What does it take to open a Starbucks?

This worldwide beverage company was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington. It is the number one coffee shop chain in the United States popularly known for its coffee. For would-be entrepreneurs, Starbucks is a lucrative business opportunity, as food and drinks are considered to be a basic necessity. Let’s face it, almost everyone heads out to their local Starbucks outlet for their daily dose of caffeine.

In case you have thought about owning a Starbucks outlet, you might have imagined you would be starting your franchise store. However, Starbucks operates and owns all its stores. Unfortunately, Starbucks stopped franchising in 2011. However, they do have a franchising opportunity for business owners looking to open a Starbucks in their already established storefronts where the Starbucks is not a stand-alone building.

These licensed stores are still run by the Starbucks Corporation. They are required to strictly adhere to the same guidelines. Everything sold at licensed stores, including foods and beverages, is approved by Starbucks corporate offices. The company maintains this control intending to remain as one that is associated with quality as well as to protect the company name. It is estimated that about 40 percent of Starbucks stores in the United States are licensed.


Starbucks is not a franchise. Starbucks offers a variety of flexible tea and coffee programs for an array of different markets. Some of these markets include;

  • Colleges and universities

  • Airports

  • Gas stations

  • Shopping malls

  • Hospitals

  • Hotels and resorts

  • Restaurants.

They also will consider qualified high traffic or high volume retail locations. So if you qualify for any of the above, it may be worth a shot inquiring about how these programs work. If you are lucky enough to qualify to open a Starbucks, the company will provide you with merchandising and marketing suitable for your specific location. Starbucks has superior customer service and product consistency, which gives customers confidence that their expectations are met.

Starbucks is without a doubt one great franchise to buy into. Business For sale has many resources to help you on your journey to start your own business, sell your existing business or open a franchise.


Opening a licensed Starbucks store will cost you roughly $315,000 to use the Starbucks brand. An average Starbucks makes roughly $540,000 to $750,000 in revenue annually. From this turn around you will earn an average of $170,000 annually after sorting out all the expenses according to Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd. A busier location can make higher sales than these figures.

To begin the license application process, firstly you will need to register with the Starbucks Branded Solutions website and look out for the icon ‘applying for license’. Identify the business description that best suits your plan and submit it. Once you have registered, you can kick off the application process.

This process will require that you; select the type of business store you manage, hand over general business information like;

· Your name

· Location

· Contact information

· Your assets and liabilities

· Cash at hand

· Net worth of the business.

You will also be required to specify what types of products that you will offer.

During the application process, you must justify what will make you a good licensed store owner. Using the comments box to add a personal touch on why you are the ideal candidate, argue your case, and indicate reasons that your store would be profitable and competitive in the larger market. Starbucks will take all of this information into consideration, analyze it and then get in touch with you once they have made their decision.

Below is a list of conditions to meet before you are allowed to open a Starbucks franchise.

  • You must be able and willing to open a lot of Starbucks units in a short time. At least 20 locations in the first five years of getting into the business. Starbucks' first 45 franchised locations were held by nine franchisees, making it an average of 5 Starbucks locations per owner. After the first nine franchisees, Starbucks stopped franchising.

  • Your liquid assets should be roughly about $700,000. This is the equivalent amount needed to set up a suitable Starbucks structure for your store.

  • Starbucks would aid the franchisee in acquiring a suitable location. Their company’s progress team will always be on the ground to inspect that the franchisee adheres to all the rules.

  • You are expected to have acquired a lot of experience in the beverage and food industry, and you should own or run a restaurant or a multiplication business. The restaurant in question should be about the size of Starbucks.


Where do I get the money to invest in Starbucks?

This is one of the most common questions to be investors often ask. Fair enough; if you have never invested before, finding cash out of thin air is a difficult task.

Below are some of the go-to options to acquire finances to boost your investment.

401(k) Financing

A 401(k) account is tax-deferred savings account employers establishes for their employees. This vehicle can be used for almost any kind of investment. The 401(k) remains intact even if the employee leaves the firm or company. If the employee leaves to start a new business, the 401(k) can be used to invest in, or even to finance the new venture.

Equity from Homes

Equity is the current market value of a property minus any mortgages. The larger the gap, the larger the equity. It translates to your borrowing power, the amount of money you have in your home or investment property that you can use to invest. Over time, as capital growth pushes the value of housing up and you steadily pay off your loan, the amount you owe compared to the property's value will widen increasing your equity. You can opt to draw this equity and use it to invest.

Selling off Real Estate

One of the most appealing aspects of real estate investments is the tax benefits it offers. Real Estate appreciates over time. Therefore you are guaranteed to fetch a wholesome amount. This makes it one of the go-to assets to sell off to raise money for investment purposes.

In a nutshell, every successful company scales more than just its revenue. It scales your worldview. It is possible to scale a positive social impact along with your Starbucks business. But only if you are as creative and cash-conscious about doing well as you are about your business itself.