While a franchise opportunity may seem financially out of reach for many entrepreneurs, inexpensive and assisted opportunities are available.

The cost of purchasing and financing a franchise can be as low as a few thousand dollars or upwards of a million. Large, nationally known brands of restaurants, hotels and retail establishments may seem more desirable to some, but require obtaining commercial space and a large amount of inventory. However, smaller-scale businesses, such as cleaning services and food kiosks, may be affordable even for those seeking their first small business opportunity.

Although cheaper options are available, the Franchise Business Review claims most franchises cost between $75,000 an $200,000 to open. While sinking more money into a larger corporation with a more recognizable national brand could provide higher returns initially, a smaller business with promising growth may prove to be both a fiscally responsible investment and a surprisingly lucrative venture.

New franchises are being created every year, so although investing in a venture that hasn't been time-tested may be more risky, landing a good deal with a quickly expanding business could provide more returns than initially expected.

Some franchisors are willing to offer financial assistance to the right applicant. With a sizable down payment and a good personal credit score, a potential franchisee may find some franchisors will float the fee and opening costs. Those without such means can explore other avenues, such as U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans, a work-to-own program (for employees of an exiting franchise) or a business partnership.

Even with assisted financing or a work-to-own agreement, a new franchisee must be able to cover initial operational costs before profits are realized. If too much available capital is invested in securing and opening a franchise, its owner may not have the funds for the first months of payroll, replacement inventory and unexpected expenses and repairs.

When inspecting a potential franchisee's finances, lenders and franchisors will take into consideration the expected operating costs, the franchisee's probable ability to meet them and the risk to the brand if the new venture fails. Developing a good business plan to present to financiers and franchisors will show a sense of business savvy and personal (or commercial) assets that can be liquidated to boost a fledgling business.

About Liberty Tax Service

Liberty Tax Service is the fastest -growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes “Top 20 Franchises to Start,” and ranks #1 of the tax franchises on the Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Each office provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and online filing through eSmart Tax.