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    The 7 Cheapest Franchises on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 List


    Seven inexpensive franchises you can buy for less than $5,000.

    Starting a business isn't cheap. You have to worry about all sorts of costs, from finding a location and hiring employees to more mundane things like buying supplies and paying bills. If you're looking to start a fast-food restaurant like McDonald's, you may need more than seven figures just to get started. If you want to own your own hotel, you could need $30 million.

    But, not every business comes with such a heavy price tag. Not every franchise has the same requirements to be successful.

    These seven companies offer local, home-based franchises you can take advantage of to get started and make bank. 

    Start the slideshow to read about the seven most affordable franchises from the Entrepreneur Franchise 500, or click here to see the full list of our available franchises.

    Cruise Planners franchisees work as home-based travel agents, selling full-service travel packages as well as cruises, travel insurance and car rentals. The company's low cost has helped it grow massively over the past decade, going from 766 U.S. franchises in 2008 to 2,565 units in 2017.

    Cruise Planners is currently ranked 60th on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500.

    CEO: Michelle Fee

    Business headquarters: Coral Springs, Fla.

    Franchising since: 1999

    Initial investment: $2,095 to $10,495

    Initial franchise fee: $495 to $10,495

    New units in 2017: 132 units (5.4 percent)

    Training: Ongoing training on the job, 58.5 hours in the classroom

    Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

    Buildingstars is a commercial cleaning company founded in 1994, and at a minimum investment of just $2,245, it's very affordable. That $2,000 investment will make you what Buildingstars calls a "technician," or someone who runs a part-time cleaning business while keeping the flexibility to work another job. So, if you're just taking the first steps toward entrepreneurship, Buildingstars (ranked 224th on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500) might be right for you.

    CEO: Chris Blase

    Business headquarters: Maryland Heights, Mo.

    Franchising since: 2000

    Initial investment: $2,245 to $53,200

    Initial franchise fee: $995 to $46,995

    New units in 2017: 53 units (7.8 percent)

    Training: 1 to 5 hours on the job, 3 to 16 hours in the classroom

    Marketing support: Ad templates, regional advertising, social media, SEO, email marketing

    Dream Vacations is ranked 138 on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500. That makes it the lowest-ranked company on this slideshow, but still ahead in the rankings of major brands like Doubletree by Hilton. Speaking of which, a Doubletree by Hilton can sell for as much as $69.3 million -- over 21,000 times more than a Dream Vacations.

    CEO: Tim Davis

    Business headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Franchising since: 1992

    Initial investment: $3,245 to $21,850

    Initial franchise fee: $495 to $9,800

    New units in 2017: 29 units (2.7 percent)

    Training: 45 hours in the classroom

    Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

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