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2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#56 Ranked #88 last year
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Initial investment
$936K - $7M
Units as of 2023
12,199 Increase 0.5% over 3 years

Circle K is a chain of convenience stores with a significant presence in the U.S., as well as more than ten countries worldwide. This company can trace its roots back to Fred Hervey's three food stores back in 1951. He quickly developed them into a chain store that spread across the US. Since they began to offer franchising opportunities in 1995, they have grown to include more than 600 franchised stores in the U.S. Circle K also has more than 2000 locations outside of the United States. 

Why You May Want to Start a Circle K Franchise

Circle K offers a high degree of flexibility to its franchisees. For example, you can choose whether to add fuel options or quick-serve restaurants to your location. They also encourage each site to customize its product offerings to suit the needs of the community. There is a strong support team available to help make choices about store layout and products.

As a franchisee, you'll be entitled to receive business assistance and consistent system-wide messaging from the parent company. Moreover, you'll have a centralized purchasing power that gives access to quality equipment and training, as well as established relationships between vendors and the franchise.

What Might Make Circle K a Good Choice?

This franchise has a well-established chain of stores with proven stability over time. Circle K locations are predominantly in the southern and western states in the US, with an overseas presence in Japan, Guam, Mexico, and China, and more. The company is still looking to grow and will offer training to its new franchisees. Here you'll have the advantage of covering new market areas.

To be part of the Circle K team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also be prepared for ongoing fees, including advertising fees and royalty fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements. The company may be able to provide financing for equipment costs.  

How to Open a Circle K Franchise

If you seek to start a franchise under Circle K, the process involves being granted a license through one of its subsidiaries, TMC Franchise Corporation. This license will be an agreement for the right to operate a convenience store under the brand name. You'll get the complete package for hosting such a business: adequate floor space, parking lot, and inventory. The aim is to allow you as the franchisee to operate a full-fledged store under the company brand name based on set rules and regulations in the agreement between the franchisor and franchisee. 

Once you've begun the official process of becoming a franchisee, a franchise agreement may be issued for your preferred store location after your application has been reviewed and approved. After approval, a site development team will help customize your store location and buy fixtures and equipment. A marketing team will then help you establish vendor accounts and optimize your merchandising plans. At the end of these processes, you can start up your Circle K franchise.

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Company Overview

About Circle K

Industry Retail
Related Categories Convenience Stores
Founded 1951
Parent Company Alimentation Couche-Tard
Leadership Brian Hannasch, CEO
Corporate Address 1130 W. Warner Rd.
Tempe, AZ 85284
Social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1995 (29 years)
# of employees at HQ 80
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises throughout the US.

This company is offering new franchises in the following international regions: Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Middle East, Central America, Canada, South America, Mexico

# of Units 12,199 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Circle K franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$935,500 - $6,951,500
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
10% off franchise fee
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

In-House Financing Circle K offers in-house financing to cover the following: equipment
Third Party Financing Circle K has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: equipment

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 80 hours
Classroom Training 32 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Marketing Support
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Email Marketing
Loyalty Program/App


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 10
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Circle K landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

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The information on this page is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any particular franchise or business opportunity by Entrepreneur Media. Our listings and rankings are solely research tools you can use to compare opportunities. Entrepreneur stresses that you should always conduct your own independent investigation before investing in a franchise or business opportunity. That should include reviewing the company's legal documents, consulting with an attorney and an accountant, and talking to former and current franchisees/licensees/dealers.
Updated: December 12th, 2022