Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Franchising


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

Submit your application to U.S. Franchising. An online U.S. McDonald's Franchise application is available, which can be submitted electronically. For a more comprehensive version, download the McDonald's 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 $1,314,500 to $2,306,500. This includes an initial McDonald's franchise fee of $45,000 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 McDonald's Franchise Brochure (PDF 6.1 MB) or view online.

How much money must I 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 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 McDonald's franchise 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 6 to 18 months and can be completed 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 McDonald's franchisees or to franchisee applicants who have already completed our extensive, 6 to 18 month McDonald's franchise training program. 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 field 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 franchise partnerships or investors at this time. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, at 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 franchise partnerships, including sibling partnerships. McDonald's 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?

[BODY] No. Each McDonald's franchise 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 franchisor by choice. We seek 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 McDonald's 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, new restaurant locations are franchised to successful existing McDonald’s franchisees.