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How Low Can You Go?

With all the franchises in our low-cost listing, you'd be surprised.

Times are tough for bargain-seekers, as we're forced to pay record-level prices for everything from gas to housing. But ironically, while the cost of living creeps up, the cost of making a living is still fairly reasonable. Franchising provides a bit of a low-cost oasis in the madness, with a number of franchises offering you a way to get into business for less than $5000-not a bad price for a proven business concept, training and ongoing support.

Our Low-Cost Franchise listing reveals that your selection isn't limited, even if your budget is. Low-cost franchises are available in nearly every category, from eBay drop-off stores to children's fitness centers to computer consulting, and they range in cost from just under $50,000 to as little as $500.

This listing is not a ranking, nor is it intended to endorse a particular franchise company. Rather, it should provide you with a starting point in your search for the right franchise-a search that should also include a thorough investigation and analysis of a franchise's Uniform Franchise Offering Circular and other literature, visits with existing franchisees, and consultation with an attorney and an accountant. No matter how low the investment, don't purchase any franchise before you've done your research.

For more information on how to research a franchise, visit Entrepreneur's FranchiseZone.

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This article was originally published in the October 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: How Low Can You Go?.

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