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On a Budget?

Here are 85 franchises you can start for less than $25,000.

Almost everyone is on a tight budget these days, but even if you're not flush with cash, that's no reason to postpone your dream of owning a franchise. There are many franchises that offer you a wealth of resources--including a proven business concept, training and ongoing support--for a surprisingly low price.

All of the following franchises cost less than $25,000 to start--some cost as little as a few thousand dollars, and one costs just $500. You'll find that a lower startup cost doesn't necessarily limit your choices, as these franchises can be found in categories ranging from children's enrichment to financial services to pet businesses.

This listing is not a ranking, nor is it intended to endorse any 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 company's Franchise Disclosure Document and other literature, visits with and calls to existing franchisees, and consultation with an attorney and an accountant. No matter how low your startup costs, you can't afford not to complete this type of due diligence before buying a franchise.

To get more information on even more low-cost franchises, check out Entrepreneur's FranchiseZone.

Listing compiled by Tracy Stapp with assistance from Allison Gergley.

Automotive
MARS Int'l. Inc.
marsinternational.com
(972)647-6277
Auto appearance reconditioning services
Total cost: $500-59K
Total franchises: 424
Company-owned: 0

Novus Auto Glass
novusglass.com
(800)944-6811
Windshield repair & replacement
Total cost: $14.9K-190K
Total franchises: 2,025
Company-owned: 5

SuperGlass Windshield Repair
sgwr.com
(407)240-1920
Windshield repair
Total cost: $9.9K-31K
Total franchises: 248
Company-owned: 0

Business Services
American Town Mailer
(480)649-0344
Co-op direct-mail advertising
Total cost: $23.9K-37.2K
Total franchises: 3
Company-owned: 0

Bingo Bugle Newspaper
bingobugle.com
(800)327-6437/(206)463-5656
Specialty newspaper
Total cost: $10.1K-16.5K
Total franchises: 54
Company-owned: 0

Bookkeeping Express
bookkeepingexpress.us
(703)766-5757
Bookkeeping services
Total cost: $24.1K-48K
Total franchises: 0
Company-owned: 4

Business Round Table

(506)857-8177
Mentoring groups for small businesses
Total cost: $20K
Total franchises: 6
Company-owned: 0

Coffee News
coffeenewsusa.com
(207)941-0860
Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants
Total cost: $9.5K
Total franchises: 1,123
Company-owned: 0

Cybertary
cybertaryfranchise.com
(916)781-7799
Virtual office assistant services
Total cost: $24K+
Total franchises: 4
Company-owned: 0

Goin' Postal
goinpostal.com
(813)782-1500
Retail shipping & business services
Total cost: $3.99K-149K
Total franchises: 297
Company-owned: 1

Housewarmers
housewarmersusa.com
(214)534-5041
Neighborhood welcoming service
Total cost: $15.2K-55.9K
Total franchises: 53
Company-owned: 4

The Little Black Book for every busy woman
everybusywoman.com
(843)958-8600
Word-of-mouth directory for women
Total cost: $21.4K-46.3K
Total franchises: 8
Company-owned: 1

Proforma
connectwithproforma.com
(800)825-1525/(216)520-8400
Printing & promotional products
Total cost: $2.5K-22K
Total franchises: 650
Company-owned: 0

Referral Institute LLC
referralinstitute.com
(508)809-9789
Referral training, coaching, consulting
Total cost: $22.1K-27.1K
Total franchises: 50
Company-owned: 0

Children's Businesses
Baby Boot Camp
babybootcamp.com
(888)990-2229/(941)924-1000
Pre- & post-natal fitness
Total cost: $3.5K-8.7K
Total franchises: 118
Company-owned: 1

CHIP - The Child I.D. Program
chipfranchise.com
(805)557-0577
Children's ID & school safety program
Total cost: $10.99K-14.99K
Total franchises: 152
Company-owned: 1

CompuChild
compuchild.com
(800)619-5437
Technology education for children
Total cost: $18.5K-33.6K
Total franchises: 56
Company-owned: 1

Drama Kids Int'l. Inc.
dramakids.com
(410)480-2015
Children's after-school drama program
Total cost: $17.3K-51.9K
Total franchises: 156
Company-owned: 2

Guard-A-Kid
guardakid.com
(800)679-4256/(305)477-3301
Children's identification & safety services
Total cost: $20.9K
Total franchises: 124
Company-owned: 1

Ho Math & Chess Learning Centre
mathandchess.com
(604)263-4321
Math & chess learning program
Total cost: $2.1K
Total franchises: 27
Company-owned: 1

InfantHouse.com
infanthouse.com
(866)463-2685
Baby proofing
Total cost: $23.5K-26K
Total franchises: 1
Company-owned: 0

KidStage
kidstage.net
(877)415-5115
Children's after-school drama program
Total cost: $13K-18.5K
Total franchises: 13
Company-owned: 5

Kinderdance Int'l. Inc.
kinderdance.com
(800)554-2334/(321)984-4448
Children's movement/educational program
Total cost: $14.95K-46.1K
Total franchises: 112
Company-owned: 1

PC Kidz
pckidzusa.com
(888)311-5259
Children's computer education
Total cost: $19.8K-91.3K
Total franchises: 12
Company-owned: 3

Soccer Shots Franchising LLC
soccershots.org
(717)982-3500
Children's soccer education program
Total cost: $9.8K-13.5K
Total franchises: 28
Company-owned: 0

Stretch-N-Grow Int'l. Inc.
stretch-n-grow.com
(727)596-7614
On-site children's fitness program
Total cost: $23.6K
Total franchises: 300
Company-owned: 0

StrollerFit Inc.
strollerfit.com
(866)222-9348
Interactive fitness programs, classes & products for parents & babies
Total cost: $4.9K-13.2K
Total franchises: 87
Company-owned: 3

Stroller Strides
strollerstrides.com
(866)348-4666
Stroller fitness program
Total cost: $3.6K-17.5K
Total franchises: 247
Company-owned: 1

Financial Services
Auto Appraisal Network Inc.
autoappraisalnetwork.com
(949)387-7774
Vehicle appraisal services
Total cost: $19.7K-74.2K
Total franchises: 17
Company-owned: 3

CFOToday
cfotoday.com
(888)643-1348/(850)681-1941
Accounting, tax & financial services
Total cost: $24.4K-40K
Total franchises: 127
Company-owned: 1

Electronic Tax Filers
electronictaxfilers.com
(919)469-0651
Electronic filing of financial data
Total cost: $22K
Total franchises: 43
Company-owned: 2

ExpressTax
expresstaxservice.com
(888)417-4461
Tax preparation & electronic filing
Total cost: $15.4K-40.1K
Total franchises: 421
Company-owned: 0

Property Damage Appraisers
pdahomeoffice.com
(817)731-5555
Auto & property appraisals for insurance companies
Total cost: $21.9K-43.5K
Total franchises: 271
Company-owned: 0

Food Businesses
Candy Bouquet
candybouquet.com
(877)226-3901
Floral-like designer gifts & gourmet confections
Total cost: $9.9K-52.4K
Total franchises: 744
Company-owned: 0

Gumball Gourmet
gumballgourmet.com
(866)486-2255
Gumball-machine kiosks
Total cost: $24.6K-462.1K
Total franchises: 243
Company-owned: 17

Home Inspection
The BrickKicker Home Inspection
brickkicker.com
(888)339-5425
Property inspections
Total cost: $14.3K-47.9K
Total franchises: 197
Company-owned: 28

1st Inspection Services Inc.
1stinspections.com
(800)944-7211
Home & commercial inspections
Total cost: $20.4K-105K
Total franchises: 4
Company-owned: 1

Maintenance
Aerowest/Westair Deodorizing Services
westsanitation.com
(310)793-4242
Restroom deodorizing services
Total cost: $8.5K-49.9K
Total franchises: 42
Company-owned: 51

Anago Cleaning Systems
anagousa.com
(800)213-5857
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $8K-350K
Total franchises: 1,102
Company-owned: 0

BearCom Building Services
bearcomservices.com
(888)569-9533/(801)569-9500
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $12.8K-39.3K+
Total franchises: 50
Company-owned: 0

Birthflowers.com
birthflowers.com
(478)452-0008
Landscape design, installation & maintenance
Total cost: $10K-30K
Total franchises: 0
Company-owned: 1

Bonus Building Care
bonusbuildingcare.com
(800)931-1102
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $8.8K-14.7K
Total franchises: 2,119
Company-owned: 1

BuildingStars Inc.
buildingstars.com
(314)991-3356
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $2.2K
Total franchises: 225
Company-owned: 2

CleanNet USA Inc.
cleannetusa.com
(800)735-8838/(410)720-6444
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $3.9K-35.6K
Total franchises: 3,459
Company-owned: 8

Concrete Raising of America Inc.
crc1.com
(800)270-0011/(262)827-5000
Concrete/foundation raising, stabilizing & repairs
Total cost: $16.9K-200K
Total franchises: 16
Company-owned: 3

Critter Control Inc.
crittercontrol.com
(800)699-1953
Urban/rural wildlife management
Total cost: $11.2K-75.5K
Total franchises: 117
Company-owned: 1

Dr. Glass Window Washing
docglass.com
(303)499-7759
Window cleaning
Total cost: $4.6K
Total franchises: 10
Company-owned: 0

Grout Doctor Global
Franchise Corp.
groutdoctor.com
(877)476-8800
Grout, tile & stone care
Total cost: $19.3K-34.1K
Total franchises: 57
Company-owned: 4

The Grout Medic
thegroutmedic.com
(630)585-0035
Tile & grout maintenance/restoration
Total cost: $21.3K-52.7K
Total franchises: 68
Company-owned: 0

HomeTask Handyman Service Inc.
hometask.com
(206)763-6800
Handyman services
Total cost: $22.1K-32.5K
Total franchises: 32
Company-owned: 0

Jani-King
janiking.com
(800)552-5264
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $11.3K-34.1K+
Total franchises: 12,699
Company-owned: 22

Jan-Pro Franchising Int'l. Inc.
jan-pro.com
(678)336-1780
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $3.3K-49.9K
Total franchises: 8,875
Company-owned: 0

Jantize America
jantize.com
(888)540-0001
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $9.6K-43.1K
Total franchises: 110
Company-owned: 1

KCS Applications Inc.

(315)853-4805
Acrylic asphalt sealcoating
Total cost: $15.5K
Total franchises: 21
Company-owned: 0

Merry Maids
merrymaids.com
(800)798-8000
Residential cleaning
Total cost: $24.8K-57.5K
Total franchises: 1,327
Company-owned: 201

Mint Condition Franchising Inc.
mintconditioninc.com
(803)548-6121
Janitorial & building maintenance services
Total cost: $4.9K-45.4K
Total franchises: 110
Company-owned: 1

MTOclean Inc.
mtoclean.com
(877)392-6278
Residential & commercial cleaning, pressure washing, carpet cleaning
Total cost: $17.3K-198.95K
Total franchises: 61
Company-owned: 0

OctoClean Franchising Systems
octoclean.com
(951)683-5859
Janitorial services
Total cost: $9.5K-182.2K
Total franchises: 146
Company-owned: 0

Office Pride Commercial Cleaning
officepride.com
(888)641-2310
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $14K-35.5K
Total franchises: 99
Company-owned: 0

OpenWorks
openworksfranchise.com
(800)777-6736
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $16.2K-106.5K+
Total franchises: 360
Company-owned: 0

Pro One Janitorial Inc.
pro1janitorial.com
(920)721-1014
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $9K-106K
Total franchises: 85
Company-owned: 0

ServiceMaster Clean
ownafranchise.com
(800)255-9687/(901)597-7500
Commercial/residential cleaning
& disaster restoration
Total cost: $21.2K-126K
Total franchises: 4,597
Company-owned: 0

Service One Janitorial
service1janitorial.com
(407)293-7645
Janitorial services
Total cost: $10K
Total franchises: 412
Company-owned: 3

System4
system4usa.com
(216)524-6100
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $5.5K-37.8K
Total franchises: 704
Company-owned: 0

Vanguard Cleaning Systems
vanguardcleaning.com
(800)564-6422/(650)594-1500
Commercial cleaning
Total cost: $6.6K-32.9K
Total franchises: 1,145
Company-owned: 3

Pet Businesses
Fetch! Pet Care Inc.
fetchpetcare.com
(866)338-2463
Pet-sitting & dog-walking services
Total cost: $20.3K-36.5K
Total franchises: 197
Company-owned: 2

Hey Buddy! Pet Supply Vending Company
heybuddyvending.com
(469)939-3232
Pet supply vending machines
Total cost: $6.8K-69.8K
Total franchises: 2
Company-owned: 4

In Home Pet Services Inc.
inhomepetservices.com
(718)347-7387
Pet-sitting & dog-walking services
Total cost: $5.2K-31.1K
Total franchises: 1
Company-owned: 1

Recreation
American Poolplayers Association
poolplayers.com
(636)625-8611
Recreational billiard league
Total cost: $11.9K-14.7K
Total franchises: 303
Company-owned: 0

Jazzercise Inc.
jazzercise.com
(760)476-1750
Dance/exercise classes
Total cost: $2.99K-33.1K
Total franchises: 7,121
Company-owned: 1

Outdoor Connection
outdoor-connection.com
(620)364-5500
Fishing & hunting trips
Total cost: $13.95K-18.7K
Total franchises: 93
Company-owned: 3

Real Estate
Flat Rate Realty
flatraterealtyinc.com
(831)426-3800
Real estate
Total cost: $20.5K
Total franchises: 18
Company-owned: 4

SellSmart Real Estate
sellsmartrealestate.com
(866)225-6905
Real estate
Total cost: $23.5K-53.6K
Total franchises: 38
Company-owned: 2

United Country Real Estate
unitedcountry.com
(800)444-5044
Real estate brokerage,
auction & marketing services
Total cost: $11.3K-32.9K
Total franchises: 686
Company-owned: 0

WPI Int'l.
gotowpi.com
(800)809-1963
Real estate
Total cost: $1.9K-65.9K
Total franchises: 87
Company-owned: 1

Services, Miscellaneous
Audio/Video Handyman audio
videohandyman.com
(704)405-1115
Audio/video & home theater equipment sales & installation
Total cost: $11K-31.9K
Total franchises: 1
Company-owned: 2

Blind Brokers Network
blindbrokersnetwork.com
(949)768-6695
Mobile window coverings
Total cost: $8.4K-18.9K
Total franchises: 67
Company-owned: 0

Christmas Decor Inc.
christmasdecor.net
(866)321-4077
Holiday & event decorating services
Total cost: $18.7K-60.4K
Total franchises: 317
Company-owned: 0

College Assistance Plus LLC
collegeassistanceplus.com
(585)582-1846
College consulting services
Total cost: $14K
Total franchises: 20
Company-owned: 0

Complete Music
cmusic.com
(800)843-3866/(402)339-0001
Mobile DJ entertainment services
Total cost: $20.4K-33.7K
Total franchises: 163
Company-owned: 1

Computer Medics of America Inc.
computermedicsofamerica.com
(907)694-0371
Mobile computer repair services
Total cost: $16K-18K
Total franchises: 62
Company-owned: 3

Stork News of America Inc.
storknews.com
(910)426-1357
Baby announcement rental service
Total cost: $14K
Total franchises: 100
Company-owned: 1

Travel Agencies
CruiseOne Inc.
cruiseonefranchise.com
(800)892-3928
Cruise travel agency
Total cost: $9.8K-25.4K
Total franchises: 549
Company-owned: 0

Cruise Planners Franchising LLC/ American Express
beacruiseagent.com
(888)582-2150/(954)227-2545
Cruise/tour travel agency
Total cost: $1.9K-19.6K
Total franchises: 737
Company-owned: 0

SeaMaster Cruises
seamastercruises.com
(800)824-1481
Cruises
Total cost: $10.3K-16.9K
Total franchises: 130
Company-owned: 0

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.

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This article was originally published in the November 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: On a Budget?.

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