From the October 2012 issue of Startups

The following listings detail the basic startup information of 704 franchises and nonfranchise business opportunities. Use this information as a first step if you're considering investing in a franchise or other business opportunity.

This directory is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular company. All information was obtained from the companies themselves and has not been verified for accuracy. We simply present this information as a service to our readers.

We strongly recommend that you perform a thorough investigation and analysis of any franchise or business opportunity you are considering investing in before signing any papers or putting up any money. A good first move is to contact the Better Business Bureau. Also, ask the company you are interested in for the names and contact information of franchisees, licensees or dealers who are already in business with them. But the message bears repeating: Never invest before investigating. And always proceed with caution.

For more information on buying a franchise or business opportunity, visit Entrepreneur's Franchises page at Entrepreneur.com/franchise and Entrepreneur's Business Opportunities page at Entrepreneur.com/bizopp.

Automotive
Business Services
Children's Businesses
Financial Services
Food/Quick Service
Food/Full-Service Restaurants
Food/Retail Sales
Health Businesses
Home Improvement
Hotels
Maintenance
Personal Care
Pets
Recreation
Retail
Services
Tech