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Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no. 28 – Liberty Tax Service – US

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Products & Services: Tax preparation

Number of Locations: 4,520

Total Investment: $56.79K – 69.9K

Founded: 1972

Began Franchising: 1973

About Liberty Tax Service

In 1997, John Hewitt, founder of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, acquired a tax company that had been franchising in Canada since 1973. The company changed its name to Liberty Tax Service and now offers franchises throughout the United States and Canada.

Franchise Units

2013 4,028 231 0 261
2012 3,547 241 0 120
2011 3,286 233 0 92
2010 3,053 227 0 92
2009 2,664 276 0 62
Where Seeking Franchisees: Franchisor is seeking new franchise units in the U.S.,Australia/New Zealand, Canada.

Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $56,800 – $69,900
Franchise Fee: $40,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 14%
Term of Franchise Agreement: Perpetual, renewable

Net Worth: $50,000
Liquid Cash Available: $50,000


50% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 5 – 10. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (98% of current franchisees are owner/operators).

Franchise Fee
Startup Costs
Accounts Receivable

How This Franchise Supports Franchisees

Training: Available at headquarters: 1 week. At franchisee’s location: 1 day. Intermediate & advanced operations training : 4 days.
Ongoing Support: Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives, Lease Negotiation
Marketing Support: Ad slicks, Regional advertising,
Other marketing support: Social media, PR, direct mail

Franchise Ranking History

Franchise 500®: #28 (2013), #25 (2012), #21 (2011), #28 (2010), #3 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #5 (2013), #8 (2012), #7 (2011), #9 (2010), #15 (2009),
America’s Top Global: #44 (2013), #22 (2012), #19 (2011), #23 (2010), #3 (2009),
Liberty Tax Service, Inc.
Type Private
Founded Virginia Beach, VA USA, (1997)
Headquarters Virginia Beach, VA USA
Key people John HewittChairmanCEO &President,
COO Rufe Vanderpool,
CMO Martha O’Gorman,
CFO Mark Baumgartner,
CIO Charles E. Kirkpatrick
Products Tax preparation
Tax preparation courses

Liberty Tax Service is a United States-based company specializing in the preparation of tax returns for low-income individuals and small businesses. The company began in Canada in 1997 when John Hewitt, co-founder of Jackson Hewitt, acquired a Canadian tax franchisor, U&R Tax Depot. In 1998, the company became Liberty Tax Service and opened 5 offices in the United States.[1]

Liberty Tax Service appeared on Forbes “Top 20 Franchises for the Buck" in 2012.[2] Liberty Tax Service is well known for its wavers, people in Statue of Liberty costumes and Uncle Sam costumes, used as a form of guerilla marketing.[3][4][5][6][7] On October 28, 2011, a flash mob of costumed Lady Libertys danced in Times Square to promote Liberty Tax Service and celebrate the anniversary of theStatue of Liberty.

Products and services[edit]

  • Paper or electronic filing of tax returns
  • Netspend Preloaded credit card (refund loaded onto Netspend card)
  • Written Guarantee
  • Tax Return Preparation Courses

CEO & Founder[edit]

A typical location in a strip mall inHillsboro, Oregon

John Hewitt began his career at H&R Block as a tax preparer in 1969 and was later promoted to regional director of 250 offices. In 1982, he went on to found Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, which he grew to over 1,300 offices until it was sold for $483 million in 1997.[citation needed]


Entrepreneur magazine has ranked Liberty Tax Service on its “Franchise 500” list of best franchise opportunities since 1998. Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes magazine’s “Top 20 Franchises for the Buck.” (2012)[citation needed] In July, 2011 Vetrepreneur magazine named Liberty Tax on its “Military Friendly" franchise list. In its Summer 2011 issue, Small Business Opportunities magazine ranked Liberty Tax one of the “75 Hot Franchises to Get Into Now." In June, G.I. Jobs named Liberty Tax Service on its list of “Military Friendly" franchises.

Olive Tree Publishing, Inc., the publisher of the Black EOE Journal, the Hispanic Network Magazine, and the Professional Woman’s Magazine, announced that Liberty Tax Service has been selected and has been recognized in their publications’ the past three years. Liberty Tax Service is the only tax service that was included on the list of “25 Top Franchises for Hispanics" in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 published by Poder, formerly Hispanic Enterprise magazine.


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