2005 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 List

Our 37th Annual Franchise 500 ranking reveals the impact of the newest trends and the industries poised for growth.

Understanding the Ranking Franchise Buying Guide More Franchise Articles

  • Rank
  • Company/Description/Initial Investment
# 51
CleanNet USA Inc.

CleanNet USA Inc.

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $10K - $98K

# 52
Fantastic Sams Hair Salons

Fantastic Sams Hair Salons

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $137K - $262K

# 53
Choice Hotels Int'l.

Choice Hotels Int'l.

Hotels

Initial Investment: $88K - $13.2M

# 54
Instant Tax Service

Instant Tax Service

Retail tax preparation & electronic filing

Initial Investment: $39K - $89K

# 55
Long John Silver's Restaurants Inc.

Long John Silver's Restaurants Inc.

Fish & chicken

Initial Investment: $833K - $1.4M

# 56
Carl's Jr. Restaurants

Carl's Jr. Restaurants

Burgers

Initial Investment: $1.3M - $1.9M

# 57
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches

Gourmet sandwiches

Initial Investment: $323K - $544K

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# 58
Aaron's

Aaron's

Furniture, electronics, computer and appliance leasing and sales

Initial Investment: $276K - $783K

# 59
Papa Murphy's

Papa Murphy's

Take-and-bake pizza

Initial Investment: $265K - $446K

# 60
Budget Blinds Inc.

Budget Blinds Inc.

Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories

Initial Investment: $89K - $187K

# 61
AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

Transmission repair and car care

Initial Investment: $227K - $333K

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# 62
Hardee's

Hardee's

Burgers, chicken, biscuits

Initial Investment: $1.3M - $1.9M

# 63
Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $11K - $36K

# 64
Sylvan Learning

Sylvan Learning

Supplemental and enrichment education

Initial Investment: $187K - $282K

# 65
Merry Maids

Merry Maids

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $60K - $186K

# 66
Keller Williams Realty

Keller Williams Realty

Real Estate

Initial Investment: $175K - $328K

# 67
Candy Bouquet Int'l.

Candy Bouquet Int'l.

Floral-like designer gifts & gourmet confections

Initial Investment: $12K - $49K

# 68
Coffee News

Coffee News

Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants

Initial Investment: $10K - $11K

# 69
Results! Travel

Results! Travel

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $25 - $10K

# 70
Minuteman Press Int'l. Inc.

Minuteman Press Int'l. Inc.

Printing, graphics and mailing center

Initial Investment: $64K - $185K

# 71
LA Weight Loss Centers

LA Weight Loss Centers

Health services & weight-loss counseling

Initial Investment: $85K - $150K

# 72
Brooke Insurance

Brooke Insurance

Insurance & financial services

Initial Investment: $171K - $386K

# 73
Home Helpers/Direct Link

Home Helpers/Direct Link

Medical/nonmedical personal care

Initial Investment: $68K - $127K

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# 74
Sport Clips

Sport Clips

Men's sports-theme hair salon

Initial Investment: $168K - $327K

# 75
Anytime Fitness

Anytime Fitness

Fitness centers

Initial Investment: $63K - $418K

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# 76
ActionCoach

ActionCoach

Business coaching

Initial Investment: $69K - $477K

# 77
Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals

Staffing, HR solutions

Initial Investment: $120K - $196K

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# 78
Fitness Together

Fitness Together

Personal fitness training

Initial Investment: $141K - $254K

# 79
Orion Food Systems LLC

Orion Food Systems LLC

Fast-food systems for nontraditional markets

Initial Investment: $59K - $134K

# 80
Meineke Car Care Centers

Meineke Car Care Centers

Auto repair and maintenance

Initial Investment: $200K - $466K

# 81
Molly Maid

Molly Maid

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $86K - $131K

# 82
Massage Envy Spa

Massage Envy Spa

Therapeutic massage and facial services

Initial Investment: $414K - $961K

# 83
Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels

Initial Investment: $196K - $370K

# 84
Signarama

Signarama

Signs

Initial Investment: $97K - $248K

# 85
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

New Orleans-style fried chicken, seafood, biscuits

Initial Investment: $292K - $442K

# 86
Aussie Pet Mobile

Aussie Pet Mobile

Mobile pet grooming

Initial Investment: $137K - $146K

# 87
Home Instead Senior Care

Home Instead Senior Care

Nonmedical senior care

Initial Investment: $102K - $118K

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# 88
Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

Initial Investment: $55K - $84K

# 89
Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $140K - $287K

# 90
Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery

Ice cream, sorbet

Initial Investment: $261K - $405K

# 91
La Quinta Franchising LLC

La Quinta Franchising LLC

Hotels

Initial Investment: $4.3M - $5.6M

# 92
CiCi's Pizza

CiCi's Pizza

All-you-can-eat pizza buffet

Initial Investment: $489K - $758K

# 93
Rita's Italian Ice

Rita's Italian Ice

Italian ice, frozen custard

Initial Investment: $141K - $414K

# 94
Qdoba Mexican Grill

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Mexican Food

Initial Investment: $623K - $815K

# 95
Maid Brigade

Maid Brigade

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $85K - $124K

# 96
Snap Fitness Inc.

Snap Fitness Inc.

24-hour fitness centers

Initial Investment: $110K - $286K

# 97
Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers

Home care

Initial Investment: $83K - $114K

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# 98
Yogen Fruz

Yogen Fruz

Frozen yogurt, soft-serve ice cream

Initial Investment: $136K - $472K

# 99
Postal Annex+

Postal Annex+

Packing, shipping, postal and business services

Initial Investment: $139K - $205K

# 100
CertaPro Painters Ltd.

CertaPro Painters Ltd.

Residential and commercial painting

Initial Investment: $130K - $163K

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Understanding the Ranking

There's a lot that goes into putting together the first, best and most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Entrepreneur's 37th annual Franchise 500®.

The process began in July 2015, when we asked franchisors to participate in our survey. Each submission was vetted before being entered for data analysis; 951 companies made the first cut. Of those, the top 500 became the Franchise 500® ranking, based on financial and statistical data from July 2013 through July 2015.

Only franchise companies that supply a full Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) or Canadian Disclosure Document and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur can receive a listing. To be eligible for the Franchise 500®, a franchisor must have a minimum of 10 units, with at least one franchise located in the U.S. The company must be seeking new franchisees in the U.S., and it cannot be in Chapter 11 at the time the ranking is compiled. (The exception to these rules is Canada-based companies that are expanding only in Canada.)

All companies are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it's been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is analyzed by an independent CPA.

We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500® formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score.

Remember that the Franchise 500® is not intended to endorse, advertise or recommend any particular franchise. It is solely a research tool you can use to compare franchise operations. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing money in a franchise. Read the FDD and related materials carefully, get help from a franchise attorney and a CPA in reviewing any legal or financial documents, and talk to as many existing and former franchisees as possible and visit their outlets. The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework.

Research compiled by Tracy Stapp Herold and J.R. Jimenez with assistance from Hava Arieh, Rick Ignarra, Nicole Jurinek, Yvette Madrid, Jessica Nguyen and Giuseppe Ricapito; technical assistance from Angel Cool and Daniel Sibitzky; financial analysis by David R. Juedes, CPA; graphic design by Karen Meneghin.

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Top New Franchises

The top 75 companies that began franchising in the last five years

Top Global Franchises

200 North American franchisors seeking international franchisees

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Previous Years Rankings

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