Franchising FAQs

Check here for answers to common questions about becoming an Owner/Operator of a McDonald’s franchise restaurant.

Franchising FAQs

How do I start the process of applying for a McDonald’s franchise?

Submit an application to U. S. Franchising. An online U.S. Franchising application is available which can be submitted electronically.

For a more comprehensive version, download the U.S. franchising form (PDF 1.8 MB) which is also available online and can be submitted via fax or email.

How much is a McDonald’s Franchise?

The total investment necessary to begin operation of a traditional McDonald’s franchise ranges from $1,008,000 to $2,214,080. This includes an initial franchise fee of $45,000.00 that must be paid to the franchisor. Since the total cost varies from restaurant to restaurant, the minimum amount for a down payment will vary.

To learn more about the costs, benefits and pride associated with the process, download Your Path to Becoming a McDonald’s Franchisee (PDF 654 KB).

How much money do I have to have?

McDonald’s requires each applicant to have a minimum of $500,000 of unencumbered liquid assets available to invest in a McDonald’s restaurant prior to entering into the applicant program. While this is a minimum requirement, McDonald’s may require that an applicant have a significantly higher amount of unencumbered liquid assets available to inject into a multiple restaurant purchase. The applicant will need to meet an equity requirement established by McDonald’s for the purchase. 

Is training provided to prospective applicants? How long is it?

We require all franchisees to complete our training program prior to being allowed to purchase restaurants. Generally, the training is anywhere from 12-18 months and done on a part-time basis.

If I am interested in a specific area, how can I find out what is available for sale?

McDonald’s sites, both new and existing, are offered either to our existing franchisees or to franchisee applicants who have already completed our extensive training program (12-18 months). We do not franchise territories and do not work with applicants who desire a specific restaurant location or limited geographic area. We can’t predict what will be available for sale at the time the training is completed.

Can I select the site and build my own McDonald’s? What if I own the property?

McDonald’s does not develop new restaurant locations with the intent of issuing the franchise to a specific individual. Our development teams select and build the sites and the new site is franchised separately by the regional officers. If you own property and are interested in selling it or leasing it to McDonald’s, please visit the Real Estate section of our website for more information.

I would like to invest in McDonald’s with a partner. Do the requirements change for a partnership?

McDonald’s does not permit partnerships or investors at this time. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, in McDonald’s sole discretion, by the Franchising Officer.

Can I buy a McDonald’s with my family members such as siblings, cousins, parents, etc?

No. McDonald’s does not allow partnerships, including sibling partnerships. Franchises are granted to an individual who has completed our training. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, in McDonald’s sole discretion, by the Franchising Officer. Your family members may, however, be employed by you in the business.

Can I buy a franchise for my son or daughter?

No. Each applicant must apply individually and must have the required minimum non-borrowed personal resources.

How much does a McDonald’s franchise make?

Profitability depends on many factors, including operating and occupancy costs, financing terms and most important, your ability to operate the business effectively.

Is there an opportunity to acquire more than one McDonald’s restaurant?

McDonald's is an equal opportunity franchiser by choice. McDonald’s is seeking individuals who are capable of operating multiple locations. Candidates who have successfully operated multiple businesses may be suited to operating several McDonald’s franchises.

What is the availability of McDonald’s restaurants in my area?

The availability of restaurants in specific areas will be discussed during your initial interview. McDonald’s cannot predict which restaurants will be available when your training is complete. Flexibility to relocate for a restaurant opportunity will likely be required.

I have a piece of property that would be ideal for a new McDonald’s restaurant; will McDonald’s develop the site and award the franchise to me?

The site selection process is separate from our franchisee selection process. We make the decision to develop a location because we believe it will be a success. McDonald’s manages all the site evaluation, acquires the property and constructs the building. After making the decision to develop a site, McDonald’s awards the franchise to the most qualified candidate. If you have a piece of property that you are interested in selling, please contact us at the McDonald’s real estate site.

How can I acquire a new McDonald’s restaurant location?

In nearly all cases, candidates for new restaurant locations are Owner/Operators of successful existing McDonald’s franchises.