The Franchise King®

List Of Essential Franchise Businesses That Are Open During The COVID-19 Outbreak

list of essential businesses

Did you ever think there would be a time in your life in which only “essential businesses” would be allowed to remain open? Me either.

That said, when it comes to determine what’s essential and what’s not, states, cities and towns decide. But some businesses have been deemed essential by pretty much everybody. In any event, it is what is is.

That’s why I thought it would be interesting (and maybe even useful) to put a list of essential franchise businesses together. Times being what they are. But I actually have two reasons for doing it.

First off, as a consumer, it’s nice to know what’s open and what’s not. All of us still need products and services to live our lives. So feel free to bookmark this post for future reference. You never know what you’ll need.

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy).

Second of all, if you’re looking to become the owner of a franchise someday, knowing which ones are essential franchise businesses (as opposed to which ones are non-essential businesses) up your game in a serious way.

That’s because you won’t have to guess if your business will be affected by an unforeseen event, like a Coronavirus outbreak for instance.


Attention: Franchise Business Buyers

Franchise Buying Tip: When you do your franchise research (with the help of “The Definitive Guide To Franchise Research“), you need to ask the following (new) question when you’re talking to the franchise development representative:

Is this franchise business considered to be an essential business?”

If you’d like to know what other crucial questions you need to ask franchisors and franchisees when you’re doing your research, grab my guide. I’ve included 75+ of the best questions to ask, so you can the facts you need to make a smart, profitable choice in a franchise to own. Click The Cover Now!

franchise questions

Now, before I begin, I want you to know that if you feel I missed a franchise business that’s essential, you can add it (with a link to the web page) to the comment section below. Okay?


List Of Essential Businesses (Franchises) That Are Open

The following franchise businesses are-or should be deemed “essential,” and should remain open at all costs.




Disaster, Recovery And Restoration Franchises

From an article I wrote for The U.S. Small Business Administration:

Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and fires destroy homes and business every year. The homes and businesses affected need to be cleaned up and restored back to their original condition.”

Basically, evil, highly contagious viruses have no problem living on surfaces that have been destroyed and/or altered by natural disasters. They go on doing what they do.

That’s why franchise businesses like Rainbow International Restoration, SERVPRO and the like need to stay open. They help people get back into their homes and offices.

In addition to the crucial cleanup these businesses do after floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters, they also perform another important job. They get rid of black mold that grows in basements and other areas of homes and businesses.

black mold in basement

Here is some information about black mold, from

Sometimes, people may develop severe reactions to mold exposure. Symptoms of severe reactions, which are uncommon, include fever and difficulty breathing. People with compromised immune systems or patients with chronic lung disease can develop serious infections of the lungs due to molds.”

The Bottom Line?

It’s essential for black mold to be removed.

And that makes it essential that franchise businesses that do mold remediation (and disaster cleanup) remain open.

list of essential businesses automotive repair


Automotive Franchises

Almost without exception, the types of automotive franchise businesses that need to remain open are the ones focused on repair.

For instance, if you’re out driving and a half-dollar sized pebble gets kicked up by the car in front of you and cracks your windshield, it’s essential for you to get it repaired.

First off, it’s dangerous to drive around with a broken windshield, as the break can quickly become larger and well…

Second of all, if your vehicle is used for work-or to go to work, if you can’t drive it you can’t bring home a paycheck.

Now, the same goes for a mechanical problem. If it’s preventing you from going to your job and earning a living, it needs to get repaired.

If that’s the case, automotive franchises like Meineke Car Care Centers, AAMCO or others, can you get back on the road so you can feed your family. It’s pretty essential that you have the ability to do that, huh?


Pet-Related Businesses

Did you know that retail stores like Pet Supplies Plus® are open for business, and that they’re deemed to be essential?

The reason?

A lot of people own pets and all pets need food.

pet franchises like pet butler

Another pet-related franchise business that’s been open for business since the Coronavirus appeared?

Pet Butler. (Marketing client)

Do you know why?

Because part of what Pet Butler franchise owners and/or their employees do, is scoop poop. Dog poop. And dog poop is bad.

According to the experts at Pet Butler, “Hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms are commonly known gastrointestinal parasites that shed eggs in dog feces. Human activities such as gardening, walking barefoot in the yard, or playing sports increase the risk of encountering those parasite eggs and subsequent larvae.”

In other words, it’s a public health hazard to leave dog poop around.

So please make sure you don’t leave it around.

Or just call Pet Butler. Your local franchise owner will get it handled.


Packing And Shipping Franchises

One franchise business segment that is seemingly immune to the COVID-19 outbreak is the packing and shipping segment. But is it really an essential business?

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(Graphic courtesy of The UPS Store® consumer website)

We’ll go with a yes. The UPS Store, Postnet® (some stores may have limited hours, or not be open, depending on the area), Craters & Freighters and others have been designated as essential businesses.

And if it wasn’t for franchises like the ones I mentioned above, it would be quite challenging to get the items we are forced to purchase online shipped to us.


Fast Food Franchises

I’m willing to bet that you’ve sat (semi-patiently) in the drive-thru line at one of your local fast food franchise operations.

Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of drive-thrus.

But when you’re not permitted to walk into a restaurant to order-or even eat a meal, drive-thrus are the bomb. And these days, most food franchises have drive-thrus or possibly (now) curbside pickup.

Better yet, in most cases, if you have the right App, you don’t even need to touch paper money, as you can pay through your App. Taco Bell here I come!

Furthermore, almost every food franchise is now offering delivery, so you don’t have to leave the house-or your job.

FYI: Did you see what I wrote about the growth of delivery?



Pest Control Franchises

There is no doubt that bugs carry diseases.

In addition, some of them bite or sting. And sometimes they build nests in your home. That’s a problem.

pest control franchises are essential business


That’s why pest control companies like Orkin® are considered to be essential businesses.


Home Service Franchises

If pest control services fall into the essential category, there must be others in the home-services arena that do too.

Well, there are. Check out what Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently proclaimed:

Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, construction sites and projects, and needed facilities.” More

businesses that are deemed essential


To that end, the following franchise businesses (and their competitors) all get to remain open. Yes!


Senior Care Franchises

Without a doubt, caregivers who work with our senior citizens are critical. Especially now. And there are dozens of senior care franchise businesses, with thousands of local franchisees all over the country. And these franchisees employ thousands of healthcare workers. But they have to do things right. Especially now. Case in point, BrightStar Care.

From their website:

Every locally owned and operated BrightStar Care agency follows The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals, including infection prevention, which minimizes the risks of disease transmission as seen in viruses like COVID-19. Each of the preventative measures recommended by the CDC are already standard practice across our agencies, and all professional care staff complete stringent training administered by a Registered Nurse on topics critical to keeping clients safe such as infection control (IC), proper hand washing, and cough and cold etiquette. As a best practice, we follow both Joint Commission and CDC guidelines.”

That’s how to do it, folks.

Go here to see a list of senior care franchises.


Moving Companies

Is it time to move?

If so, moving businesses are definitely up and running. And one of them, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise, changed everything (in the moving business).

moving franchises


By “everything,” they forced independent moving companies to step up their marketing and advertising game. Why?

Because there was finally a brand. One everyday consumers could relate too.

But is TWO MEN AND A TRUCK still operating during the COVID-19 crisis?

From their consumer website:

Yes, our independently owned and operated locations, across 44 states, are still in operation. To confirm a specific location you’ve booked with is still operating, you can contact them directly at their office. If you aren’t sure how to reach them, call 877.720.0411. When calling this number, you will be asked to provide your ZIP code to connect you to your nearest location.”

Are you looking for a mover?

In conclusion, it’s important to know which businesses are open and which ones are closed during times like these.

And now you have a (partial) list of the ones that are open.

Essential businesses.

Essential franchise businesses.

P.S. If you know of a franchise business that’s been deemed essential, and it’s not here, go ahead and put the name of the franchise and a link to the website in the comment section below. You never know who may see it.



Who decides what businesses are essential?

State and local goverments decide what are essential and non-essential businesses.

What are considered to be essential franchise businesses?

Disaster and Recovery Franchises, Packing and Shipping Franchises and most Food Franchises to name just a few.

Are pet franchise businesses considered to be essential businesses?

Some, like ones that pick up dog feces are, because feces can carry disease, which is considered to be a public health hazard. In addition, pet supplies stores can remain open since they sell food and some medicines.

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franchise article written by joel libava
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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes.
For 23 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

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There are many people in the franchise business who claim to to be experts in the field. Unfortunately many of them lack both knowledge and integrity. Joel, however, is without question one of the most qualified and principled people I know, in or out of his industry."
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