We invited franchise brands across the country to fill out a rigorous survey, including more than 100 questions, about their companies as well as their accommodations for military service members and veterans.

The rankings were created based on answers provided to questions about company culture, the performance of franchise units, the costs associated with franchising, and financial and other support offered to current and former service members and their families.

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We also considered information in franchise disclosure documents provided by the companies. Unless otherwise noted, data on initial investment and royalty costs, as well as overall continuity and growth rates, comes from franchise disclosure documents, while all other chart information, including veteran-specific continuity and growth rates, comes from company survey responses.

Not everything listed in the chart was considered in developing the rankings, and many items not listed were considered.

Industry categories are according to CareerBuilder.com.

Initial investment shows the range of the total investment, including initial franchise fees and other startup costs, that franchisees typically must pay. This amount can vary depending on type and number of franchises, as well as other factors.

Franchise fee military discount shows the dollar or percentage discount that companies offer to veteran franchisees.

Royalty or similar fee shows the ongoing fee, in dollars or percentages, franchisees pay the franchisor for support, the rights to use their brand, and/or materials.

2016 franchise units show the number of overall and veteran-owned franchise units companies had in 2016, unless otherwise indicated. The number of overall franchise units comes from the companies’ franchise disclosure documents, and the number of veteran-owned units is taken from the survey.

3-year continuity rate shows the franchise units open at the end of the 2016 as a percentage of the units open at the end of 2013, plus the units that began operating in 2014, 2015 and 2016, unless otherwise noted. While franchises can cease operations for reasons other than business failure, lower percentages may be a cause for concern.

3-year growth rate shows the percentage increase or decrease in the number of franchises between the end of 2013 and the end of 2016, unless otherwise noted.