If you are planning to buy a gas station franchise but don’t know which one is a perfect option for you? If yes, we have got your back.
In this article, we’ll explore the best gas station franchise opportunities in the United States and what franchise support you can expect.
Gasoline is a necessary commodity with relatively constant demand, providing a dependable source of revenue for gas station owners.
With more than $400 billion in revenue every year, gas stations/convenience stores are a significant contributor to the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s gas station audit reported that with over 120,000 gas stations, the industry is showing gradual but steady growth.
The gas station industry operates franchise stations with gasoline pumps and convenience stores that sell daily necessities such as snacks, drinks, and other merchandise as a complementary source of income.
With the growing energy demand, gas station franchises make an attractive and profitable business venture for those looking to own and operate a business in the retail and convenience store sector.
Here are the ten best gas station franchise opportunities in the United States.
What Is A Gas Station Franchise?
A gas station franchise is a business that is owned and operated by a franchisor. The franchisor is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the gas station, as well as the marketing and branding.
The franchisee, on the other hand, is responsible for the initial investment and ongoing lease payments. In return for these payments, the franchisee is granted the right to use the franchisor’s logo, name, and access to its branding materials.
Gas station franchises are typically part of a larger chain of gas stations, such as Shell or BP. These franchises offer a turnkey business model that is easy to operate and comes with all the necessary equipment and signage.
As a considerably more secure investment than purchasing an automobile-based business outright, a gas station franchise is an attractive option for many entrepreneurs.
Franchisees can take advantage of the opportunity to sell food and fuel under the same roof. Additional services like auto repairs and car washes are also an option.
The relatively low cost of labor and the ease of training new employees make gas station franchises an attractive option.
What Is the Initial Investment For A Gas Station Franchise?
There is a significant cost barrier to entry for gas station franchises.
For a smaller gas station, the initial investment can range anywhere from $250,000 to $2 million.
Most of this investment will contribute towards the purchase or lease of the property, as well as the construction and outfitting of the gas station.
Additionally, there will be recurring charges such as franchise fees, insurance premiums, license fees, inventory costs, and royalty payments, all of which would require at least an extra $300,000 to cover.
How To Open A Gas Station Franchise — The Franchising Process
Now that you know what is needed to open a gas station franchise, let’s take a look at the franchising process.
1. Make A Business Plan
One of the first steps in opening any franchise is creating a business plan.
Creating a business strategy will greatly influence the success of your gas station. You must consider a range of expenses as a franchise owner to set yourself up for success.
These costs include the price of the franchise, the property lease, renovations, equipment, signage, and more.
With the help of a business plan, you can create a roadmap, arrange your finances, and make sure you have everything required to run a successful business.
Consider the services you wish to provide at the gas station before creating your strategy. In addition to selling fuel, many gas stations also sell food and other convenience items.
2. Find A Franchise
The next step is to find a gas station franchise that is the right fit for you. There are many different gas station chains to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Do your research on the different gas station franchises available and make a list of the pros and cons of each.
Consider the initial investment required, the potential return on investment, the location of the franchise, and the services offered.
3. Register The Franchise
Once you have found the perfect gas station franchise, the next step is to register the franchise with the state in which it will be located.
This process can vary from state to state but usually involves submitting a “Franchise Disclosure Document” as well as any other required paperwork. Once registered, you can start the process of opening your gas station.
4. Find A Location
When considering how to start a gas station franchise, the location of your gas station is one of the most crucial factors because it will determine the amount of foot traffic that you see.
Refer to your market analysis and business plan to help you choose the best location for your gas station. The ideal location would be in a high-traffic area with good visibility and easy access.
Will you select a place in which your most formidable rival is located directly across the street from you? Or are you going to select a remote area along a heavily used highway and focus your business on serving truckers and families on vacation?
5. Purchase Or Lease The Property
Once you have found the ideal location to open your gas station, purchasing or leasing the property is next.
If you are purchasing the property, you must arrange to finance and complete all the necessary paperwork.
If you are leasing, you will need to negotiate a lease with the landlord and put down a security deposit.
6. Obtain Necessary Licenses And Permits
Of course, before you can open your doors to the public, you will need to obtain all of the necessary licenses and permits.
The type of license and permits required will vary depending on the state where your gas station is located and the services you plan to offer.
Some of the most common licenses and permits required for gas stations include a business license, a fuel license, and a hazardous waste disposal permit.
7. Create A Marketing Plan
Now that you have obtained all the necessary licenses and permits, it’s time to start marketing your gas station to the public.
Creating a marketing plan will help you determine the best way to reach your target market and get them to visit your gas station.
Some marketing ideas for gas stations include running promotional campaigns, offering loyalty programs, and partnering with local businesses
Use the help of DrFranchises Digital Marketing agency to create a hand-tailored marketing program that drives revenue.
8. Hire Employees
Now that your gas station is almost ready to open, it’s time to hire employees.
The type of employees you will need will depend on the services you offer at your gas station.
Some common positions include cashiers, stockers, janitors, and mechanics. Post job descriptions and conduct interviews to find the best candidates for each position.
9. Purchase Inventory And Equipment
The next step in opening a gas station franchise is purchasing all the necessary inventory and equipment.
This includes items such as gas pumps, air pumps, vending machines, and signage. Be sure to shop for the best prices on all the products and equipment you need.
10. Open Your Doors To The Public
Finally, after all of the preparation and planning, you are ready to open your gas station to the public.
Be sure to inform your target market about your grand opening date through your marketing efforts. After
10 Best Gas Station Franchise Opportunities
If you are looking for viable gas station franchises, here are the ten best gas station franchise opportunities in the United States to purchase in 2023:
1. 7-Eleven Franchise
|Estimated Outlets||77,000 units|
|Initial Investment||$37,200 – $1,635,200|
|Royalty Fees||50% of gross profit|
Read our complete guide on 7-Eleven Franchise to know about the profitability of the franchise.
7-Eleven is an international chain of convenience stores that offers a wide range of products, including food, drinks and snacks, private brand items, gas, and much more which can help you generate additional revenue streams.
Founded in 1927, 7-Eleven operates more than 77,000 locations with gas stations in neighborhood areas, shopping centers, and office buildings across the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
7-Eleven is committed to providing interested investors a chance to engage in a fulfilling global market that provides energy to customers.
The company offers excellent support to franchise owners with in-depth operational and marketing training.
They also provide in-housing financing to cover expenses like startup costs, franchise fees, equipment, inventory, and payroll.
2. BP Gas Station Franchise
BP is a multinational chain of oil and gas in the United States.
Founded in 1909, the British oil and gas corporation is one of the world’s seven largest oil and gas suppliers, with more than 200 locations worldwide.
BP provides a strong brand image, which can help attract customers and increase sales.
The company is currently seeking local and international franchises that share the same commitment to providing responsible energy.
Franchisees will get full support from the franchise in site selection, construction, marketing and advertising, sales planning, and ongoing operational assistance.
With top-quality systems and training programs, BP Gas Station is a popular business option for entrepreneurs interested in owning a business in this industry.
3. Dash In Franchise
Dash In is one of the fastest-growing chains of convenience stores and gas stations in the United States that offers franchise opportunities with multiple revenue streams.
Founded in 1979, Dash is the perfect place for customers to get snacks, drinks, and freshly baked goods while filling up their gas tanks.
With decades of experience in the industry, Dash In has a proven business model which can help minimize risk and increase your chance of success. They are offering franchising opportunities for convenience stores and gas stations.
As a Dash In franchisee, you will get extensive initial training, marketing, and advertising support, and ongoing operational assistance.
4. Murphy USA Franchise
Murphy USA is another nationally recognized brand that operates convivence stores and gas stations nationwide.
Found in 1996, Murphy Oil Corp has a long history of crude oil and natural gas production and exploration across the globe and provides quality fuels at affordable prices.
With more than 1,400 retail locations in 26 states, and currently looking for franchisees with professional experience to build a thriving career in the gas station and convenience store business.
As a Murphy franchisee, you will get unprecedented support from their corporate team to earn high profits.
The franchisees are also offered comprehensive training and ongoing support in marketing and advertising to run a successful Murphy franchise.
5. RaceTrac Franchise
RaceTrac is one of the leading retailers of fuel and convenience store chains in America that has been serving customers since 1934.
The family-owned chain has more than 500 locations in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Louisiana; RaceTrac is committed to making people’s lives easier with its broad range of services.
The company has been named “Chain of the Year” by the Convenience Store Decisions in 2019.
RaceTrac is actively looking for qualified franchisees interested in investing in a new and exciting business opportunity.
The franchisees will be provided with comprehensive training and access to all the tools necessary to operate an RT store successfully.
Their operations team will assist you with pre-launch activities and teach you how to deliver great services to the customers.
6. Street Corner Franchise
|Initial Investment||$80,000 to $2,000,000.|
Street Corner is an old-fashioned boutique convenience store that offers specialty foods, sundries, gas, and much more.
Founded in 1988, the urban concept of Street Corner makes it stand apart from traditional, mainstream convenience stores that lack vision.
The Street Corner offers franchise opportunities within reach of everyone, making it an excellent franchise opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking an affordable, high volume, and quick sale business model with extensive support.
In terms of franchise support, it offers comprehensive guidance from real estate selection to ownership and beyond, which makes it one of the easiest and most affordable options to get into business.
7. Chevron Gas Station Franchise
Chevron is an American multinational energy corporation and one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.
Founded in 1897, the company operates gas stations throughout the United States, offering gasoline, convenience store items, and car wash services.
The company has grown to become the leading marketer of gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel in more than 180 countries.
Chevron offers franchise opportunities to individuals interested in owning and operating their gas stations and establishing a profitable business in this highly competitive industry.
Franchisees receive support in site selection, construction, and ongoing operational assistance.
In addition, Chevron provides a strong brand image, which can help attract customers and increase sales.
8. On the Run Franchise
|Royalty Fees||3.7% -4.5%|
On the Run is a convenience store brand owned by a Canadian convenience store company Alimentation Couche-Tard (ACT) that also operates Circle K, Couche-Tard, and Macs.
This company was founded in 2000 by Mobil to accompany its gas station, On the Run offers a wide selection of everyday necessities, including milk, bread, snacks, quick meal options, health, and beauty supplies, gift cards, and more.
On the Run stores are owned and operated by ACT, but franchises are available throughout the country.
The chain has grown to be a recognized name in the convenience store industry due to its unmatched and customer-oriented services.
On the Run provides extensive training and support to its franchisees, including assistance with site selection, store design, inventory management, and marketing, along with ongoing operational support to establish credibility in the local market and attract customers.
9. Sunoco APlus Franchise
Sunoco APlus is another well-known gasoline and convenience store company in the United States that operates gas stations nationwide.
Found in 1985, Sunoco offers fuel, convenience store items, car wash services, and more.
Sunoco APlus is proud to have more than 800 franchises all along the east coast of the United States from Massachusetts to Florida and west into Ohio and New York, where customers stop by to fill up their tanks and buy coffee and daily groceries.
As a Sunoco APlus franchisee, you’ll be working on a proven business model and operating under a recognized brand name.
Additionally, you will be provided with comprehensive initial training, access to the company’s business systems, marketing tools, and ongoing operational and marketing to ensure a successful franchise.
10. Valero franchise
|Franchise Fees||$1 million-$5 million|
Valero is the best-in-class producer of fuel and products that are used in everyday life.
Founded in 1980, Valero is the world’s largest independent refiner, with 15 refineries in the United States, Canada, and the UK. Valero has the mission to meet the world’s growing demand for reliable energy.
Valero offers franchise opportunities for individuals interested in owning and operating a gas station.
The ideal franchisees are the ones who are growth-oriented, have sound financial backgrounds, and have good networking skills.
Franchisees will receive support in site selection, construction, marketing, and ongoing operational assistance.
In addition, Valero also provides a strong brand image which can help attract customers, increase sales and build a successful business fast.
Comparison of Top 5 Gas Station Franchise Opportunities
|Company||7-Eleven||BP Gas Station Franchise||Dash In||Murphy USA||RaceTrac|
|Initial Investment||from $37,550||$2,500,000-$6,500,000||$138,600-$187,200||$62,350-$123,735||$1,000,000-$1,400,000|
Things You Need To Know Before Opening A Gas Station Franchise
As you open a gas station franchise, several factors may impact your bottom line. Here are key things you need to remember:
Who travels past your location? If your potential customers are more affluent, they may not stop as frequently or spend as much. Conversely, if most traffic is made up of budget-conscious commuters, you may want to adjust your price point accordingly.
Study the local census statistics to get a sense of commuters’ average age and household income.
- Crime Rates
Check the safety of your neighborhood before committing to a location. Inspect police records, speak with locals, and ask about the area’s crime rates.
Gas stations are known to be robbery targets, so if you open in a crime-prone neighborhood, you might have to spend extra money on security cameras or lighting to dissuade criminal activity.
You are serving the car at the gas station rather than the person who drove it there. Consider the kind of vehicles most likely to stop by your gas station and adjust your offerings accordingly.
Do you expect a large number of truckers who may need extra-wide entrances? Do you expect to see a lot of diesel-powered vehicles? If so, you might want to adjust your gas prices or add a diesel pump.
Is Gas Station Franchise Right For You?
Before you go straight ahead into buying a gas station franchise, here are some questions worth considering:
Am I okay with low-profit margins?
After deducting all expenses such as payment towards the oil company, refineries, delivery company, transaction and processing fees, etc., a gas station owner gets to keep less than $1 net per gallon. So ask yourself if you are okay with low-profit margins. Many gas station owners actually make a profit by selling other items such as cigarettes, soft drinks, etc.
Can I face challenging situations?
Most gas stations are open 24×7 and are open in less-than-desirable neighborhoods, making them prone to getting attacked by robbers or other criminals. Each year over 15000 robberies happen at convenience stores. So make sure you consider this aspect of opening a gas station before you invest your money.
Can I deal with environmental issues?
Many gas stations deal with problems regarding environmental issues. You must check if the tanks are leaking from time to time. If yes, then the cost of cleanup can be very costly. Because of this, many gas station owners find themselves getting slammed with huge bills. Additionally, you must also follow your state-specific laws.
Gas stations and their corresponding convenience stores rank as one of the most popular and profitable franchises in the United States.
There are two ways to start a gas station business in the USA. You can either build your own or start a franchise.
Investing in a gas station franchise is a much safer and more stable investment than starting your own, considering the risks, experience required, and risks involved.
However, it is important to consider that investing in a gas station franchise, like any other business venture, comes with its risks and challenges.
It is crucial to thoroughly research the franchise opportunity, conduct a detailed market analysis and seek the advice of a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.
To ease the challenge, we have included a comparison table of the top five gas station franchise opportunities above that will help you compare the initial investment, franchise fees, and royalty fees of each to see which one is perfect for you.
Is Gas Station Franchise Profitable?
Gas stations and their related convenience stores are one of the most profitable businesses in the United States.
Currently, there are more than 100,000 gas stations in the country, which generate a combined revenue of more than $400 billion.
How Much Does A Gas Station Franchise Owner Make?
The revenue of a gas station franchise depends on the brand, location, and services offered.
In the Northeast, the average income of a gas station owner is around $69,000, while in the West, you can make around $60,000 annually.
How To Buy A Gas Station Franchise In The United States?
Buying a gas station franchise starts with writing a business plan detailing the business operations, marketing, and finances to help you strategize the startup.
Then choose between the franchise option and select the right location for your gas station.
Finally, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permit and licenses to protect your assets and mitigate risks.
How Much Does A Gas Station Franchise Cost?
The cost of a gas station franchise can range from tens of thousands to several million dollars, depending on factors such as the brand, location, size, and amenities provided.
On average, smaller gas stations may cost around $100,000 to $1 million, while branded gas stations with additional services can range from $1 million to $3 million. Larger truck stops or travel centers can require investments of $3 million to $10 million or more.
What is Gas Station Franchise Profit Margin?
After factoring in costs like labor, credit card transaction fees, insurance, utilities, etc., a gas station franchise’s net profit margin per gallon comes down to $0.03-$0.07 only. This puts the net profit margin of the gas station franchise at about less than 2%.
Which is the Cheapest Gas Station Franchise?
Some of the cheapest gas station franchises to own are Murphy USA as it requires an initial investment in the range of $62,350-$123,735.
Then comes the Dash-in franchise with an investment requirement of $138,600-$187,200, and 7-Eleven with an initial investment requirement of $37,200 – $1,635,200.
Amit Gupta is an experienced expert in digital marketing and co-founder of DrFranchises. With more than 11 years of knowledge in franchise digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, Amit has helped many brands achieve incredible success online. As a passionate entrepreneur and owner of 7 franchises, he continues to study franchise models, looking at costs, revenue, and profitability to guide brands toward profitable growth. When he’s not working on digital marketing, Amit enjoys spending time playing with his beloved dog.