The 100 Best Recession-Proof Businesses to Start in 2021, According to Franchise Business Owners


Franchise Business Review’s guide to top recession-proof franchises for 2021

Independent Research Firm Franchise Business Review Identifies Franchises with Greatest Opportunity to Perform in Recession Based on Owner Satisfaction Data

Franchising has historically performed well in a recession, and based on the data the recession-proof companies on our list are in a better position to outperform their competitors in 2021 and beyond.”

— Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review

PORTSMOUTH, NH, UNITED STATES, May 5, 2021 / — Franchise Business Review, an independent market research firm serving the franchise sector, has announced the Top 100 Recession-Proof Franchises for 2021. Franchises on the list were identified based on survey feedback from over 28,000 franchise owners across 307 brands over the past 18 months.

Franchise Business Review (FBR) provides ratings of franchise opportunities based solely on survey research that measures franchisee satisfaction and performance and publishes rankings of the top franchises in its annual Guide to Today’s Top Franchises, as well as in quarterly reports throughout the year that rank the top franchises in specific sectors.

For this year’s research, each survey participant was asked 33 benchmark questions about their franchisor that focused on areas such as leadership, training & support, financial opportunity, and core values as well as 16 more personal questions concerning their business lifestyle and overall enjoyment of running their franchise. This year, 100 brands scored high enough to exceed Franchise Business Review’s benchmarks for the Top Recession-Proof Franchises award list.

“At its core, franchising is about ‘being in business for yourself but not by yourself’ and over the last year many in the franchise community have pulled together during the pandemic to support and help protect their franchise owners. That’s what makes franchising uniquely positioned to innovate and recover much faster than other businesses during a down economy,” said Eric Stites, founder & CEO of Franchise Business Review.

The award-winning franchise companies on this year’s Top 100 Recession-Proof Franchises list represent a vast array of industry segments, as well as a wide range of investment levels – including a number of businesses you can start with an initial investment (cash required) under $25,000. The list includes real estate, home services, cleaning, take-out food, senior care, and outdoor sports & recreation businesses.

“Franchising has historically performed well in a recession, and our conclusion based on the data we analyzed is that the recession-proof companies on our list are in a much better position to outperform their competitors in 2021 and beyond,” said Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review.

“Not only do the companies on this list have outstanding satisfaction among their owners, but we feel they have the greatest opportunity to succeed during these historic times when so many small business owners are struggling,” Rowan said.

Visit to see the full description of the 100 Best Recession-Proof Franchises. Research on the 2022 Top Overall Franchises, as well as research on the best franchises in various sectors is now underway. Franchisors who are interested in participating should visit:


About Franchise Business Review
Franchise Business Review (FBR) is a leading market research firm serving the franchise sector. FBR measures the satisfaction and engagement of franchisees and publishes various guides and reports for entrepreneurs considering an investment in a franchise business. Since 2005, FBR has surveyed hundreds of thousands of franchise owners and over 1,100 leading franchise companies. FBR publishes free and unbiased franchisee satisfaction research reports throughout the year online at To read our publications, visit

Joe Halpern
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