If you are thinking of starting your own business, choosing a franchise has a number of advantages. A franchise is an established chain, which means that it already has a reputation for success and a customer base that demands its products or services. When you open a franchise, you can start selling right away instead of having to establish your brand. The start-up costs for a franchise are also relatively low compared to starting a business from scratch, which makes it more accessible for first-time business owners.

You have hundreds of options for starting a franchise, ranging from little-known regional businesses to top national brands like McDonald’s. Looking at lists of the top 2014 franchises, like those published by Entrepreneur.com, can help you better understand your options so you make the right choice to achieve your financial goals.Here are just a few of the top 2014 franchises that you might want to consider if you are looking for the most impact for a lower investment:

1. 7-11

The popular convenience store chain has been in business since 1927, so it has a long history behind it. Franchises are available throughout the country and overseas. Franchisees need to make a total investment of anywhere from $30,800 to $1.635 million. The investment depends on location and other factors. Franchisees must have a net worth of $127,000 to qualify. Franchisees are also expected to run their own stores, and the company estimates that seven to 10 employees will be required to run the store.

2. Anytime Fitness

AnytimeFitness was named the top franchise opportunity Entrepreneur.com in 2014. Though it’s a relatively new franchise (beginning franchise operations in 2002), it is quickly growing in prominence. The fitness center is unique in that it is open 24 hours a day and uses a security system that allows members to come and go as they please without worry of safety. The company is open to franchises in locations around the world. Start-up costs are between $56,299 and $353,900, and an ongoing royalty fee of $499 per month is required. Franchise owners do not have to operate the business themselves.

3. Subway

Subway has a strong national profile thanks to its healthy and inexpensive subs, as well as a big advertising campaign with Jared, “the Subway guy,” who lost a lot of weight eating a diet primarily of Subway subs. Franchises have been available since 1974, and are now available throughout the world. Franchisees are required to operate their own store, and the total start-up costs are between $85,700 and $262,850. Franchisees must have a net worth of at least $80,000.

4. Liberty Tax

You don’t have to be an accountant to open this popular tax preparation service, but you will need to hire about five to 10 employees who are trained in accounting and tax preparation. The franchise has locations throughout the United States and Canada, and it has been established since the mid-90s. Franchisees must invest about $56,8000 to $69,900 and must pay an ongoing royalty fee of 14 percent. The franchise agreement is renewable into perpetuity.

5. Papa John’s

Papa John’s is one of the most popular pizza chains, and it is also one of the most financially accessible for franchise owners. The total investment is between $129,910 and $644,210, depending on where the franchise is located and the size. Franchisees must pay royalties of 5 percent and agree to a 10 year term. They must also have a net worth of at least $150,000, with at least $50,000 available in cash.

6. Great Clips

Great Clips has a reputation for offering quality hair cuts at an affordable price. It is a family friendly establishment that has franchises throughout the country, as well as Canada. You don’t have to be a hair dresser yourself to start a franchise. In fact, you don’t even have to actively manage the franchise. However, you will need to hire about eight to 10 trained hair stylists and administrative staff to keep the operations running. Total start-up costs are between $109,150 and $208,300. You’ll also have to pay royalties of 6 percent and agree to a 10 year franchise term.You have many more franchise opportunities in a variety of industries and in locations throughout the world. Before you commit to a franchise opportunity, it is important to thoroughly research your options. You must find a company that has a strong reputation, a history of success, and a product or service that matches your interests. Exploring the top 2014 franchises can help you get a jump start on your research by learning about the companies that have been identified for excellence.