Signal Franchise Cost Is Well Worth Profit Potential (2023)

Written by: Vetted Biz Franchise Research Team
Last Updated by Ailen Faiad: January 25, 2023
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This article is based on its 2022 FDD

A Signal franchise provides security services that include patrol and dedicated service. Specifically, Signal’s locations engage in the provision of onsite and off-site surveillance, executive security services, and security consulting services for contracting clients. Signal 88 is a security company that was founded in 2003 by Reed Nyfler. McCarthy Capital Fund V is a minority investment partner for the company.

“According to an all-encompassing white paper by Robert H. Perry, a security industry watcher and transactional enabler, Signal 88 is shaking up a large pond populated by a handful of very large fish. Outsourced security makes up $23 billion of the $43 billion market, and three large players make up 44 percent of that sub group,” reads a FranchiseTimes article. Let’s see more about this franchise.


How Much Is a Signal Franchise?

The initial Signal Franchise Fee is $85,000 (minimum) to $170,000 (or higher depending on territory size). You have to pay this upfront fee when opening a Signal franchise.

Signal Franchise Cost

Signal franchise

The estimated total investment necessary to begin the operation of a Signal franchise ranges from $93,200 – $241,150. The following costs are part of the upfront costs included in the initial investment for a Signal. Many of these are one-time fees that are needed to launch the franchise. Review the chart below to see how much it costs to buy a Signal franchise in 2022.

Type of expeditureAmountTo Whom Payment Is to Be Made
Initial Franchise Fee$85,000$170,000Signinf of Agreement
Licenses$500$5,850Prior to opening
Vehicle$2,250$35,000Prior to opening
Equipment$0$3,000Prior to opening
Transportation of vehicle$300$1,500Prior to opening
Tax, Title, & License Fees$500$3,500Prior to opening
Insurance$1,000$3,000Prior to opening
Workers’ Compensation Insurance$150$800As incurred
Wages$0$10,000As incurred
Local advertising$500$500As incurred
Additional funds operating capital – first 90 days$3,000$8,000As incurred
Estimated total range (with minimum territory size)$93,200$241,150 

Owning a Signal Franchise Requires Ongoing Fees

Royalty: 4% of Gross Revenues during the previous month

Support Fee: 5% of Gross Revenues during the previous month

Strategic Partner Fee: 2% of Gross Monthly Revenues derived from contract obtained directly or indirectly by efforts of Franchisor or its affiliates, as determined exclusively by Franchisor

Signal franchise

How Much Do Signal Franchise Owners Make?

2021 Signal Median Franchise Sales: $976,258

Initial investment (midpoint)%Profit margin of median franchise salesEstimated ProfitsTime to recoup investments
$167,71515%$146,4383 years
20%$195,2522.25 years
25%$244,0652 years

Based on the median sales provided by Signal’s franchise locations, at an average of a 20% profit margin it will take around 2.25 years to recoup your investment. This is longer than other franchise opportunities. You may not get a 20% profit margin, which would elongate getting a return on your investment.

Remember that our calculations are using initial investment figures for the minimum territory size, but it is possible that most franchisees have bigger territories. This will skew our calculations for this section and the next one. We recommend building your own models to see how much you can earn in your location.

Many factors affect the sales, costs, and expenses of your Franchised Store, such as the Franchised Store’s size, geographic location, menu mix, and competition in the marketplace; the presence of other Security and Surveillance stores; and the extent of market penetration and brand awareness that Signal stores have attained in your market. Also, the quality of management and service at your Franchised Store are major factors.

Is the Signal Franchise Profit Worth the Franchise Cost?

To assign a valuation multiple for Signal franchises, we leverage estimates from DealStats, a database of acquired private company transactions sourced from U.S. business brokers and SEC filings. We reviewed the larger franchise industry as well as selling price multiples for larger systems where more transaction data is available.

Under $5 Million Net Sales

  • Estimated Selling Price = Net Sales * 0.91

When you go to sell a Signal franchise based on the median multiple of .91 and net sales in 2021 of $976,258, it would sell for $888,640. This is significantly higher than the midpoint investment of $167,715.

The more franchises you own, the more earning potential you have as private equity firms become interested in your business instead of individual owner-operators.

franchise specialist

Signal (Franchisor) Income Statement Key Insights

Signal 88, LLC Consolidated Statements of Income and Changes in Member’s Equity

Security Revenue – Franchisee$165,114,406$133,237,915
Total Security Revenue$165,114,406$133,237,915
Cost of revenues  
Cost of service – Franchisee$149,440,641$120,457,665
Total cost of revenues$149,440,641$120,457,665
Gross profit on security revenue$15,673,765$12,780,250
Territory fee revenue$7,786,327$3,692,060
Other revenue$356,408$239,240
Gross profit$23,816,500$16,711,550
Operating expenses  
Compensation expense$7,849,456$5,790,357
Selling, general and administrative expense$7,150,007$5,944,096
Depreciation and amortization expense$188,041$141,861
Total operating expenses$15,187,504$11,876,314
Income from operations$8,628,996$4,835,236
Other income (expense)  
Interest income$695,464$606,814
Other expense $(98,705)
(Loss) gain on sale of property and equipment$(56,158)$31,531
Loss on sale of company-owned franchises$(776,631)$(1,223,005)
Interest expense$(1,883,695)$(1,176,504)
Total other income (expense)$(2,021,020)$(1,859,869)
NET INCOME$6,607,976$2,975,637

Signal is a very profitable business for the franchisor with retained earnings of $6.6 million in 2021. Compared to $2.97 million in 2020, they saw an increase of 122% from 2020 to 2021. This is a good indication of high growth as a company overall.

Signal franchise

How Many Signal Units Have Opened and Closed?

Outlet typeYearOutlets at the Start of the YearOutlets at the End of the YearNet Change
Total Outlets2019397517+120

Over the last three years, the company has been in expansion with franchises opening at a rate of 184 units a year.


Signal was ranked as the best franchise opportunity by Entrepreneur and has good returns. We recommend talking to 3 – 5 other Signal franchisees before starting a franchise.

While this may be the business for you, make sure also to check out other companies offered on Vetted Biz and in the Security and Surveillance industry.

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