2009 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
Proforma

Proforma

Printing and promotional products

Initial Investment: $5K - $50K

# 102
Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn

Upscale midprice hotels

Initial Investment: $11.7M - $22.3M

# 103
ActionCoach

ActionCoach

Business coaching

Initial Investment: $69K - $477K

# 104
Molly Maid

Molly Maid

Residential cleaning

Initial Investment: $86K - $131K

# 105
Goddard Systems Inc.

Goddard Systems Inc.

Preschool/educational child care

Initial Investment: $707K - $751K

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# 106
Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC

Mr. Handyman Int'l. LLC

Home maintenance and repairs

Initial Investment: $103K - $132K

# 107
Huntington Learning Centers

Huntington Learning Centers

Tutoring and test prep

Initial Investment: $99K - $204K

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# 108
FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

FastSigns Int'l. Inc.

Signs, graphics

Initial Investment: $169K - $309K

# 109
HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab

HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab

Chiropractic, rehab, nutrition and wellness services

Initial Investment: $58K - $249K

# 110
Bark Busters Home Dog Training

Bark Busters Home Dog Training

In-home dog training

Initial Investment: $51K - $97K

# 111
Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Cost Cutters Family Hair Care

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $140K - $287K

# 112
Gold's Gym

Gold's Gym

Health and fitness centers

Initial Investment: $1M - $4M

# 113
Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill

Southwestern food

Initial Investment: $369K - $916K

# 114
Cinnabon

Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls, baked goods, coffee

Initial Investment: $181K - $388K

# 115
Visiting Angels

Visiting Angels

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $64K - $105K

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# 116
Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness

Fitness clubs

Initial Investment: $728K - $3.8M

# 117
Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson

Hotels

Initial Investment: $6.6M - $7.9M

# 118
Goin' Postal

Goin' Postal

Retail shipping and business services

Initial Investment: $47K - $112K

# 119
PuroClean

PuroClean

Property damage restoration and remediation

Initial Investment: $142K - $164K

# 120
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry's

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, smoothies

Initial Investment: $156K - $486K

# 121
Baymont Inn & Suites

Baymont Inn & Suites

Hotels

Initial Investment: $172K - $6.4M

# 122
Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries Plus Bulbs

Batteries, light bulbs, related products

Initial Investment: $215K - $389K

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# 123
EmbroidMe

EmbroidMe

Embroidery, screen printing, promotional products

Initial Investment: $94K - $256K

# 124
Expense Reduction Analysts Inc.

Expense Reduction Analysts Inc.

Cost-management consulting

Initial Investment: $66K - $86K

# 125
Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Golden Corral Franchising Systems Inc.

Family steakhouse, buffet and bakery

Initial Investment: $2M - $5.5M

# 126
Little Gym, The

Little Gym, The

Development/fitness programs

Initial Investment: $146K - $366K

# 127
Maaco Franchising Inc.

Maaco Franchising Inc.

Auto painting and collision repair

Initial Investment: $375K - $487K

# 128
Senior Helpers

Senior Helpers

Personal, companion and Alzheimer's home care

Initial Investment: $81K - $117K

# 129
Knights Inn

Knights Inn

Hotels

Initial Investment: $109K - $7.4M

# 130
Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Heaven's Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

Initial Investment: $55K - $84K

# 131
Lawn Doctor

Lawn Doctor

Lawn, tree and shrub care; mosquito and tick control

Initial Investment: $82K - $100K

# 132
Charleys Philly Steaks

Charleys Philly Steaks

Philly cheesesteaks, fries, lemonade

Initial Investment: $153K - $450K

# 133
Cartridge World

Cartridge World

Ink and toner cartridges, printers, printer services and supplies

Initial Investment: $69K - $151K

# 134
Big O Tires LLC

Big O Tires LLC

Tires, tire services, auto products

Initial Investment: $258K - $1.2M

# 135
CruiseOne

CruiseOne

Travel agency

Initial Investment: $3K - $22K

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# 136
McAlister's Deli

McAlister's Deli

Sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes

Initial Investment: $579K - $1.5M

# 137
CleanNet USA Inc.

CleanNet USA Inc.

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $10K - $98K

# 138
Travelodge

Travelodge

Hotels

Initial Investment: $173K - $7.5M

# 139
Spherion Staffing

Spherion Staffing

Staffing, recruiting

Initial Investment: $100K - $168K

# 140
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Plumbing service, repair, maintenance

Initial Investment: $82K - $414K

# 141
Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

In-home tutoring

Initial Investment: $33K - $57K

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# 142
Fantastic Sams Hair Salons

Fantastic Sams Hair Salons

Family hair salon

Initial Investment: $137K - $262K

# 143
Aire Serv LLC

Aire Serv LLC

HVAC services

Initial Investment: $80K - $204K

# 144
Howard Johnson

Howard Johnson

Hotels

Initial Investment: $162K - $8.7M

# 145
Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Upscale extended-stay hotels

Initial Investment: $9.9M - $20.5M

# 146
Gateway Cigar Store/Newstands

Gateway Cigar Store/Newstands

Newsstand and sundry store

Initial Investment: $56K - $502K

# 147
Mr. Rooter

Mr. Rooter

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

Initial Investment: $74K - $187K

# 148
Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Upscale hotels and resorts

Initial Investment: $56M - $97.1M

# 149
Eye Level Learning Centers

Eye Level Learning Centers

Supplemental education

Initial Investment: $76K - $139K

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# 150
El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco

Flame-grilled chicken meals & Mexican entrees

Initial Investment: $428K - $802K

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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.

More Franchise Rankings

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87 franchises for under $50,000

Top Homebased/Mobile Franchises

These 100 businesses can be managed from home

Fastest-Growing Franchises

These companies have shown rapid unit expansion over the last two years

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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