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Lightbridge Academy Franchise Costs $1.07M – $4.89M (2024)

Lightbridge Academy is a childcare and early education franchise founded in 1997 by Guy and Julia Falzarano in Iselin, New Jersey, where it is currently based. It operates on a Circle of Care philosophy, focusing on the interconnected support between children, families, staff, and the community.

The franchise began its expansion in 2011 to promote its unique educational offerings. Lightbridge Academy stands out by incorporating advanced technology and safety features, including internet monitoring and air purification systems, to create a safe and engaging learning environment.

Lightbridge Academy also extensively supports its franchisees, providing 129 hours of initial training and ongoing guidance from dedicated business coaches. This ensures franchisees can effectively establish and grow their centers, fostering community engagement and ensuring long-term success within the network.

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Initial investment

Type of ExpenditureAmount
Initial Franchise Fee$40,000
Initial Training$40,000
Center Development Fee$40,000
Background Checks and Asset Verification$1,000 – $2,000
Real Estate Acquisition, Construction Costs and Loan Fees$1,850,000 – $3,600,000
Equipment, Fixtures and Furnishing$241,000 – $399,000
Permits & Licenses$400 – $1,000
Signs$18,000 – $35,000
Prepaid Insurance Premium$4,000 – $8,000
Pre- and Post- Launch Advertising and Marketing Plan$35,000 – $55,000
Grand Opening Advertising and Marketing$5,000
Training$1,000 – $5,000
Professional Fees$200,000 – $400,000
Additional Funds – 3 months$150,000 – $255,000
Total Estimated Initial Investment*$2,624,400 – $4,885,000
*purchase amount only

Note: The table above provides a snapshot of the main costs associated with starting the most common franchise format (as disclosed in the Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document). For a complete overview of all the expenses involved with the various formats offered by the franchisor, please consult the Franchise Disclosure Document.

Franchise fees & Royalties

Initial Franchise Fee

The initial franchise fee for a Lightbridge Academy Center is $40,000. This fee is payable when you sign the franchise agreement and is not refundable under any circumstances.

Royalty Fee

The royalty fee is 7% of Gross Revenues. However, during the first six months, your Center is open for business, and the royalty fee is reduced to 4% of Gross Revenues. This fee is payable on the 5th day of each month.

Brand Development Fund

The fee could go up to 3% of Gross Revenues. Currently, the contribution required is 2% of Gross Revenues, payable monthly in the same manner as the Royalty Fee.

Advertising Cooperative

Contributions are determined by the cooperative and may be up to 2% of Gross Revenues. Payment directives and schedules are set by the cooperative.

Minimum Local Advertising Expenditure

Franchisees are required to spend a minimum of $6,000 per quarter on local advertising initiatives, ensuring consistent brand presence in their local market.

Transfer Fees

A transfer fee of 25% of the then-current initial franchise fee is charged for the transfer of the franchise. If the franchise is transferred to an individual introduced by the franchisor or an existing center employee, the fee is reduced to 10% of the sales price.

Transfer of Multi-Unit Operating Agreement

The fee for transferring a Multi-Unit Operating Agreement is $5,000. However, if the transferee is introduced by the franchisor or is an existing center employee, the fee is 10% of the sales price.

Renewal Fee

Upon the renewal of the franchise agreement, a fee equivalent to 10% of the then-current initial franchise fee is applicable. This fee is due at the time of execution of the franchise agreement for the renewal term.

Initial Training

The tuition for initial training is currently set at $2,000 per person. The franchisee will also incur additional personal expenses, such as transportation, lodging, meals, and salaries.

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How to apply

1. Research the Brand

  • Learn about Lightbridge Academy’s history, mission, and business model.
  • Understand the market demand for childcare and educational services in your area.

2. Review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)

  • Obtain and carefully review the Franchise Disclosure Document.
  • Note the franchise fee, royalty fees, estimated total investment, and legal obligations.

3. Evaluate Financial Requirements

  • Assess your financial capacity to meet the initial investment costs, which include franchise fees and setup costs.
  • Explore financing options if necessary, such as loans or investor partnerships.

4. Attend Discovery Day

  • Visit the company headquarters to meet with the Lightbridge Academy franchising team.
  • Gain insights into the company culture, support systems, and operational aspects.

5. Secure a Location

  • Identify and select an appropriate site that complies with Lightbridge Academy’s location criteria.
  • Ensure the location is accessible and appealing to your target demographic.

6. Hire Staff

  • Develop a hiring plan that includes roles, responsibilities, and qualifications for each position.
  • Implement a thorough recruitment process that includes interviews, background checks, and training.

7. Complete Training Programs

  • Participate in the required training programs provided by Lightbridge Academy.
  • Training typically covers operational procedures, educational programs, and administrative tasks.

8. Finalize Franchise Agreement

  • Review the final terms of the franchise agreement with a franchising attorney.
  • Sign the agreement to officially become a Lightbridge Academy franchisee and begin setting up your center.


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