- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#218 Ranked #125 last year
- Initial investment
$223K - $501K
- Units as of 2023
382 63.9% over 3 years
Freedom Boat Club is a premier boat club that offers a simpler alternative to owning a boat. The company, currently one of the largest and the oldest boat clubs in America, was founded in 1989. Without the confines of having to own a boat, members get to choose the type of boat they want to go out with for the day. Since beginning to franchise in 2000, Freedom Boat Club has grown to over 215 locations in the U.S. It also has an international presence, with a few franchises in Canada and across Europe.
Many times in the past decade, this boat membership club has been recognized as one of the world's most exceptional franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine. In multiple recent years, Freedom Boat Club was ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 based on 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.
Why You May Want to Start a Freedom Boat Club Franchise
If you are passionate about boating and interested in a fun business opportunity, then you may be at the right place. Freedom Boat Club is no ordinary boat club. By starting this franchise, you join a business with a solid track record, established guidelines, hands-on support, and enough freedom to chart your course. The company has, over the years, built a cult-like following among its customers. This saves you the time and resources necessary to build a customer base from the bottom up.
The company's hassle-free shared asset model makes it a unique franchising opportunity and a top choice among the boating community. To qualify as a franchisee, you will need to have access to a reasonably large body of fresh or saltwater and a population of boating enthusiasts. So, if you live by the lakeside or near the sea, you may be prepared to set sails.
What Might Make a Freedom Boat Club Franchise A Good Choice?
To be part of the Freedom Boat Club team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment that will include a franchise fee and other startup fees. Ongoing fees will include advertising, royalty, or renewal fees. If your net worth and available liquid capital match the brand’s requirements, you may qualify to open a Freedom Boat Club franchise, and you can get started with the initial investment.
How To Start a Freedom Boat Club Franchise
To begin the process of opening a Freedom Boat Club franchise, fill out and submit a pre-qualification application. The franchisor will carefully review your application, and if you meet the minimum operational and financial requirements, Freedom Boat Club may provide you with a full franchise application.
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, it is crucial that you perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. Speak to existing franchisees and direct any questions to the Freedom Boat Club team.
If you are satisfied that this is the right fit for you, sign the franchise agreement and fulfill the financial requirements. After this, the company will award you with a franchise, after which you can begin your journey as a franchisee with Freedom Boat Club.
About Freedom Boat Club
|Franchising Since||2000 (23 years)|
|# of employees at HQ||64|
This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following international regions: Australia/New Zealand, Middle East, Europe (Western), Canada
|# of Units||382 (as of 2023)|
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Freedom Boat Club 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
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
|$222,500 - $500,500|
Definition: A discount or other incentive offered to military veterans who buy a franchise with this company.
|10% off franchise fee|
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
Term of Agreement
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
|Is franchise term renewable?||Yes|
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
|Third Party Financing||Freedom Boat Club has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll|
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||12 hours|
|Classroom Training||28 hours|
Meetings & Conventions
Security & Safety Procedures
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Additional details about running this franchise.
|Is absentee ownership allowed?||No|
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
|# of employees required to run||2|
Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Freedom Boat Club landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Freedom Boat Club ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Freedom Boat Club.
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