10 Popular Franchises in Singapore: Initial Capital Investments & Franchise Fees

franchise singapore

Starting your own business takes a huge amount of branding and marketing, from worrying about whether the name you’ve picked is catchy enough to trying to get the “look” of your brand just right.

But what if you just want to run a business with a tried-and-tested formula? In that case, you might want to leech off of popular brand names and simply operate a franchise instead.

That means, for example, that instead of trying reinvent the wheel by selling a new burger to out-burger all the others, you simply open a trusty McDonald’s outlet.


What is a franchise?

A franchising agreement enables you, the franchisee, to use an existing business’s brand, trademarks, and other tricks of the trade in order to market their products and services. In exchange, you pay a franchise fee. You are also likely to have to put up a deposit or a certain amount of liquid capital, as well as pay a cut of your sales to the original franchiser in royalties.

For instance, let’s say you want to open a Subway outlet in Singapore. You thus become the franchisee and Subway, the franchiser. After paying the franchise fee, you can set up and run an outlet on your own. Each month, Subway will take a cut of your earnings in exchange for letting you use their brand.

Of course, how you run your outlet can affect the brand’s public image. So, the franchiser can impose upon you certain rules as as to how the business should be marketed and run. For instance, the fact that all Starbucks outlets look the same is no accident, as Starbucks franchisees are required to strictly follow Starbucks’ sign and décor rules. It is also likely that you will have to undergo training to learn about how the business’s operations are run.

To get more information about franchising in Singapore, check out the Franchising and Licensing Association (FLA) Singapore as well as iFranchise Singapore.

So, why isn’t everyone running out and setting up a franchise instead of trying to start yet another casual dining outlet that tries hard to stand out from the crowd but fails miserably? The main reason is that the financial requirements are very high. Other than franchise fees which are typically five figure sums, you might have to put up a high six or seven figure sum in liquid capital in order to be considered.

In Singapore, F&B and retail franchises are the most common, but there’s also another category that is becoming increasingly popular: childcare centres. Let’s look at some examples. We’ve included franchise fees where available; feel free to contribute insights in our comments if you have any!


F&B franchises in Singapore

(i) Old Chang Kee franchise

Old Chang Kee’s signature curry puffs have become one of Singapore’s most recognisable home grown snacks. Franchisees will be given training in the setting up of outlets, sales operations, product knowledge and customer service.

Initial capital investment: $200,000 to $300,000

(ii) LiHo franchise

Remember the Gong Cha bubble tea craze? Well, Gong Cha’s Singapore business got bought and transformed into LiHo, a bubble tea chain that has become popular for their signature cheese teas.

Franchise fee: Not specified

(iii) 7-Eleven franchise

7-Eleven is as ubiquitous in Singapore as McDonald’s. Where else can you buy a Magnum ice cream at 3am? Operating a well-located 7-Eleven can really pay off, with outlets in busy nightlife districts making serious bank.

Franchise fee: $30,000

Initial capital investment: From $40,000

(iv) Châteraisé Singapore franchise

This line of bakeries is a favourite of customers who are looking for Japanese pastries. They have been expanding into other parts of Asia over the past few years and now have numerous outlets in heartland malls.

Franchise fee: Not specified

(v) Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks franchise

Their crunchy, salty fried chicken has become a staple in shopping mall basements. Franchisees learn how to prep the various snacks on the menu using equipment that is found at every stall, and how to operate an outlet either in an open kiosk or shoplot.

Franchise fee + initial capital investment + renovation + equipment and rental deposits: $120,000 to $150,000


Childcare franchises in Singapore

(i) Modern Montessori International

Yes, you heard that right, childcare centres and preschools can also be franchises. Modern Montessori International is originally from London, and Singapore franchisees are supposed to apply their teaching methodology, although they will no doubt adapt their curricula to the local market.

Franchise fee: Not specified

(ii) My Little Genius

This early childhood enrichment centre claims to help child brain development through enrichment activities and an English-Chinese bilingual environment.

Franchise fee: $300,000 (master), $150,000 (area), $50,000 (single unit)

Royalty: 10% of monthly gross revenue in first year, 12% of monthly gross revenue in 2nd year, 15% of monthly gross revenue in 3rd year


Retail franchises in Singapore

(i) Buzz

Buzz is a chain of convenience stores operated by Singapore Press Holdings. Designed to be a bit more welcoming in terms of atmosphere and browsing-experience than your typical 7-Eleven, Buzz outlets have popped all over Singapore.

Franchise fee: Not specified

(ii) Cheers

Another ubiquitous convenience store, most popularly found at petrol stations. Franchisees undergo 3 months of training and also get business consulting help. Purchasing products and services is easy, as Cheers franchisees get access to suppliers at competitive prices.

Initial capital investment: $40,000 to $200,000

(iii) Charles & Keith

This home-grown brand is now a Singaporean woman’s wardrobe staple thanks to its affordably-priced, decent-quality shoes and bags. Other than Singapore, Charles & Keith stores can now be found in lots of places including the UK, Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and more. They prefer to work with franchisees who have the means to open multiple stores, particularly when seeking to do so overseas.

Franchise fee: Not specified

Are you thinking of opening a franchise? Ask your questions in the comments!