Franchise Lead Portals



When I originally wrote this article back in May of 2018, it basically served as a high level overview of what franchise portals are for franchise lead generation.  Now that it’s had a few years to index and it’s getting more views, I thought that it would be a good time to really do a deep dive into what the top franchise portal sites are.

In looking at a few other pages that rank well on Google for terms around “top franchise portals” and other similar terms, the largest list that I’ve found is that of around 10 of the top franchise portals out there.  Each blog article tends to list about 5-10 sites.  But, there isn’t really an article out there that combines all of this data and puts it into one large franchise portal directory.

Also, as the largest provider of franchise leads via PPC (Pay Per Click) for franchisors, we’ve had well over a decade of conversations and feedback from franchisors and FSOs (Franchise Sales Organizations) themselves on what portals are actually working for them.  Our primary focus is on PPC for franchises.

If you’re viewing this page, it is probably because you are doing your research and due diligence on various franchise lead portals that are out there.  If you a franchisor who is in need of more quality franchise leads, typically PPC leads are going to out perform franchise portal leads.  Portal leads tend to get called not only by franchisors but also franchise brokers, so any given lead usually gets about 5-15 phone calls from portal sites.

For this reason, unless you are a franchise broker (which most PPC agencies including ourselves do not currently service), you’re better off having an agency run ads for you on Google, Facebook, and Instagram at least initially and then expanding and testing various franchise portals to get a variety of different lead providers working for you.

What To Expect From Franchise Portals

Before you jump in and start buying leads from franchise portals, there are a few things that you should be aware of:

  1. Each lead costs between about $28 – $100, depending on the provider.
  2. Because franchise portals typically have check boxes that promote other franchisors in addition to your franchise, leads are typically resold anywhere from 5-15 times.
  3. It takes roughly 50-200+ leads to sell a franchise.
  4. Franchise portals get their traffic from Google Ads, Facebook Ads, SEO, or Mobile Apps.

Truth be told, the cost of a single franchise lead is relatively cheap. And, every year thousands of franchises are sold through franchise portals. So, they do work.

Top Complaints For Franchise Portals

But, the #1 complaint that we hear from franchisors that use franchise portals is that it is really hard to get a hold of people. And, when they do get a hold of people, often times they have already been contacted by multiple other franchisors or franchise brokers.

This isn’t to say that franchise portals aren’t worth it or that they don’t work. It is just important to know that if you don’t call those leads immediately and if your franchise opportunity isn’t markedly better than the next guy who has a similar franchise, you may find yourself very frustrated trying to compete.

Alternative Lead Sources

But, there is an alternative to this approach. What if the Cost Per Lead (CPL) was basically the same as a franchise portal, but you were the only one contacting those leads?

And, what if the quality of your leads improved over time. For instance, if you knew what exact keyword on Google or audience on Facebook drove that actual lead in the first place, what if you could just drive more of your highest quality leads that are turning into Discovery Days and eventually Franchise Sales?

Well, this is exactly what we do. While we would not recommend against using franchise portals, franchise brokers, or any other lead source, we highly recommend running ads for yourself on Google and Facebook.

Initial Budgets

For as little as $2,000 / mo., you can create your own little pond to fish in with low cost leads that are exclusive to you that get better over time as you close more and more deals.

Franchise Portals

Franchise Portals

#1 – Franchise Direct (+3)

To be honest, Franchise Direct is probably the only franchise portal that I would personally buy leads from in 2024.  It’s the only portal that I hear good things about from our clients, FSOs, and prospective clients who reach out to us on our website.  Franchise Direct is the biggest competitor among franchise portals to Franchise Gator.  The leads are probably a little bit higher quality than Franchise Gator and the franchisors that do use them often times use them for a long time with lower attrition than Franchise Gator.

If I was evaluating whether or not I would choose Franchise Gator or Franchise Direct to advertise on, I would probably look up my niche industry such as “sandwich franchise” or “home repair franchise” and see which site has higher rankings.  It’s such a toss up between the two major portal sites, that I would make the decision based off of which site is ranked higher for your specific franchise industry.

#2 – BizBuySell (+1)

Outside of Franchise Direct, BizBuySell is the other franchise portal that we hear great feedback on from franchisors.  It’s one of those lead sources that either works for you or it doesn’t.  Some people don’t think of BizBuySell as a prototypical franchise portal because it is not.  It’s a place that people who own or want to buy all sorts of businesses go to in order to find and sell businesses.

This website is going to give you a bit of a different look from both and BizBuySell.  I would say more multi-unit master franchisees are going to come from  Franchise Gator is going to give you a lot of tire kickers and looky loo types of junk leads with some good ones mixed in there.  BizBuySell is going to have a different group of people who are evaluating very specific types of businesses and looking at ROI numbers to determine whether they want to buy an established business that has been around for a while or go with a franchise system that has good branding and a strong reputation along with a good Item 19.  Like the 2 listed above, it’s another good one worth testing.

#3 – (-2)

Perhaps the most respected franchise portal out there isn’t one that you would even think of as a portal at all.  Entrepreneur is probably best known for it’s magazine.  But, they also sell leads to franchisors.  They tend to be about 2-3X more expensive than other franchise portals on a CPL basis.  But, the website listing alone that they create for you tends to rank so high that it can not only serve as a high quality lead source but also as almost a social proof that gives your franchise clout in the industry.

One of my favorite features of is that they show you a graph of how many active franchise units there are for each of their brands that are listed on their site.  This data is really valuable and it’s something that I actually refer to quite often to judge the quality and growth of a particular franchise brand.

#4 – Franchise Gator (-2)

Love them or hate them, Franchise Gator is still the industry standard for franchise lead portals, especially if you are a franchise broker.  While is going to give you the highest quality leads in the space, Franchise Gator is going to do the opposite and provide the highest quantity of leads.

If you haven’t tested Franchise Gator, you should.  But, you need to really have your lead to call time dialed in if you do choose to do so.  Also, more and more we are hearing from franchisor clients and prospective clients that they’re having a harder time closing deals from Franchise Gator.  If you can’t call leads back during work hours within about 5-10 minutes, you probably won’t be the first person that gets to talk with the prospective franchise buyer.  With PPC leads, you can be a bit slower at 1-2 hours or even the same day.  But, with Franchise Gator, you really do need to be on your “A Game” with call back times.

#5 – America’s Best Franchises (0)

America’s Best Franchises is probably my favorite franchise portal that isn’t one of the big ones.  Their team is smaller but they are easy to work with, care about getting results for their clients, and are creative on strategies for getting leads.

We actually did some partnerships with America’s Best Franchises back in the day they use a few of our strategies on the PPC side of things for their clients to help drive a mix of both SEO and PPC traffic to make sure that you have enough leads.  So, if you aren’t getting enough leads or the right types of leads from this group, it’s one that you can be a little more patient with and although it may take a few months to get everything dialed in, it may end up working out well for you in the long run.

#6 – All USA Franchises (+3)

One thing that is unique about All USA Franchises is that they have 3,000+ franchises listed on their site which is about as many listings as anyone else out there.  This is a big value add for prospective franchisees, as most portals don’t provide a free listing like All USA Franchises does.  They also have some great resources for things like law firms, advisors, etc.

#7 – Franchise Business Review (-1)

What stands out most to me about Franchise Business Review is that they take the time to really put themselves in the shoes of the user of their website and evaluate the businesses listed on their site.  I would equate it almost to an Angie’s List for franchise development lead generation.

If you can do a good job with having high ratings and reviews from existing franchisees and the marketplace as a whole, this can be a good social proof for your brand, like a baby brother version of

#8 – (+3)

I actually really like the domain name that they chose at because the term “franchise opportunities” is one of the top search queries that people type in when they are looking for a franchise and by default they almost always rank #1 for this term.  This isn’t a franchise portal that very many of our current clients use, but it’s one to consider.

#9 – (+1)

The 3 main things that are unique about are that they have some good conferences that they do each year (Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, Franchise Customer Experience Conference, and the Franchise Leadership & Development Conference), behind the scenes they have a good email list for their sponsors, and they are better at finding multi-unit operators than other portals.

So, if you’re looking for master franchisees or wanting to sponsor some trade shows, this would be one that I would move up higher on your list.

#10 – (-3)

I could totally be off on this, but I think that might actually be owned or have some type of a partnership with IFA judging by the massive IFA logo that they have on the top left hand corner of the website.  The site is very clean, has a great domain name and has a strong reputation overall in the space.

#11 – Franchise Grade (-3)

The idea behind Franchise Grade is very tech savvy and a fresh approach to evaluating franchises.  I don’t personally love their website all that much compared to numbers 1-6 listed above, but still it’s a good option to check out and you will at least have a good conversation with their team who I think has a good handle and understanding of the industry as a whole.

#12 – The Franchise Mall (0)

I don’t know the quality of these leads very well, as it’s not one that a lot of our clients use.  And, I’m a little turned off by how they try to monetize their website through banner ads on the sides of the pages.  But, there are some articles online that franchise brokers in the space say that they have used the leads and have had good success with them.  So, it may be worth looking into if you’re a broker (or you’re a franchisor and you just want to explore all of your options).

#13 – FranData (+3)

I recently got a quote from FranData.  The main thing that I like about FranData is their list of emerging brands that comes out either on a monthly or quarterly basis.  If you’re business sells to franchisors (like mine does), this is definitely a resource that is good to be aware of.  Coupled with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s easy to buy a list from FranData and then find the appropriate staff member within a franchise organization to reach out to.

#14 – (-1)

This is the last portal that I have on my list that kind of falls in that category of being another cookie cutter franchise lead portal.  It’s not one that I hear much about, but for some people it might be worth looking into.  They do have a few unique sections like “Franchises For Women”, “Halal Franchises”, and “Green Franchises”.  So, if you’re looking for something kind of unique, might be worth looking at.

#15 – GlobalBX (-1)

These guys have been around since about 2001, and are a bit old school but might be a decent option for franchisors who have had success with BizBuySell and are looking for another similar group to test lead flow with.

#16 – (-1)

What I like about VetFran is that they have a very defined niche market.  This won’t work for all franchisors, but if you have special offers for military veterans or a large chunk of your franchisees tend to be military vets, this would be one that would be worth speaking with.

#17 – Franchise Times (0)

Franchise Times, like, comes out of the era of advertising franchises via magazines.  So, if you’re looking to do more education about your brand to prospective franchisees, this could be the portal for you.

I would just make sure that you track whatever campaigns you do with these guys separately.  You may find that a magazine article or email blast works better than an article on their website.  So, if you’re team can dial in what aspect of their services are really working for you and that strategy is duplicable and repetitive, then it could work out well for you.

#18 – BusinessesForSale (0)

BusinessesForSale is kind of a hybrid between a Franchise Gator style portal and BizBuySell.  You can both sell or buy a business here as well as list your franchise in order to drive leads.


What Is A Franchise Portal And How Can It Help Your Business?

A franchise portal is an online platform which allows franchisors to connect with prospective franchisees. It typically works as a searchable database, allowing potential franchisees to find franchises that meet their specific criteria. On the other side, franchisors are able to post their business opportunities and receive applications from interested applicants.

The goal of any franchise portal is to make it easier for both parties to quickly identify each other and enter into a mutually beneficial agreement. By using such a portal, you can save time by immediately connecting with people who may be interested in your particular brand. These portals provide vital information on how franchises work, what you’ll need to do before becoming one, and even how much money you can expect to make.

If you’re interested in entering the world of franchising, using a franchise portal may be an ideal way to start. Franchise portals can provide information on various types of businesses that are available and help you narrow down your search to find the right one for you. Popular franchise portals such as Franchise Gator allow users to search by category, industry, location and even investment levels. This way you can quickly find a business opportunity that fits your needs and budget.

Once you’ve identified potential franchises, these portals also provide useful resources which can assist in further research like providing contact details for franchisors, reading reviews from existing franchisees or learning about their training programs as well as online support services.

Overall, using a franchise portal is a great way to get started in the world of franchising. Not only do these portals provide helpful resources and information on various franchises that meet your criteria but they also make it much easier for both parties to quickly find each other and enter into an agreement. If you’re looking to start your own business, consider using a franchise portal as an excellent resource.


Need Help?

Need help doing this? It’s exactly what we do. We currently work with over 70 franchise brands doing franchise development lead generation. We know what works and what doesn’t. And, all you have to do is pick up the phone and tell these people your story.


Video Transcript

Hello there! It’s a cold day here in Spanish Fork, Utah so i’ve got my jacket on. I just finished updating an article that I wrote quite a while ago. I think it was back. What did I say? 2018 or 2019 about franchise lead portal websites and I was looking online and all I could really find was there’s a few sites that articles that show like five different sites or four or ten different franchise portal sites, but I wanted to make something as a little more. Um, just kind of grabbing all that different type of information and putting it together.

And then also i’ve been driving franchise leads for um. My daughter’s birthday is in a month so it will have been thirteen years that i’ve been in the franchise league generation space, so i’ve had. We work with like over 200 different franchise ores been doing this for a long time. I had a lot of conversations with a lot more franchise ores than that, and so I feel like I maybe i’ll have a different angle on which websites I would recommend versus stuff that you may find out there.

Obviously we also do franchisely generations generation we do not do it for for franchise brokers. We do do it for franchise ores and a lot of people that use franchise portal websites are franchise brokers, so if if you fall in that category, hopefully it’s just like a helpful article for you if. You are a franchise or and you’re looking for leads more than welcome to. If you click on this like need more lead section or on our contact us section or just call us then you can set up at a point with us and talk and we could see if baby there’s a fit there’ ah, but yeah, so i’m just gonna kind of walk into a few different things here one just know that as far as franchise portals usually you’re paying about might say 30 to a hundred dollars per lead.

It used to be more like 30 to 40 dollars a lead than some groups like or a little more expensive, so it seems like the prices continue to go up uh. In general it typically takes fifty to two hundred leads to close a deal depending on we will see like half a percent up to about five percent closure rates for the stuff that we do. Um, and a lot of that is how good the opportunity is how expensive it is, how good your callback times is it a franchise opportunity versus a business opportunity and some of those types of things there are complaints. I mean the one of the first things people will say to us is a less like what has worked and what hasn’t worked for you. A lot of people don’t like that with franchise portals, just you’re constantly competing against lots of other people every portal is different.

How many times they like how they resell their leads. Most say they do not resell them, but yet you add lots of different ones to different carts and they end up going out to lots of people and then some big broker networks by them and they disseminated them out to their people. So I mean, I think in general and not all or like this, but it’s usually like 5 to 15 times that a lead gets resold. Maybe you could talk with a group and make sure that they are completely exclusive to you and maybe they’ll charge more for that, but a lot of times they’re break even on the first lead. It costs them a certain amount of way to drive that lead and so it’s reselling it’ that is really where they make their money.

Um, as far as budgets go. Yeah, a couple thousand dollars can kind of get you go on, but let’s jump into some of these different ones out there and why I put them in this order. So entrepreneur. Com is one that I just really like and maybe i’ll just what happens if i’ click on it. So let’s just go there okay. So I typed in dog training elite and it’s a start a dog training elite franchise two thousand twenty three you go in there and I like how it shows like how many units it has and on a lot of these. Eleven show there we go a chart. It shows like how many units there are now, so this would be like if i’m a person and i’m just going in here and i’m saying, hey, they’ve been around since 2018 2022.

There’s like 200 to these units. This is the type of chart that you want to see where they’re looking for them. All sorts of stuff like this I think is really unique and very helpful for the person and it’s a good social proof so this would be my number one. Most people who use entrepreneur they’ll say it’s a little expensive, but their lead quality is pretty good alright. The second one that I have on my list is going to be franchise gator. This is probably kind of the the gold standard I would say for franchise portals if we go to their site. Uh, what they’re most known for is just having a ton of leads. So if you’re looking for a high volume of leads this is where you wanna go.

Um and it’s a good one to test because there’s a lot of like look alike portals out there and I I have some of them on here but this is one that they just they’ve been doing it for a long time. They’re well funded. Um, and they soak up a lot of traffic. So if you’re gonna test anything most people have tested franchise gator just know one thing I did. Put in there. Just know that you’re gonna have to be able to call people back pretty quickly, whereas like normally you’d be okay to cost them back within one to two hours if it’s a part of a workday, but with franchise gator it’s like five to ten minutes or someone else is probably already called it.

I’m gonna increase size here a little bit and just kind of make it a little bit easier to see. Okay. So biz by cell is my next one on here and I would say for biz by cell, it’s not your typical franch, it’s not like a franchise only sight. This is a place that people go to when they’re looking to buy and sell businesses, but a lot of franchise ores do use the site and if you do a good job of kind of advertising your franchise kind of like an ebay type of thing. I don’t know a better way to quite it but it tends to work pretty well and we have people that have used biz by self for a long time and have been well satisfied with it like it works for you. It tends to work pretty well. The next one is going to be franchise direct. So with franchise direct it looks and feels a lot like franchise gator it’s I think it’s franchise gator’s biggest competitor. People in the industry

I would say probably like franchise directs leaves a little better than. Franchise gator, but the what I would do if I were you is I would i’d open up google search and let’s say that you are a sub or you’re like a sandwich. Yeah, there we go sandwich franchise. I would look through here and see which sites are ranking the highest for that whether it’s like franchise gator or franchise direct or some other. See entrepreneuris here franchises america so I would look like through top franchise see franchise directors is up pretty high so that’s going to be higher so they’re ranked organically one to three four. So franchise direct is higher than franchise gator and I would probably go with franchise direct if I had a sandwich franchise because it’s ranked higher for that. The next one’s gonna be america’s best franchises among the kind of smaller franchise groups out here. It’s probably one of my favorite. Back in the day I know the owner pretty well. We’ve had a lot of conversations we’ actually have helped them learn. We used to do some of their paper click stuff.

I don’t know what I can like should shouldn’t talk about, but we used to do a lot of their paper click stuff. Um, it didn’t make sense for us for a business model, so we kind of like taught them some stuff and they know how to do some paper click. So what’s cool about them is if you’re advertising with them when the lead flow isn’t. Quite there. They have the skills in house to do a little bit of advertising back to their site to help you get the leads that you’re looking for. So if you’re a smaller franchise or that could that could work out for you pretty good as well and I I do like their site, I think it is mobile friendly. It has a lot of really cool like check out type of features that I that I like so that’s why I have them as number five number six. I’m a close a couple of these number six franchise business review this one. What’s neat about this is they they do ratings and reviews by actual franchise owners, so that’s pretty unique.

If you do have an actual good opportunity with high ratings and high reviews, it’s kind of like angie’s list, and so if you feel really confident about your system and the people you have in your system and how they feel about it, then this could be a good one to go with as well. The next one is franchise org. I need a link in there and that one is going to be right here. Um, I did notice I don’t know them super well. I know that they do have a good name in the industry. I did notice that ifa is all over the place. Um doesn’t really matter kind of where you go. IFA is kind of everywhere, so I think. That it’s either owned by ifa or a part of it’ I do like how clean the site is. It’s very easy to understand. It doesn’t have those entrepreneur. Com types of charts, but it some of them do have other media like videos and stuff that are in there. I I don’t love the positioning of a video because I think that that should probably be higher up there. Um, but you do kinda get to tell your story a little bit better and um, I think there is some connection with ifa which could be cool franchise grade. I’ve talked with these guys in the past. I like their concept of let’s give a grade to each of the franchises that are out there, and so it’s a little bit similar.

I think high level to this franchise business review. Um, except you’re working off of like getting a grade on something. So if we were to check out british swim school which we’ve done stuff with um, I guess you have to like get get a more premium membership unlock in order to you know, engage with them or something like that which is probably going to lend you give you a better quality lead at the end of the day, but maybe not as many leads because they’re kind of gating that all usa franchises I do not know these guys super well. This is kind of when we start getting into the piece of like. The next couple that you see are all gonna be kind of similar.

Um, where it’s this hey, there’s a proven business model out there’ that works. I do like this type of information here. I think any time these portals go through and they kind of break down and tables, what’s going on? I think that’s good, um, and I think that having a video up there is good, but I don’t know much about the actual quality of these leads, so I would say that um all usa franchises is like that um, franchising dot com. They do have some kind of unique things.

One of them is that franchising. Com does these conferences and I a lot of people go to them like i’ll even have clients. He’ll be like, hey, are you going to the multi unit franchising conference? It’s kind of like an ifa type of a big thing, so they have that one. They have franchise customer experience conference, franchise leadership and development conference. I think I one of these i’ve been to, but it’s cool because they have kind of a portal site of it and then they have. They do some email marketing stuff. I think on your behalf at least sets the packages that i’ve seen where it’s like you get a booth and then we’re gonna sponsor you here and and what have you so if you’re looking for to tell your story in a few different mediums, maybe actually. Get in front of somebody at a conference in addition to having you know articles and things like that out there. Then franchisen. Com can be a good one to go to is pretty similar to a lot of other ones. You’ll see that this one in the next four are all pretty similar, um, but I do like their domain name of franchise opportunities. If I were to type in franchise opportunities just in google you’ll see that typically their rank number one organically. So um, that’s probably the number one keyword that people will type in is like franchise opportunities so you’re probably in a good spot.

Um with testing a group like this, but I will say that it’s not like a huge standout uh, franchise mall is gonna be kind of similar. I don’t like all these ads up here. I think that that it’s not franchise specific. I don’t think that running ad sense on there makes you look very great, so that to me is like the only kind of turnoff which is why I move them lower, although some people have them on their list quite a bit higher and there’s top five, so maybe there’ is something there uh top franchise dot com. I don’t know these guys super well, but it’s another another portal group out there and so those are all kind of similar. The next ones are a little bit unique, a little bit different, let’s. Look at global bx here, so this one to me is a little bit more like BizBuySell. I would say where it’s people that free business for cell a sale exchanges. Um, so if you are doing biz by cell and that is working for you, then global bx might be one to look at as well.

Um, these guys have been around since two thousand and one uh, I don’t like kind of has like a craigslist type of category feel. It’s not my favorite, but um, it’s one to kind of look at as an option for sure. Fran vetfran. Org is a great for franchise wars that sell a lot of franchises to veterans so you don’t have to be just like only four veterans, but um, a lot of franchises have a unique ah, a unique kind of like value proposition for vets sometimes that’s easier to get. There’s like spa loans, there’s different types of loans that you can get for being a veteran so they can offer better deal sometimes. And so if you have a lot of franchise using your system that are vets, then this could be a good one to look at fran data. I’ve talked with these guys years ago. It’s been a while, uh, you could argue that they’re not a portal and you would be right, but I think that it’s worth mentioning because there are a lot of people who like we get calls sometimes. For people who are like hey do you have both leads that you could sell back to us to call and like we don’t do that because we don’t own the leads ourselves. We literally are an ad agency that works in franchising on behalf of other franchisors, so like those are in our leads.

But if you are one of those groups that wants to buy a lot of bulk older leads and stuff like that, I think fran data does have access to those and they’re gonna be industry specific. So that’s why I brought that’ one up and then I have franchise times in here which is going to be a little bit more like entrepreneur. Com and that they came from a long time ago as a magazine. And so if you want to have a few different ways to tell your story, then you can do that there. So this is kind of what I would consider to be like the top 17 franchise portal websites. If you are in need of leads in your franchise or would love to talk with you. All you have to do is just click on we click right there and fill this format and then it will basically go to accountly and you book a call with either myself or someone else on our team and we can kind of talk you through least recommendations on what we think would work. We do do consumer and franchise development.

We kind of you know, a lot of our experiences in franchise development over the years we’ve gotten to where we do a lot of location and consumer stuff for groups as well, so we help on both side any type of franchise advertising what you do. Thanks again for watching. If you have any feedback, feel free to let us know we’d love to talk with you.

Thanks bye.