The Top 10 Retail Franchise Businesses in USA for 2023

Update: 04.11.2021
The Top 10 Retail Franchise Businesses in the USA for 2022

Retail franchises incorporate business opportunities from a lot of industries, including fast food, soft-serve ice cream, convenience stores, retail shipping, postal, printing centers, hearing aids, clothes, etc. The retail market in the US is saturated, however, the demand for the services is still growing. Retail products and services franchises bring $29.1 billion a year and retail food franchises contribute $36.4 billion. A good retail franchise means starting a store of a well-established business which has a famous name, branding, and products. Our list of Top Retail Franchises includes 10 proven concepts with a strong brand name not only in the USA but far beyond the country.

Here are the top 10 best retail franchise businesses in the USA

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)

Founded in: 1930
Franchising since: 1952
Franchise units: 22258
Initial investment: from $1,442,550
Royalty Fees: 4 - 5%

The KFC system serves more than 12 million customers each day in more than 115 countries and territories around the world. KFC operates more than 17,000 restaurants in the Unites States and internationally. KFC is part of Yum! Brands, Inc., the world’s largest restaurant company. The company seeks entrepreneurs to develop multiple-unit regions with KFC locations and offers support every step of the way. Yum! is quickly developing the multibranding concept of combining two of its brands under one roof in new restaurant locations. For example, it may combine KFC and Taco Bell in one building.

Circle K

Founded in: 1951
Franchising since: 1995
Franchise units: 2563
Initial investment: from $186,500
Royalty Fees: 3 - 7.5%

As a globally recognized brand, Circle K has a rich history of franchising outside of the U.S. and Canada. The Circle K convenience store may be just what you are looking for when it comes to a franchise business opportunity. Because Circle K has been in business for a long time and has many stores, they are able to offer excellent training. Training takes place at their headquarters in Phoenix, AZ for two weeks, and then another two weeks will be spent at other stores. Other training comes primarily in the form of manuals or CD’s which will cover most of the daily operations and other needs that a convenience store will need.

Dairy Queen

Founded in: 1940
Franchising since: 1940
Franchise units: 7066
Initial investment: from $1,090,225
Royalty Fees: 4%

Dairy Queen, often referred to as "DQ", is a chain of soft-serve ice cream and fast food restaurants that began operating its first store in Joliet, Illinois in 1940. The Dairy Queen System has developed over 6,600 franchise locations in the United States and Canada, including over 2,200 locations in 22 countries. Are you motivated and willing to help us delight our fans with the refreshing atmosphere, delectable food, and chocolate-dipped happiness you’ve come to know and love? If so, we have the resources to guide you towards successful Dairy Queen® franchise ownership.

Pizza Hut

Founded in: 1958
Franchise since: 1959
Franchise units: 15325
Initial investments: from $327,000
Royalty Fees: 6%

Pizza Hut is a leading American restaurant chain. Though pizza is unsurprisingly the most ordered food item on the menu, the menu also features a wide selection of pasta, wings, sides, desserts, drinks, and calzones. Pizza Hut selects franchisees with solid restaurant or retail management experience. Owners must commit to opening at least two locations and ideally have eyes to open at least five Pizza Huts in as many years. Selected franchisees will complete a training program in Dallas, Texas for over two months.


Founded in: 1927
Franchising since: 1964
Franchise units: 66579
Initial investment: from $47,050
Royalty Fees: Varies

7-Eleven is the leading international chain of convenience stores, headquartered in Irving, Texas, that operates, franchises, and licences some 56,600 stores in 17 countries. With its proven business model and popular quality products, 7-Eleven is an award-winning franchisor with over 40% of our stores managed by individual franchisees. 7-Eleven helps franchisees tailor their businesses “to the individuality of their selected market bases and customer needs,” and that means happier customers that come back.

Taco Bell

Founded in: 1962
Franchising since: 1964
Franchise units: 6299
Initial investment: from $25,000
Royalty Fees: 5.5%

Taco Bell Corp. is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., and the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain. Taco Bell® serves more than 2 billion consumers each year in more than 5,800 restaurants in the U.S. In 2005, Taco Bell generated sales of $1.8 billion in company restaurants and $4.4 billion in franchise restaurants. More than 80 percent of our restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees. The company's proven process supports you every step of the way with development experts, business coaches and a peer network of more than 1,200 experienced franchisees, all part of the Yum!

The UPS Store

Founded in: 1980
Franchising since: 1980
Franchise units: 5166
Initial investment: from $29,950
Royalty Fees: 5%

Serving the small business community for more than 30 years, The UPS Store, Inc. is the world’s largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. The UPS Store comprises nearly 4,700 independently owned locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, providing convenient and value-added business services to the small-office/home-office (SOHO) market, corporate “road warriors,” and consumers. The UPS Store franchise development team assists you in selecting a location, negotiating the terms of the lease, designing your store and getting it up and running. The company provides guidance every step of the way.

Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels

Founded in: 1988
Franchising since: 1989
Franchise units: 1934
Initial investment: from $199,475
Royalty Fees: 7%

From humble beginnings at a farmers market in Pennsylvania, Auntie Anne’s® has grown to become one of the world’s most recognizable pretzel chains with more than 1,800+ locations in 48 states and more than 25 countries. The company is looking for franchise owners to extend reach into street side locations, tourist locations, colleges, and more. Guests savor Auntie Anne’s® pretzels’ unique flavor profile. You’ll value the strong financials, culture that promotes community involvement, and opportunities afforded you by our impressive global footprint.

Miracle-Ear Inc.

Founded in: 1948
Franchising since: 1983
Franchise units: 1417
Initial investment: from $119,000
Royalty Fees: $48.80 per aid

Miracle-Ear provides its franchise business owners with the best of both worlds: the prestige and support of the #1 most-recognized hearing aid brand, along with the freedom of being your own boss. Why choose Miracle-Ear? By joining our network you'll be part of the nation’s largest retailer of hearing aids, gain access to highly competitive cost of goods. As a Miracle-Ear franchise owner, you’ll be able to provide real solutions for people who suffer from hearing loss—and you’ll be giving them back an essential part of their lives.


Founded in: 1994
Franchising since: 1998
Franchise units: 1035
Initial investment: from $346,775
Royalty Fees: 6%

Wingstop landed on the scene in 1994 with the idea of serving the ultimate buffalo-style chicken wings and to provide quality products with superior service at an exceptional value. Wingstop restaurants are designed to create a fun, comfortable atmosphere for our customers and for ease of operations by the franchisee. Entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the restaurant industry need a great product, the support of experienced professionals, opportunities for growth and a strong brand identity. That is why Wingstop has become one of the hottest franchise concepts available today.

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