2012 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
# 301
Aerowest/Westair Deodorizing Services

Aerowest/Westair Deodorizing Services

Restroom deodorizing services

Initial Investment: $10K - $25K

# 302
Gymboree Play & Music

Gymboree Play & Music

Parent/child play and learning programs

Initial Investment: $120K - $277K

# 303
Grease Monkey Franchising LLC

Grease Monkey Franchising LLC

Oil changes, preventive maintenance

Initial Investment: $164K - $320K

# 304
Five Star Painting

Five Star Painting

Residential and commercial painting

Initial Investment: $55K - $129K

# 305
Oil Can Henry's

Oil Can Henry's

Oil and filter maintenance

Initial Investment: $236K - $298K

# 306
Acti-Kare Inc.

Acti-Kare Inc.

Nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $33K - $52K

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# 307
Freddy's Frozen Custard LLC

Freddy's Frozen Custard LLC

Frozen custard, steakburgers, hot dogs

Initial Investment: $596K - $1.1M

# 308
Mr. Rooter

Mr. Rooter

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

Initial Investment: $74K - $187K

# 309
Sir Speedy Print Signs Marketing

Sir Speedy Print Signs Marketing

Printing, signs, marketing services

Initial Investment: $229K - $279K

# 310
Roosters Men's Grooming Centers

Roosters Men's Grooming Centers

Men's grooming services and products

Initial Investment: $174K - $303K

# 311
Grout Doctor Global Franchise Corp.

Grout Doctor Global Franchise Corp.

Grout, tile and stone maintenance

Initial Investment: $20K - $33K

# 312
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Capriotti's Sandwich Shop Inc.

Subs

Initial Investment: $364K - $848K

# 313
Studio 6

Studio 6

Extended-stay lodging

Initial Investment: $3.5M - $4.5M

# 314
HappyFeet Legends Int'l.

HappyFeet Legends Int'l.

Soccer programs for ages 2 to 18

Initial Investment: $23K - $29K

# 315
RimTyme

RimTyme

Rent-to-own custom wheels and tires

Initial Investment: $321K - $684K

# 316
Get A Grip Franchising LLC

Get A Grip Franchising LLC

Countertop, tub and tile resurfacing

Initial Investment: $44K - $93K

# 317
LaVida Massage

LaVida Massage

Massage and spa services

Initial Investment: $162K - $358K

# 318
Chyten Educational Services

Chyten Educational Services

Tutoring, test preparation, college counseling

Initial Investment: $139K - $262K

# 319
MixStirs

MixStirs

Smoothies, protein shakes, wraps, salads

Initial Investment: $59K - $198K

# 320
TGA Premier Junior Golf

TGA Premier Junior Golf

Youth golf programs

Initial Investment: $16K - $67K

# 321
Fuzziwig's Candy Factory Inc.

Fuzziwig's Candy Factory Inc.

Self-serve bulk candy

Initial Investment: $179K - $348K

# 322
Jantize America

Jantize America

Commercial cleaning

Initial Investment: $51K - $207K

# 323
Sir Grout Franchising LLC

Sir Grout Franchising LLC

Grout, tile, stone and wood restoration

Initial Investment: $94K - $144K

# 324
SeekingSitters Franchise System Inc.

SeekingSitters Franchise System Inc.

Babysitting-referral service

Initial Investment: $59K - $91K

# 325
Zips Dry Cleaners

Zips Dry Cleaners

Dry cleaning

Initial Investment: $769K - $1M

# 326
Little Gym, The

Little Gym, The

Development/fitness programs

Initial Investment: $146K - $366K

# 327
USA Insulation

USA Insulation

Home insulation and weatherization

Initial Investment: $154K - $185K

# 328
Transworld Business Advisors

Transworld Business Advisors

Business brokerage; franchise consulting

Initial Investment: $60K - $82K

# 329
Clothes Mentor

Clothes Mentor

Women's clothing and accessories resale store

Initial Investment: $162K - $259K

# 330
Interior Magic Int'l.

Interior Magic Int'l.

Auto appearance reconditioning

Initial Investment: $33K - $100K

# 331
Tasti D-Lite

Tasti D-Lite

Frozen desserts

Initial Investment: $234K - $423K

# 332
Stevi B's Pizza

Stevi B's Pizza

Pizza buffet

Initial Investment: $514K - $684K

# 333
FRSTeam

FRSTeam

Restoration dry cleaning

Initial Investment: $32K - $381K

# 334
Decor Group Inc., The

Decor Group Inc., The

Holiday and event lighting

Initial Investment: $18K - $60K

# 335
Pak Mail

Pak Mail

Packing, shipping, crating, freight, mailboxes, business services

Initial Investment: $134K - $180K

# 336
EmbroidMe

EmbroidMe

Embroidery, screen printing, promotional products

Initial Investment: $94K - $256K

# 337
ColorTyme

ColorTyme

Rent-to-own electronics/furniture/appliances

Initial Investment: $450K - $698K

# 338
Hurricane Grill & Wings

Hurricane Grill & Wings

Chicken wings, sandwiches, salads

Initial Investment: $450K - $895K

# 339
Homes & Land

Homes & Land

Real-estate marketing magazine

Initial Investment: $47K - $127K

# 340
Mini Cities Inc.

Mini Cities Inc.

Community websites

Initial Investment: $16K - $21K

# 341
Eagle Tax

Eagle Tax

Tax preparation & electronic filing

Initial Investment: $37K - $79K

# 342
Caring Senior Service

Caring Senior Service

Home care

Initial Investment: $59K - $102K

# 343
CareMinders Home Care Inc.

CareMinders Home Care Inc.

Medical & nonmedical home care

Initial Investment: $138K - $199K

# 344
Touching Hearts At Home

Touching Hearts At Home

Nonmedical home care for seniors and people with disabilities

Initial Investment: $48K - $69K

# 345
Mountain Mudd Espresso

Mountain Mudd Espresso

Specialty coffee

Initial Investment: $23K - $266K

# 346
Comet Cleaners

Comet Cleaners

Dry cleaning and laundry services

Initial Investment: $100K - $795K

# 347
Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Co. Inc., The

Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Co. Inc., The

Ice cream, frozen yogurt

Initial Investment: $145K - $457K

# 348
Cartridge Depot

Cartridge Depot

Inkjet & laser toner cartridge refills

Initial Investment: $78K - $191K

# 349
HouseMaster

HouseMaster

Home inspections

Initial Investment: $61K - $108K

# 350
Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Ice cream, frozen yogurt, ices, sherbets

Initial Investment: $262K - $1.3M

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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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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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