2006 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
# 101
United Country Real Estate

United Country Real Estate

Real-estate, auction and marketing services

Initial Investment: $16K - $27K

# 102
Hungry Howie's Pizza & Subs

Hungry Howie's Pizza & Subs

Pizza, subs, bread, wings, salads

Initial Investment: $240K - $472K

# 103
Zaxby's Franchising Inc.

Zaxby's Franchising Inc.

Chicken fingers, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads

Initial Investment: $284K - $664K

# 104
Pearle Vision

Pearle Vision

Eye care and eyewear

Initial Investment: $410K - $614K

# 105
PostNet Neighborhood Business Centers

PostNet Neighborhood Business Centers

Packing, shipping, printing, signs, marketing solutions

Initial Investment: $170K - $212K

# 106
EmbroidMe

EmbroidMe

Embroidery, screen printing, promotional products

Initial Investment: $94K - $256K

# 107
1-800-Radiator

1-800-Radiator

Radiators & air conditioning

Initial Investment: $172K - $172K

# 108
Huntington Learning Centers

Huntington Learning Centers

Tutoring and test prep

Initial Investment: $99K - $204K

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# 109
Smoothie King

Smoothie King

Smoothies, health products

Initial Investment: $181K - $423K

# 110
Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor

Lawn, tree and shrub care; mosquito and tick control

Initial Investment: $82K - $100K

# 111
Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill

Southwestern food

Initial Investment: $369K - $916K

# 112
Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Dippin' Dots Franchising LLC

Specialty ice cream, frozen yogurt, ices, sorbet

Initial Investment: $112K - $377K

# 113
Rooter-Man

Rooter-Man

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

Initial Investment: $47K - $138K

# 114
Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $2K - $23K

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# 115
Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo wings, sandwiches

Initial Investment: $1.4M - $3.6M

# 116
Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn

Upscale midprice hotels

Initial Investment: $11.7M - $22.3M

# 117
Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig

Weight-loss program

Initial Investment: $170K - $441K

# 118
Bark Busters Home Dog Training

Bark Busters Home Dog Training

In-home dog training

Initial Investment: $51K - $97K

# 119
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, smoothies

Initial Investment: $156K - $486K

# 120
Proforma

Proforma

Printing and promotional products

Initial Investment: $5K - $50K

# 121
System4

System4

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $6K - $38K

# 122
Culver Franchising System Inc.

Culver Franchising System Inc.

Frozen custard, specialty burgers

Initial Investment: $1.4M - $3.7M

# 123
Novus Glass

Novus Glass

Auto glass repair and replacement

Initial Investment: $47K - $229K

# 124
Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee

Initial Investment: $181K - $388K

# 125
Wingstop Restaurants Inc.

Wingstop Restaurants Inc.

Chicken wings

Initial Investment: $192K - $688K

# 126
MARS Int'l. Inc.

MARS Int'l. Inc.

Auto appearance reconditioning services

Initial Investment: $500 - $147K

# 127
Assist-2-Sell

Assist-2-Sell

Discount real estate

Initial Investment: $24K - $46K

# 128
Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC

Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC

Home maintenance and repairs

Initial Investment: $103K - $132K

# 129
1-800-Got-Junk?

1-800-Got-Junk?

Junk removal

Initial Investment: $127K - $159K

# 130
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Hotels

Initial Investment: $6.6M - $7.9M

# 131
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

In-home tutoring

Initial Investment: $33K - $57K

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# 132
Goddard Systems Inc.

Goddard Systems Inc.

Preschool/educational child care

Initial Investment: $707K - $751K

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# 133
CruiseOne

CruiseOne

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $3K - $22K

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# 134
Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs

Subs

Initial Investment: $129K - $1.2M

# 135
Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Family steakhouse, buffet and bakery

Initial Investment: $2M - $5.5M

# 136
Homes & Land

Homes & Land

Real-estate marketing magazine

Initial Investment: $47K - $127K

# 137
Huddle House

Huddle House

Family-style diner

Initial Investment: $620K - $1.4M

# 138
FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

Signs, graphics

Initial Investment: $169K - $309K

# 139
Taco Del Mar

Taco Del Mar

Mexican food

Initial Investment: $146K - $294K

# 140
Decorating Den Interiors

Decorating Den Interiors

Interior decorating services and products

Initial Investment: $56K - $80K

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# 141
McAlister's Deli

McAlister's Deli

Sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes

Initial Investment: $579K - $1.5M

# 142
Labor Finders

Labor Finders

Industrial staffing

Initial Investment: $120K - $207K

# 143
Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $33K - $43K

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# 144
Line-X LLC

Line-X LLC

Spray-on truck-bed liners, truck accessories, protective coatings

Initial Investment: $155K - $334K

# 145
Little Gym, The

Little Gym, The

Development/fitness programs

Initial Investment: $146K - $366K

# 146
Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries, light bulbs, related products

Initial Investment: $215K - $389K

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# 147
Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates Inc.

Real estate

Initial Investment: $50K - $365K

# 148
Foot Solutions Inc.

Foot Solutions Inc.

Comfort shoes and inserts for ages 40+

Initial Investment: $204K - $250K

# 149
Baymont Inn & Suites

Baymont Inn & Suites

Hotels

Initial Investment: $172K - $6.4M

# 150
Plato's Closet

Plato's Closet

Teen- and young-adult-clothing resale store

Initial Investment: $231K - $398K

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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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Previous Years Rankings

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