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Which Franchise Industries are the Cheapest to Get Into?

Franchising can be a great opportunity to build wealth using an established business model, but for the uninitiated, what are some inexpensive franchise industries to get into?

By Jeff DwyerStaff Writer
Updated 8:08AM 05/22/23

Opening your own franchise can be a great business opportunity but can come with a pretty significant price tag. While many franchises require a hefty initial investment, there are still many relatively inexpensive opportunities just waiting to be scooped up.

Whether you’re a seasoned franchisee or a beginner entrepreneur looking for your very first business ownership opportunity, even a smaller franchise can turn into a lucrative investment should you dedicate enough time, resources and energy to it.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some franchise industries that are the cheapest to get into.

Food Trucks

In recent years, food truck franchises have become increasingly popular. They offer a unique dining experience combined with a straightforward business model. Because food trucks can be set up at events and specific high-traffic areas, they don’t have to rely on foot traffic like most physical restaurant locations.

Food truck franchises, such as Acai Express, Kono Pizza and Gigi’s Cupcakes, are all relatively inexpensive compared to other franchises and typically have initial investment requirements ranging anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.

Food trucks also tend to be more flexible with hours of operation. However, there are a few challenges worth mentioning regarding such franchises. Truck owners may have to pay fees to serve customers in certain places, and searching for new locations to set up shop can be a time-consuming process. Additionally, a food truck franchisee will be responsible for vehicle maintenance. Still, these costs are lower than opening a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Cleaning Franchises

The cleaning franchise industry is by far one of the cheapest to invest in. They can range anywhere from as low as $10,000 and up. For starters, most cleaning franchises can be run from the comfort of your own home, so they tend to have a low overhead. You won’t be required to open a physical location, and depending on how much you want to scale your business, you may only have to hire a handful of staff. Factors such as these make operating cleaning franchises worthwhile and, in turn, don’t require a significant investment.

Cleaning franchises, such as Maid Right, JAN-PRO and Chem-Dry, offer a variety of customized services including but not limited to commercial and residential cleaning, carpet cleaning and more. There’s never been a better time to get involved in the cleaning industry, as the market is expected to be worth around $40.38 billion by 2025.

Senior Care Franchises

The senior care franchise industry is easily the most expensive on this list, but for the most part, they still tend to be relatively affordable business opportunities and can vary from an average of about $50,000 to $150,000. The senior care industry has been rapidly expanding as the baby boomer generation continues to age. And health care officials have predicted there will be an influx of demand for home care as many seniors have decided to age at home rather than in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. These factors have made investing in the senior care franchise industry a fruitful endeavor. Additionally, because of the nature of the work, many franchisees in the senior care industry say they’re satisfied with their careers because they’re able to make a difference in other people’s lives.

There are a number of senior care franchises worth investing in, such as BrightStar Care, Griswold and Right at Home*. These franchises offer a variety of services, including in-home care and assisted living care.


If you’re looking to break into the world of franchising but aren’t sure where to start, these are just a few of the cheapest industries currently on the market. Of course, no matter which industry you decide to enter, make sure to read the brand’s franchise disclosure document to fully understand your responsibilities as a franchisee. 

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