TSS doesn’t charge a royalty fee, either. Instead, they earn revenue from markups on printing and products. That means you get to hold on to more of what you make.

8. ClaimTek

If you’re looking for a business opportunity that combines your love of health and technology, ClaimTek Systems is a terrific choice. CalimTek provides medical billing and practice management software to healthcare providers. Franchisees only need initial costs of only $15,000, and the majority of that cost is proprietary software and HIPAA compliance tools. ClaimTek provides options for 1-3 years of support on billing marketing and software. They also offer premium training that lets you work one-on-one with a mentor.

More Franchise Opportunities to Start Your Own Business for Less Than $20K

If the franchises above don’t fit your interests and budget, there are many other options available. Here are seven more of the best franchises under $20K to consider.

9. Wagons-Lits

In the early 1870s, Georges Nagelmackers began his enterprise, Wagons-Lits, to install sleeping compartments in European trains. Today, the company is still around and franchising in over 140 countries. For low start-up costs of $2,270 – $16,910 and a franchise fee of only $1,500, you can enter their network of travel agencies. They offer other great advantages like the ability to leverage their strong brand and helpful training programs.

10. Hang Up Garment Covers

With a low start-up cost of only $18,900, which they say is “typically recovered in the first 30 days,” Hang Up Garment Covers is one of the more affordable franchises on this list. The company provides customizable garment covers for dry cleaning establishments, hotels and motels, as well as institutional laundry facilities. Amazingly, the company’s website boasts that you can attain a $300,000 annual net income with them if you are one of the ones to be the first to market in your exclusive territory.

11. Cruise Planners

If you’re a travel enthusiast, Blue World Voyages is an exciting opportunity to consider. The company offers luxury cruise vacations for families and couples in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and other international destinations. Getting started as a cruise planner for Blue World costs $10,995 and that price gets you home office support, a million dollars in insurance and a six-day training course in Fort Lauderdale, FL. With low start-up costs and average annual sales of $273,978, this franchise offers an unbeatable combination of affordability and opportunity.

12. Image One

For those interested in the cleaning services industry, Image One is a unique and lucrative opportunity that offers a wide range of services including janitorial, commercial window washing and power washing. Franchisees get access to business systems and training in proper commercial cleaning techniques, equipment cleaning supplies, billing and paperwork and so on for only $15,000, as well as ongoing support from their corporate team. It’s an ideal choice for entrepreneurs who want to break into the industry with a well-known brand name.

13. Mosquito Minus

If you’re looking to break into the pest control industry, Mosquito Minus is expanding and looking for franchisees. The company provides a wide range of tick and mosquito treatments, along with pest control services for nuisance creatures like rodents, ants, stinging insects and more. Starting a Mosquito Minus franchise requires a start-up cost of $8,000 to cover the cost of equipment, training and some other items. There are no ongoing royalty fees, and setting up your franchise is quick and efficient. What’s also nice is the company promises a steady revenue stream for your territory right from the get-go.

14. America’s Tax Office

America’s Tax Office is a fantastic franchise opportunity if you have a head for figures and want to work in the tax preparation industry. America’s Tax Office provides a one-stop shop that provides tax office set-up, marketing support, access to their proprietary software that automates the tax preparation process and other essential services to launch your business. Lastly, the tax business is a high-return business. That, combined with their low startup investment costs that range from $500 – $5,000 is bound to get the best bang for your buck.

15. Teddy Bear Mobile

Last, but not least on the list of franchises under 20K is Teddy Bear Mobile. If being a mobile teddy bear stuffer or providing teddy bear stuffing for events and parties sounds like a dream come true, then you’ll want to get in on this one. To franchise with them you’ll need to pay a low entry cost of just $14,500. After that, you’ll get the combined experience of 15 years in the mobile teddy bear stuffing business assisting you.


Which Franchise Is Cheapest to Own?

When it comes to the cheapest franchise opportunities on our list, Dream Vacations, Starscapes, Wagon-Lits, America’s Tax Office and Mosquito Minus come out on top. These franchises offer low startup costs that range from $500 to $3500, making them ideal for entrepreneurs who want a flexible schedule and are budget-conscious.

What Is the Most Financially Successful Franchise?

The most financially successful franchise varies depending on several factors, such as the amount of capital invested, location, and market conditions. However, franchises with low startup costs such as Teddy Bear Mobile and Mosquito Minus are two of the most popular options for entrepreneurs looking to start a business with minimal financial investment. Additionally, franchises such as America’s Tax Office and Blue World Voyages offer substantial returns on investment and established customer bases.

How Soon Can You Open After Signing a Franchise Agreement?

The timeline for opening a franchise varies depending on several factors such as the size of the business, location, and any necessary refurbishment or renovation works. Generally speaking, though, most franchisees can be up and running within 30-90 days after signing the agreement.


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Holly Chavez Holly Chavez is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 2 years. She is also a successful copywriter for marketing agencies and private firms. Holly has contributed to various publications and news websites and is a former entrepreneur and industrial engineer who has worked for two decades in the manufacturing and logistics industry.