Hot Franchise Opportunities in Latin America


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By Rogelio Martinez

Opening a franchise in Latin America can be a great way to fund your overseas dream. And your options are vast. In Brazil alone, you have more than 1,800 franchise brands to choose from. Mexico has more than 900.

The biggest benefit of franchising is that the business plan is already done for you. Franchising allows entrepreneurs to operate from a proven business model that is continuously perfected and adapted.

Today, the franchise model is present in virtually all types of industries, from selling nuts and bolts to luxury hotels for dogs.

I’ve developed franchises all over Latin America (including Colombia and Chile) and currently live in Costa Rica.

The franchise trends I’m seeing on the ground that could be very lucrative right now include:

Frozen yogurt: This appeals to both expats and locals. People want healthier options. Plus, the year-round hot weather in most markets in the region means this is not subject to seasonal fluctuations.

At-home senior care: This is a market set to boom in Latin America. Traditionally, families would take care of their elders as long as possible. But with more working couples, traditions are changing and new alternatives to senior care are needed.

Tutoring: Globalization is changing the way people in Latin America see education. English is a necessity and advanced degrees are in high demand. The challenge is that few options exist for students to get the proper GMAT, SAT, or GRE training. This would be a good franchise for a native English speaker.

Before you make any decisions, it’s important to match up your goals, interests, and desired level of involvement with the appropriate type of franchise. First think about the type of business owner you want to be. How much time are you willing to invest in your business?

You can go from less than an hour a day to more than 12 hours a day. Some franchises will allow absentee ownership, while others will require owner-operators.

Any successful business is also about being passionate about what you do. Coin laundry businesses may generally be a good investment, but are you going to get up every day excited about going to work? Isn’t that why you moved to your piece of paradise, to follow your dreams?

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