2017's Best of the Best Franchises

Meet the top franchises of the year across different business categories, from pets to lodging.
2017's Best of the Best Franchises
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Entrepreneur’s annual Best of the Best list celebrates the elite franchise companies that rank at the top of their industry categories in the Franchise 500. This year, a record 35 companies made this prestigious list for the first time. Some are ambitious newcomers giving the old guard a run for their money. Others are more established brands that made a steady climb to the top. All of them have something to teach about what it takes to become best in class among the competitive and evolving franchise world. We’ve highlighted just a few of their lessons on the following pages.

Related: 172 New Franchise Companies Hoping to be the Next Big Thing

The companies on this list appear based on their 2017 Franchise 500 rankings, which are determined by an evaluation of more than 150 data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength and financial strength and stability. However, the list is not intended as a recommendation of any particular company. Always do your own research before investing in a franchise. Read the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant and talk to current and former franchisees to find out whether the opportunity is the best one for you.

 

Automotive

Appearance Services

Ziebart

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #167
Startup cost: $227K–$450K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 363/12
Oil-Change Services

Jiffy Lube International 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #189
Startup cost: $219K–$400K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,081/0
Transmission Repair

AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #467
Startup cost: $227.4K–$333K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 651/0
Wheels and Tires

RNR Tire Express & Custom Wheels

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #126
Startup cost: $324K–$809.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 71/14
Windshield Repair

Novus Glass

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #85
Startup cost: $49.97K–$268.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,953/41
Miscellaneous Repair and Maintenance Services

Honest-1 Auto Care 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #241
Startup cost: $193.7K–$507.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 56/0
Miscellaneous Auto Products and Services

Line-X 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #218
Startup cost: $118K–$279.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 552/2
 
 

Business Services

Advertising Services

Welcomemat Services

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #207
Startup cost: $58.8K–$87.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 54/9
Business Brokerages

Transworld Business Advisors

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #266
Startup cost: $64.6K–$86.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 194/0
Business Coaching and Consulting

CEO Focus

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #396
Startup cost: $41.5K–$63K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 29/1
Printing/Marketing Services

Minuteman Press International 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #177
Startup cost: $62.2K–$161.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 956/0
Property Management

Property Management Inc. 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #288
Startup cost: $19.4K–$60K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 153/2
Signs

FastSigns International 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #95
Startup cost: $151.1K–$293.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 618/0
Staffing/Recruiting

Express Employment Professionals

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #31
Startup cost: $120K–$196K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 749/0
Training Programs

Dale Carnegie Training

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #295
Startup cost: $19.7K–$174.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 228/2
Miscellaneous Business Services

Yesco

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #100
Startup cost: $65K–$352.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 47/47
 
 

Children's Businesses

Childcare

Primrose School Franchising 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #62
Startup cost: $677.2K–$5.8M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 344/1
Children’s Enrichment Programs

School of Rock

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #225
Startup cost: $113.1K–$343.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 172/16
Children’s Fitness Programs

Goldfish Swim School Franchising 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #45
Startup cost: $1.4M-$2.2M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 34/1
Children’s Retail

Once Upon A Child

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #116
Startup cost: $254.5K–$392.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 339/0
Tutoring

Kumon Math & Reading Centers

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #11
Startup cost: $69.4K–$140.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 25,811/30
Miscellaneous Children’s Businesses

Apex Fun Run

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #180
Startup cost: $65.5K–$98.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 73/0
 

Financial Services

Business Financial Services

Liquid Capital 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #142
Startup cost: $214.3K–$254K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 93/2
Insurance

Estrella Insurance

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #103
Startup cost: $49.95K–$84K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 134/0
Tax Services

H&R Block

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #318
Startup cost: $31.5K–$149.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,208/6,614
 
 

Food/Full-Service Restaurants

Buffet Restaurants

CiCi’s Pizza

2017 Franchise 500 rank:#214
Startup cost: $217.5K–$828.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 403/41
Sports Bars/Pubs

Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #146
Startup cost: $1.1M-$2.9M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 416/2
Miscellaneous Full-Service Restaurants

Denny’s 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #57
Startup cost: $915.6K–$2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,558/162
 

Food/Quick-Service Restaurants

Asian Food

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #165
Startup cost: $130.2K–$520.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 184/0
Baked Goods/Cookies

Great American Cookies

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #319
Startup cost: $202.9K–$362.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 360/0
Baked Goods/Doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #18
Startup cost: $275K–$1.9M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,059/113
Baked Goods/Pretzels

Auntie Anne’s Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #79
Startup cost: $199.5K–$380.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,734/15
Baked Goods/ Miscellaneous

Cinnabon

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #118
Startup cost: $181.1K–$325.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,349/2
Chicken

Wingstop Restaurants 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #8
Startup cost: $303.2K–$922.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 929/20
Coffee

Dunkin’ Donuts

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #3
Startup cost: $228.6K–$1.7M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 11,941/0
Frozen Desserts/Custard

Culver Franchising System 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #20
Startup cost: $1.8M-$4.2M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 617/8
Frozen Desserts/Ice Cream

Dairy Queen

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #6
Startup cost: $361.5K–$1.8M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 6,839/2
Frozen Desserts/Ices

Kona Ice

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #127
Startup cost: $117.1K–$135.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 799/15
Frozen Desserts/Misc.

Yogurtland Franchising 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #184
Startup cost: $309.8K–$702.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 313/13
Hamburgers

McDonald’s

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #2
Startup cost: $1M-$2.2M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 31,230/5,669
Mexican Food

Taco Bell

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #12
Startup cost: $1.2M-$2.6M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5,559/909
Pizza

Marco’s Pizza

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #38
Startup cost: $224.1K–$549.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 806/0
Sandwiches/Philly Cheesesteak

Charleys Philly Steaks

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #134
Startup cost: $162.9K–$475.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 517/55
Sandwiches/Submarine

Firehouse Subs

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #15
Startup cost: $124.7K–$1.3M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,022/32
Sandwiches/Wraps

Pita Pit 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #155
Startup cost: $211.4K–$366.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 589/22
Sandwiches/Misc

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #5
Startup cost: $325.5K–$555K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,574/62
Smoothies/Juices

Smoothie King

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #123
Startup cost: $188.2K–$414.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 831/26
Miscellaneous Quick-Service

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #86
Startup cost: $280.8K–$481.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 600/7
 

Food/Retail Sales

Candy

Kilwins Chocolates Franchise 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #160
Startup cost: $386.1K–$540.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 105/2
Vending

Watermill Express Franchising

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #226
Startup cost: $456.7K–$581.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 305/996
Miscellaneous Food Businesses

Edible Arrangements International 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #42
Startup cost: $196.6K–$327.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,245/8
 
 

Health

Health Products

Miracle-Ear 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #22
Startup cost: $119K–$287.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,331/32

 

Health Services

The Joint

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #129
Startup cost: $216.2K–$331.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 280/61
 

Home Improvement

Flooring

ProSource Wholesale

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #109
Startup cost: $565.3K–$592.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 137/8
Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Trend Transformations

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #284
Startup cost: $104.8K–$357.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 157/3
Organization/Storage Systems

Closet Factory

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #227
Startup cost: $203.5K–$353K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 60/13
Painting

CertaPro Painters

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #360
Startup cost: $134.8K–$169.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 474/0
Wood Refinishing

N-Hance

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #258
Startup cost: $24.3K–$147.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 425/0
Miscellaneous Home-Improvement Businesses

Budget Blinds

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #68
Startup cost: $99.2K–$202.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,087/0
 

Lodging

 

Hampton by Hilton

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #28
Startup cost: $4.2M–$14.9M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,148/1
 
 

Maintenance

Carpet, Upholstery, and Drapery Services

Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #150
Startup cost: $31.8K–$155.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,498/0
Commercial Cleaning

Jan-Pro Franchising International

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #37
Startup cost: $3.99K–$51.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 8,224/0
Concrete Repairs

Precision Concrete Cutting

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #392
Startup cost: $150K–$176.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 53/5
Electrical Services

Mister Sparky

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #175
Startup cost: $68.6K–$458.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 105/6
Home Repairs/ Miscellaneous

Mr. Appliance 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #193
Startup cost: $60.8K–$139.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 222/0
HVAC Services

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #30
Startup cost: $77.1K–$552.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 314/37
Lawn Care/Landscaping

The Grounds Guys 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #91
Startup cost: $73.5K–$200.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 213/0
Leather and Vinyl Repair

Fibrenew

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #211
Startup cost: $89.5K–$101.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 237/0
Pest Control

Mosquito Joe

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #26
Startup cost: $69.6K–$122.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 167/2
Plumbing

Rooter-Man

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #67
Startup cost: $46.8K–$137.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 609/3
Residential Cleaning

Merry Maids

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #33
Startup cost: $56.5K–$180.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,672/14
Restoration Services

Servpro

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #48
Startup cost: $156.1K–$209.95K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,715/0
Restroom Maintenance

Enviro-Master International Franchise 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #76
Startup cost: $166.3K–$292.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 67/1
Window Cleaning

Fish Window Cleaning Services 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #234
Startup cost: $83.2K–$146.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 264/1
Miscellaneous Maintenance Businesses

ASP-America’s Swimming Pool Company

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #113
Startup cost: $96.1K–$143.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 213/0
 
 

Personal Care

Fitness Businesses

Anytime Fitness

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #14
Startup cost: $80K–$490.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,386/38

 

Hair Care

Sport Clips

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #9
Startup cost: $183.3K–$351.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,528/32
Massage and Spa Services

Massage Envy

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #17
Startup cost: $411.7K–$942.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1,150/0
Salon Suites

Phenix Salon Suites Franchising 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #25
Startup cost: $296.8K–$952.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 154/4
Senior Care

Right at Home

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #51
Startup cost: $77.2K–$133.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 528/0
Miscellaneous Personal-Care Businesses

Waxing the City

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #89
Startup cost: $121.9K–$451.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 55/1
 

Pets

Pet Services

Camp Bow Wow

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #204
Startup cost: $409.7K–$1.1M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 127/8
Pet Stores

Pet Supplies Plus

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #49
Startup cost: $550.4K–$1.3M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 170/183
 

Recreation

Paint-and-Sip Studios

Painting with a Twist

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #267
Startup cost: $89.3K–$143.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 324/0
Sports Equipment and Apparel

Fleet Feet Sports

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #252
Startup cost: $180K–$338K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 129/36
Travel Agencies

Cruise Planners

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #75
Startup cost: $2.1K–$22.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2,432/1
Miscellaneous Recreation Businesses

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #53
Startup cost: $1.2M–$2.97M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 166/1
 

Retail

Apparel and Accessories

Plato’s Closet

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #151
Startup cost: $238.1K–$398.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 464/0
Batteries

Batteries Plus Bulbs

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #147
Startup cost: $211.6K–$406.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 638/48
Convenience Stores

7-Eleven 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #1
Startup cost: $37.2K–$1.6M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 59,067/505
Tools Distribution

Snap-on Tools

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #34
Startup cost: $166.8K–$319.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,689/168
Vitamins

GNC Franchising

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #65
Startup cost: $192.1K–$354.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3,238/3,506
Miscellaneous Retail Businesses

Ace Hardware

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #7
Startup cost: $272.5K–$1.6M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,835/96
 

Services

Dry-Cleaning

Zips Dry Cleaners

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #161
Startup cost: $769.1K–$1M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 44/1
Embroidery and Screen Printing

Instant Imprints

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #179
Startup cost: $139.8K–$193.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 50/2
Home Inspections

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #58
Startup cost: $33.9K–$42.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 541/0
Laboratory Services

ARCpoint Labs

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #120
Startup cost: $161.8K–$237.95K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 102/2
Locksmith Services

Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #80
Startup cost: $99.7K–$134.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 531/3
Moving/Junk-Removal Services

Two Men and a Truck International 

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #128
Startup cost: $75K–$590.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 296/2
Photography and Video Services

Multivista

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #259
Startup cost: $121K–$538.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 52/8
Postal and Business Centers

The UPS Store

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #4
Startup cost: $159.2K–$434.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4,910/0
Real Estate

RE/MAX

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #10
Startup cost: $37.5K–$224K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 7,217/0
Miscellaneous Services

Pirtek USA

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #173
Startup cost: $98.1K–$620K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 461/3
 

Tech

Electronics Repairs

CPR-Cell Phone Repair

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #64
Startup cost: $24.6K–$173.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 254/4
Miscellaneous Tech Services

CMIT Solutions

2017 Franchise 500 rank: #117
Startup cost: $128.3K–$176.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 159/0

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