Servpro
Servpro
Loan failure rate: 2.9%
Number of loans: 105
Number of failed loans: 3

Servpro is a cleanup and restoration company, which says it will make fire and water damage look ''like it never even happened.''

Family-owned Servpro has assisted in some big national cleanup efforts, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the California wildfires of 2007, Hurricane Ike in 2008, and last year's Nashville floods. The company also takes on smaller messes, like a dirty carpet in your home.

Ted and Doris Isaacson started Servpro in 1967 in Sacramento, Calif., as a painting business. But they later expanded into cleaning and restoration. They sold the first franchise in 1969 and in 1979 scooped up 175 franchises from Bristol-Myers' Domesticare division.

Headquartered in Gallatin, Tenn., Servpro has more than 1,500 franchises nationwide.

Of the 105 loans the SBA backed between 2005 and 2010, three loans failed. It costs between $132,050 and $184,450 to get a Servpro off the ground, according to the company. A potential franchisee needs to have a minimum of $79,000 in cash.


Source: Loan data is from the Small Business Administration, covering loans made from October 2005 through September 2010. Only those franchises for which the SBA backed 70 or more loans were included. A loan was counted as "failed" if the franchisor stopped repaying the loan and the SBA had to purchase -- or take over -- the loan.
Last updated June 16 2011: 12:24 PM ET

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