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The Top 10 Home-Based Franchises Without the Costs of a Brick-and-Mortar Store

These low overhead home-based brands are perfect for people who want to work from home with flexible hours.

By Savannah BilboStaff Writer
2:14PM 05/24/23

If you want to start a business without the cost of a storefront, consider these home-based franchises. With these franchises, you can store inventory in your home or truck and work from a home office. With this business model, you save thousands of dollars in rent and can start working when it suits you. 

“When you work in a home-based franchise, you have to generate traffic and leads through social media mail,” advised Jay Markowitz, National Field Marketing Manager for Happinest Brands. The biggest benefit to working with a home-based brand is how much you can save in rent. “Even for people that work at home but need a storage unit to store products or a vehicle, it will probably only be at most a couple hundred dollars a month versus thousands in rent. That's the biggest benefit.”

Another benefit of a home-based brand is flexibility. 

“It really comes down to flexibility,” said Eric Martin Senior Vice President of Franchise Development of Happinest Brands. “You don’t have to get the doors at 6:30 or stay until the store closes at 9:00. You're catering to the public on their time.” 


ecomaids is a 100-plus unit, environmentally friendly, home-cleaning service. ecomaids uses only non-toxic, chemical-free, biodegradable cleansers and is a great option for someone looking for a home-based business. The green-friendly company was founded in 2010 by a working mom, Lindsay Dellesega, who was trying to do everything in her home. She then set out to create a company that would suit her and her family’s needs.

ecomaids is a fast-growing franchise. Startup costs are $116,465–$141,815. When franchising with ecomaids, franchisees can expect regular calls from ecomaids corporate team to check in, access to eco-friendly cleaning resources and business resources beyond the basics. To learn more about franchising an ecomaids, click here. 

Lawn Doctor*

Lawn Doctor is a 600-plus unit lawn care franchise that has a proven recurring revenue model. Lawn Doctor doesn’t just focus on lawns but also weed control and mosquito and tick control. With these services, onetime customers quickly become repeat customers. Lawn Doctor was founded by Bob Magda and Tony Giordano. When the company started, Giordano was just explaining to people how to care for their lawns because he liked it. Now the company has expanded all over the U.S. 

Lawn Doctor has no storefront requirement, limited equipment needs and limited initial staffing necessary when starting. The initial investment for a Lawn Doctor franchise is $116,465–$141,815. If you’re interested in franchising a Lawn Doctor, learn more here. 

Mosquito Hunter 

Despite the name, Mosquito Hunter is a 100-plus unit pest control business that helps with more than just mosquitos. Mosquito Hunters* is qualified to handle residential and commercial mosquito control, flea and tick control, and get rid of pests for communities and municipalities and special events. 

Andy Fuller founded Mosquito Hunters with the mission to help clients enjoy their yards without being eaten alive by mosquitos. The total initial investment for a Mosquito Hunter franchise ranges from $116,465–$141,815. To get started franchising a Mosquito Hunter, click here. 

Molly Maid

David McKinnon brought Molly Maid from Canada to Ann Arbor, Michigan so clients could have affordable home cleaning services. Now, Molly Maid has over 450 franchises operating across the U.S. Molly Maid averages 1.7 million cleans per year, 90% of which are repeat customers. 

Molly Maid is a Neighborly brand and has a low franchise fee of  $14,900. Molly Maid does offer a veteran discount, and the total estimated initial investment is $127,200–184,450. Click here to learn more about an investment in Molly Maid. 

Garage Experts

Garage Experts is proud to be a part of the $538 billion industry that is home improvement. Garage Experts offer garage flooring services, cabinet installation and custom garage ideas. The garage brand has a proven business model with low overhead and no inventory stocking requirements. 

The required investment range for a Garage Experts franchise is $62,387–$150,522. Visit Garage Experts site here if you are interested. 

The Carpet Chemist

This home-based, home-service franchise was founded in 2017 by Brandon Cerrito. Cerrito needed to fill a void in the marketplace, and he and his wife created a franchise model that teaches others the unique skills of carpet cleaning. 

Like other home-service brands, there is no storefront required for The Carpet Chemist. The initial investment cost is $77,000–$109,000, which includes the van lease and the initial franchise fee. If the Carpet Chemist looks like the franchise for you, click here. 

Kona Ice

Kona Ice started in 2007 in Kentucky. The founder thought the ice cream truck model was a little played out, and decided to reinvent the wheel by serving shaved ice from a truck instead. Kona Ice is a mobile shaved ice franchise that you can even book for parties. 

Kona Ice’s mobility allows you to set your hours and work when you please. A $20,000 cash deposit will cover your franchise fee and a $5,000 deposit on your truck. Total investment costs are approximately $160,725. To learn more about franchising a Kona Ice, click here. 

Scoop Soldiers

Scoop Soldiers was founded in 2010 to give pet parents a break from constantly cleaning up after their animals. Scoop Soldiers allows pet owners to keep their yards clean and saves them time in the long run. Scoop Soldiers started franchising in 2019, and territories sold quickly after that with many franchisees owning multiple territories. 

The pet waste removal industry is only growing as more people are willing to spend money on the things they don’t want to do. The cost to invest in a Scoop Soldiers ranges from $61,300–$111,300. To learn more about franchising Scoop Soldiers, click here. 

Men in Kilts 

Despite the name, Men in Kilts is an exterior cleaning service performed by men and women in kilts. This home-service brand, like many others, has a low overhead and low inventory requirement. Though you can lease a storefront if you want to, you can keep what little supplies you need in your leased van. 

Men in Kilts was founded in 2002 by Nicholas Brand, a Canadian Scotsman who created a hand-sewn kilt to give a little flare to the otherwise unknown window cleaner. The kilts allow franchises to be quite well-known and easy to remember. Initial investment costs in a Men in Kilts franchise are $185,290–$219,950. To learn more about the company, click here. 

360° Painting

This brand was founded in 2006 by CEO Paul Flick. He started the company because he used to spend his summers as a painter and enjoyed providing a personal experience for clients. Whether people are buying, selling or flipping a home, they’ll likely require painting services and 360 Painting capitalizes on that. 

If you’re interested in 360 Painting, fill out a form to learn more about the brand. 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.