Best Franchise Opportunities in California to Own in 2021

Explore the Best Franchise Opportunities in California for 2021, presenting a diverse range of lucrative ventures. Uncover insights into each franchise’s strengths, market potential, and unique offerings, empowering aspiring entrepreneurs to make informed decisions. From renowned brands to emerging trends, this comprehensive guide provides valuable information on franchise options across various industries. Navigate the California business landscape with confidence, as this curated list aids in identifying the most promising and rewarding franchise opportunities. Maximize your potential for success by choosing the right franchise that aligns with your goals and aspirations. Embark on a prosperous business journey with the top franchise opportunities California has to offer in 2021.

Successful franchises have a higher success rate compared to newly opened businesses. If you’re thinking of opening your own business, here are some of the best franchise opportunities in California for you to choose from.

Why open a franchise in California?

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California ranks 4th for having the highest rate of new entrepreneurs. The Golden State also ranks 6th for having startup businesses in the U.S. But that’s not the only reason why California is a good place to start a franchise opportunity. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, California’s large population makes it an ideal place for networking opportunities.

The booming economy in California is also one of the factors you should consider. From 2017, California’s gross domestic product jumped from $127 billion to a whopping $3.2. trillion. For years, California has one of the highest and healthies economies and would have been 5th in the world if the state is a country on its own.

More than that, Bloomberg adds that while other states were hit by misfortune brought about by the pandemic, California’s economy and productivity grew even better. What this translates to is that investors have the highest confidence in companies located in California than any other state with healthy economies for businesses like Texas or Nevada.

So why choose a franchise business? Right below are the many good reasons why.

Don’t Start From Scratch

Want to know if you’re cut out to do business? Try your hand first with franchising. One of the greatest benefits of franchises for a business is that you already have a workflow in place. All you have to do is follow that and at the same time learn the ropes of running a successful business. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.

Most franchises offer training on how to run your business the way the mother company does it. This is the reason why people who choose to own a franchise don’t have to start from scratch. Once you’re done with the training aspect, you can get the business moving as soon as you want.

Established Brand Works Better

Have you ever been to McDonald’s? How about Anytime Fitness? KFC is popular here and abroad, right? Those three businesses are all franchises. And they’re very popular thanks to being an established brand.

For that reason alone, you can get a loyal following without doing much on your end. Of course, it’s important that you keep to the feel or experience of the brand you’re franchising. Thing is, known brands are always easier to work on since you already have a ready market for it.

People tend to look for brands they trust anywhere, anytime. Hence the idea of franchising a business with an established brand would be a good start for you.

Get Help When You Need It

Starting a business is tough. And that goes for any type of business.

Franchises are no different. The only difference? You are never alone when you choose a franchise for a business.

A parent company treats every franchise like a child – they’d hold your hand until you learn how to walk on your own. That is, you get the support you need every step of the way when you need it. Whether it’s training, technical support, or operational information, you have the backing of the franchise management to help you on the ground.

Franchises are more affordable.

If you compare it to opening a new business, franchises are far, far more affordable.

Yes, some franchises are more expensive than others. But still, the amount it takes to start a franchise is little compared to all the costs it’ll take to open up a whole new business.

Banks are more franchise-friendly.

When it comes to securing financing for a new business, franchising can offer a distinct advantage. Many individuals desiring to become business owners are deterred by the challenge of accessing the necessary capital. However, financial institutions tend to view franchises, particularly those with a well-established brand, as lower-risk investments compared to new, unproven ventures. The rationale behind this preference is grounded in the track record of success that reputable franchises possess.

Banks and lenders are inclined to finance franchisees because they rely on the franchisor’s proven business model, brand recognition, and support systems, reducing the likelihood of business failure. This franchise-friendly lending environment creates a conducive space for potential franchise owners to secure the funds they need to launch their businesses. Aspiring entrepreneurs facing financial challenges in business ownership may find franchising a more accessible path. This accessibility is supported by banks’ willingness to finance their ventures into the franchising world. Hence, franchising serves as a gateway for many to realize their entrepreneurial dreams with financial backing.

It’s also low-risk

It’s true that starting a business is a gamble. But for someone starting, you’d like to start off on the safe side, right?

Because franchises are affordable, they’re also low-risk. Meaning, they are not bound to fail as new businesses would. By the numbers, 8 out of 10 franchises are successful because of the proven business model. Besides that, you can use the money you have to hire better and quality employees since you don’t have to spend your money on stuff usually needed for startup businesses.

Better ROI

It goes without saying that since franchises are affordable and with low risk, their promise of investment returns is much higher than new businesses. Simply put, considering any franchise opportunities in California would be a good start if you want to have a solid business.

Best Cities for Franchise Opportunities in California

With a population of almost 40 million people, California is one of the best states in the US to do franchise businesses. It’s mainly because that much number of people require services. Most people are afraid to do business in California because of the higher costs, but it’s somewhat balanced since the state offers higher wages compared to other states in the country.

1. Los Angeles, CA

On the top spot, Los Angeles holds the highest population in California with an estimated 3.9 million people. That’s a solid number to find plenty of talented and skilled workers to get the job done.

The city also offers a lot of perks for new business owners. As a popular city, L.A. has easy access to the global market thanks to its strong tech community. Entrepreneurs meet up in LA for events and conferences which is ideal to forge strong relationships for businesses in different industries.

Besides that, L.A. is home to over 240,000+ businesses and was ranked 5th in 2018 for the Top 25 Cities for Small Business.

2. San Diego, CA

While most startups and franchises think that Silicon Valley is the best place to start a business in California, San Diego’s appeal cannot be missed if you want a “relative bargain.” It’s a fact that opening up a business in CA is much more expensive than in other states.

San Diego was also selected by JLL as the Most Business-Friendly Market in the Golden State. The city’s business atmosphere flourishes thanks to the strong contribution of tourism with San Diego’s coastal area of stunning beaches.

3. San Jose, CA

If JLL considers San Diego as the most city for businesses in California, Forbes named San Jose as the top city for small businesses in America.

San Jose ranks higher than Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL in the 2nd spot and San Diego, CA on the 3rd spot. Despite the pandemic, San Jose maintained a strong economy to support small businesses including franchises like Special Strong.

4. San Francisco, CA

Over the course of history, San Francisco, CA has always been known to attract all kinds of entrepreneurs thanks to its geographical and creative environment. The city is home to six Fortune 500 companies like Salesforce, Charles Schwab and Visa to name a few.

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The city is also home to thousands of technology companies and hundreds of companies specializing in biotech and clean technology. That’s not really surprising seeing that the South San Francisco Bay Area is home to well-known global technology innovation companies, particularly the Silicon Valley area.

5. Fresno, CA

Fresno is the largest city in California’s Central Valley. It’s also home to hundreds of small businesses, including franchises.

What makes Fresno a good city for opening franchise opportunities in California is that the city provides tax incentives to help businesses boost their income and growth. Thanks to Fresno’s economic initiative program, businesses can receive a tax credit for hiring qualified employees and paying them above average. In fact, recent studies ranked Fresno 3rd as in the Top 100 cities to start a business.

6. Sacramento, CA

Sacramento is one of the cities in California that has become a “hotbed” for startups and new businesses. With half a million residents, Sacramento is considered small by California standards. But it’s also a good place for small businesses and franchises.

One of the advantages of putting a business in Sacramento is that it’s comparably affordable to most cities in California. The booming economy in the city is also dominated by industries like healthcare, technology and other government services.

7. Long Beach, CA

Just like Fresno, Long Beach is another city in California that is a great place to start a business. It ranked fifth as the best city to get human capital. This only means that Long Beach has no lack of skilled workers.

The city’s good climate and location makes it easy for different business opportunities to thrive, especially small businesses particularly in the social and health sectors.

combined with the city’s location, easy access and climate – translates into an economic muscle which, in turn, points to a multitude of business opportunities.

8. Oakland, CA

Oakland is popularly known as San Francisco Bay Area’s trade center. It’s the fifth busiest city in the U.S. and continues to show high levels of business growth and other similar opportunities.

In 2015, Oakland ranked third as one of the best startup cities in America. The city also houses some of the largest companies in the U.S. Oakland attracts even more businesses thanks to the conferences and meetup events hosted in the city.

9. Bakersfield, CA

California is one of those places where you can do everything else and Bakersfield is the place to go if you want to do your first franchise business. More popularly known as the “country music capital of the West Coast,” Bakersfield attracts tourists every day and is just two hours away from the bustling city of Los Angeles.

10. Anaheim, CA

Last on the list is the city of Anaheim, California. This city is more than just Disneyland and business meetings combined. Instead, you’ll find plenty of other attractions which bring in lots of tourists which contribute to the city’s healthy business environment.

Anaheim’s Chamber of Commerce also hosts monthly events that allow small businesses to network with other organizations to create partnerships or gain more visibility.

Now that you know which cities are best to start a business, let’s round up the best franchise opportunities in California that you can try this 2021.

Best Franchises in California

Special Strong

Special Strong is a fitness franchise which aims to make fitness programs accessible and effective for the special populations. The company provides various fitness programs that address not only the physical but also the mental needs of their clients.

Since 2016, the company has had several franchises and is one of the easiest and most affordable choices to go for in California. Aside from offering convenient fees, Special Strong advocates for better health and fitness among the special needs population.

Just like with any other franchise, you’d get a business model from Special Strong called the “Turnkey Blueprint.” This exact blueprint will guide you on all the know-hows of your new franchise business. The company will also assist you in all aspects including in-depth training sessions to teach you all things you need to run the business.

As the leader in developing fitness programs for the special populations, Special Strong’s established brand has helped it to grow economically over the years. It’s unique and would be a great franchise to go for in the city of California.


Just like Special Strong, Mathnasium is one of the best franchise opportunities you can start in California.

This franchise is well-established with more than 1,000 centers all across the country. As a well-known learning center, Mathnasium has a simple business model and a low-cost entry compared to other known franchises. The global demand for tutoring services is also estimated to only climb up in the years to come which gives the Mathnasium franchise a huge business potential.

Don’t worry, Mathnasium’s team will help you work and build your business – even if you don’t have any experience in teaching or tutoring.

Cruise Planners

Another low-cost franchise compared to other franchise businesses, Cruise Planners is what it is – an agency that helps plan cruises.

The best part about this franchise? You can do it at the very comfort of your home in California! Or you can have your own office if you want. But the idea of being able to do this at your home takes away the pain of worrying about additional costs.

It’s alright if you don’t have much experience with cruise planning. Cruise Planners will guide you through their hands-on training, professional coaching and cutting-edge mobile technology. You also get your hands on their innovative and dynamic marketing plans so you don’t have to break a sweat doing everything on your own.

With Cruise Planners as a franchise, you can take advantage of the strong tourism industry in Califonia and establish your business.


In today’s time where consumer electronics seem to be the staple in daily living, uBreakiFix would be a good franchise.

uBreakiFix specializes in repairing, restoring and refurbishing all kinds of consumer electronics like smartphones or tablets. The company is well-known and is featured on Forbes, Inc and VentureBeat to name a few.

Well-known tech giants have also partnered with uBreakiFix making it one of the best franchises that offers unlimited growth. Since 2009, there are already 677 franchise stores of uBreakiFix all across North America, Canada and even the Carribean.

The company promises exclusive partnerships, lower fees for in-house distribution centers and exclusive and extensive training programs. Their curriculums are also self-paced so you can go as fast or take as much time you need to learn the ropes.

Kona Ice

If you’re a fan of shaved ice, then Kona Ice would be the ideal franchise business for you.

When you franchise with Kona Ice, you get a team of marketing specialists and also creatives to help you kickstart your business. You can also expect a Kona Konvention yearly and meet thousands of other franchisees from the Kona Ice family.

So how does it happen? You decide to franchise with Kona Ice and you get a 3-day all-expenses-paid hands-on training at Kona Corporate. At the same, you can join a company that strives to make a difference since Kona Ice donates to local communities as a way of giving back.

To date, there are over 1000+ franchisees of Kona Ice across the United States. You can also get yours and start one in California.

A word of advice

Keep in mind that doing business is never easy. More than that, businesses – even successful franchises – are not without risks. However, the fact that there is a lower risk to starting a franchise than opening your business from the ground up should give you the confidence you need to start your own.

Hopefully, this article helped you find the best franchise opportunities in California. The city might indeed be one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., but it’s a rewarding place to start your own franchise business.

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.