A franchise with Tommy’s Express gives you a built-in support structure for success. With over fifty years of experience in the car wash industry, top-of-the-line car wash equipment, and a nationally recognized brand, starting a Tommy’s Express car wash has many advantages.

But there is still much to consider when starting your franchise, and the more planning you can do in advance, the better off your overall experience will be. Here are five criteria for planning your Tommy’s Express Car Wash franchise before breaking ground.

Capital Requirements 

Like starting any business, opening a Tommy’s Express franchise requires a capital investment. Your investment in our franchise will go directly towards getting your business up and running. You must have the funds available for the franchise fee and initial cost for the building and equipment. In addition to the capital to start your business, you need working capital (i.e., the day-to-day cash to run your business).

You’ll also want to account for the cost of business services. For starters, many business owners hire an attorney to review contracts and other legal documents and use an accountant or CPA to help with the business’ financial operations.

Business Plan

Developing a thorough business plan is essential whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner. If you seek outside financing, you will likely be required by your bank or investor(s) to prepare a business plan.

A business plan details goals and objectives for your business, how your business will operate, highlights any obstacles your business may face, sales and marketing initiatives, and more. You can find free resources and templates to help you write your business plan through agencies like the Small Business Administration or a simple Google search. Our team is also available to assist you with your planning.


While you don’t have to find the specific piece of land just yet, start thinking about your preferred location. Your car wash location will have a significant impact on your overall success. It’s also going to be a critical component in your business planning. When looking at various locations in your community, consider traffic counts, demographics, other local businesses and area attractions, and competition.

Your desired location may also impact the regulatory requirements for your wash. For example, some areas have specific signage rules or require a particular number of trees in your landscape design. All these matters should be considered as part of your location planning.

Car Wash Site Layout

Like thinking about your car wash location, you’ll want to determine which car wash building design makes the most sense. The capital you have available, the size of lots and buildable areas in your desired location, and how many employees you want to manage will all factor in your decision.

Tommy’s Express has a variety of site models available that all feature Tommy’s Express curb appeal, unique arch design, and energy-efficient building design and materials.

Regulatory and Legal Requirements

Here comes the paperwork. First, you’ll need to register your business and possibly obtain a business license. As part of the registration process, you’ll determine how you want to structure your business. There are pros and cons to the various business types, such as an LLC or corporation. Speak to your CPA or talk to your Tommy’s Express franchise team advisor to help you determine which is best for you.

Every area has different requirements for business registration and ownership. Find out which local city or county department handles business licenses and learn the application process. You’ll also need information on local utility usage codes, insurance requirements, tax rates, and other business requirements.

Ranked #1 in the car-wash services category in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500® and ranked the #2 Smartest Growing Franchises List by Franchise Times, Tommy’s Express Car Wash has proven to be one of the most lucrative business opportunities in the franchise industry today. If you’re ready to take the next step in your franchise journey, attend one of our no-obligation exploratory webinars or contact a member of our franchise development team.


Not a Franchise Offer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for informational purposes only. If you are a resident of a U.S. state or a country or wish to operate a franchise in a U.S. state or a country, that regulates the offer or sale of franchises or business opportunities, we will not offer you a franchise until we have complied with any applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.