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List of Top 10 Franchises

written by: Nicky LaMarco•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/19/2011

Potential new business owners are often looking for top franchise opportunities that would be a good business investment. There are so many different franchises available that it can be difficult to determine which one would be the best opportunity.

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    Top 10 Franchise Opportunites

    It can help to consult a list of the top franchises to help make this decision. Many times these lists are categorized, which can be helpful if you are interested in a specific type of franchise opportunity. However, there are also lists that span all types of franchises, listing the “best of the best" opportunities. Entrepreneur magazine does a list of this type every year, which can be a valuable resource when considering franchises. The following list is based upon the 2009 listing by Entrepreneur magazine.

    If you're still trying to decide whether or not a franchise is the best business venture for you, see the following articles that list the pros and cons of franchise ownership:

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    #1 - Subway

    This popular franchise opportunity consistently appears on the top ten list. Subway has been a franchise opportunity since 1974, and the company continues to finds ways to be successful, selling their fresh and healthy foods at a price that’s affordable. Their marketing remains innovative and popular with the public. When Entrepreneur magazine’s top ten list is reviewed for the past five years, Subway has been on the list every year.

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    #2 – McDonalds

    McDonalds continues to be a top franchise opportunity, successful as a corporation as well as popular with the public. Their innovation over the years has kept their product line fresh and interesting, and franchise opportunities are available in every state in the United States. McDonalds has also been on the top ten list for three of the last five years.

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    #3 – Liberty Tax Service

    Third on the list of top franchise opportunities is Liberty Tax Service. This company had been providing franchise opportunities in Canada since 1973, and today offers franchises to U.S. and Canadian citizens. It was acquired in 1997 by John Hewitt, the founder of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, after which the name was changed to its current name.

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    #4 – Sonic Drive-In Restaurants

    Sonic is another popular restaurant franchise that often makes the top ten list. The company was founded in 1954, and began franchising in 1959. Customers can enjoy made-to-order favorites such as burgers, fries and shakes by ordering from their cars via a speaker box. The restaurant is also famous for their specialty drinks and desserts, and has a very loyal customer base.

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    #5 – InterContinental Hotels Group

    This successful top franchise opportunity includes many prestigious top hotels, with franchises in the U.S. and a number of other foreign countries. The hotel group includes seven brands: Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, and Staybridge Suites, as well as InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.

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    #6 – Ace Hardware Corp.

    Ace Hardware has offered franchise opportunities since 1976. Its long history as a national hardware chain providing small-town service and values has made it a success as a corporation. In fact, it started out as a joint venture between four small hardware stores, which joined together to become more competitive in the hardware business. It provides top franchise opportunities in every state in the U.S., and includes stores in other countries as well.

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    #7 – Pizza Hut

    Pizza Hut is the world’s largest pizza restaurant chain, and offers a variety of restaurant types as franchises, including full-service, express and kiosk restaurants. The first Pizza Hut opened in 1958 by two brothers while they were still college students, and the first franchise opened only a year later. Pizza Hut offers top franchise opportunities in the U.S. and worldwide locations.

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    #8 – The UPS Store / Mail Boxes Etc.

    Mail Boxes Etc. was both founded and has been franchising since 1980. It became a subsidiary of UPS in 2001, and in 2003 was rebranded as The UPS Store. Offering top franchises in all U.S. states, as well as worldwide locations, this popular shipping service company offers the public convenient shipping options as well as profitable franchise opportunities.

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    #9 – Circle K

    Circle K has been offering convenience store franchise opportunities since 1995, with opportunities available in the U.S. as well as overseas. Circle K stores are located throughout much of the U.S., but are primarily focused in the south, western and southwestern areas of the country. They carry the usual types of items that are common in convenience stores, but are famous for their “Polar Pop" drinks, which customers can buy for 59 cents, regardless of the size of drink they desire.

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    #10 – Papa John’s International

    Another popular pizza restaurant chain, Papa John’s offers top franchise opportunities in every state in the U.S. It was officially founded in 1985 by John Schnatter, who had dreamed for many years of opening a pizza restaurant, after getting his college business degree. He started small in 1983 in his father’s tavern, but the business grew rapidly and became a huge success. It’s been franchising since 1986.

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    List of Top 10 Franchises

    Every company on the “Top 10" list would be a good franchise opportunity. These companies tend to stay towards the top of the list year after year because of the success of the company itself, as well as the success of the franchise owners.