A Master Franchise is granted exclusive Franchise Rights to use a brand name and proprietary information to re-sell its goods and services in a particular geographic region. The Franchisor is typically paid an initial fee by the Master Franchisee for these rights and is paid an on-going royalty for the revenue generated by the Master Franchise from the goods and services provided to the Unit Franchises.

This relationship is mutually beneficial to both the Franchisor and the Master Franchisee. It benefits the Franchisor in that it "partners" with others to more quickly and efficiently develop the brand to derive and maximize its royalties. It benefits the Master Franchisee in the entrepreneur doesn't need to "reinvent the wheel" thus allowing the Master Franchisee to use the already established infrastructure and system developed by the Franchisor. The Master Franchisee can also more efficiently grow its business by using the experience in sales and marketing that the Franchisor already possesses. The Master Franchisee then sells rights to Unit Franchisees to sell those goods or services within the Master Franchisee's region.



Unit franchising is where a Master Franchisee grants the exclusive Franchise Rights to use a brand name and proprietary information to re-sell its goods and services in either a defined area or within that defined area. Master Franchisees typically sell many Unit Franchises within their Region. The Master Franchisee is also typically paid an initial fee for these rights and is paid an on-going royalty for the revenue derived from goods and services provided by the Unit Franchisee.



Forte Commercial Cleaning (the Franchisor) grants Sub-Franchise Rights to a Master Franchisee when the Master Franchisee pays an initial fee and meets the other training and regulatory requirements. The Master Franchisee is trained how to sell Unit Franchises, how to sell cleaning recurring cleaning contracts to commercial customers, how to use F.O.R.M.S. (Forte's state-of-the art CRM reporting system, otherwise known as "Forte Online Resource Management System") and all the necessary instruction of how to train Unit Franchisees.The Master Franchisee pays an initial fee in accordance with the current Uniform Franchise Disclosure Document (or UFDD) and based on the population in the defined territory negotiated at purchase. The Master Franchisee then markets to prospective Unit Franchisees and commercial cleaning customers. The Master Franchisee pays a royalty and administrative fee (currently 7.5%) for the recurring services providing by the Unit Franchisees. The royalty (6.5%) is for the use of the Forte Brand and developed software and system. The administrative fee (1.0%) is for providing the client billing and statements to pay Unit Franchisees.



This page is designed to further describe and give information about those differences. We will discuss three important differences between buying a unit and a master franchise


  1. A difference in Geographic Scope

  2. A difference in Professional Abilities

  3. A difference in the Financial Investment



Forte grants an independent business owner franchising rights within a specific geographic area to sell customer commercial cleaning services and unit franchise rights within their region.



You, as a Master Franchise Owner, grant an independent business owner rights to operate a Unit Franchise, which is not limited to a geographic area, so long as they operate within your Region only. The Unit Franchise typically cleans and/or manages the customer cleaning contracts that you sign as a Master Franchise owner.


A Unit Franchise DOES NOT have a defined geographical region wherein they own the exclusive rights to own and operate a Forte Unit Franchise. A Master Franchise in contrast does have a defined geographical region wherein no other Master Franchise can operate or solicit within. Typically Master Franchises cover geographic areas that contain populations from 500 thousand to 3 Million people according to the most recent census data. A Unit Franchise may operate within just a few square miles and service 3-10 commercial accounts. Furthermore, another Unit Franchise may also service 3-10 commercial accounts in the same geographical region as another Unit Franchise.



The professional abilities and capacities required of a Master and Unit Franchise are different. Although both a Master and a Unit Franchise make their income from the commercial cleaning industry, their participation and day-to-day professional lives have different focuses, and therefore require different abilities.



A Master Franchise’s focus is on the expansion of their business through Unit Franchise Sales, and Commercial Cleaning Account Sales. This means that the day-to-day focus of the Master Franchise Office is centered around the screening, meeting with, and awarding Unit Franchises to individuals within the Master Franchises Territory. A Master Franchise also spends substantial time (particularly with newer franchise owners) training both in person, on the phone, and at the physical sites of their Unit Franchisees. In addition to selling and mentoring Unit Franchisees, Master Franchisees are out (or their sales staff is) meeting with prospective commercial cleaning accounts; discussing cleaning needs, producing cleaning bids, and negotiating terms and pricing. The most successful Master Franchise Owners have a strong sales and marketing background, and like meeting with people face-to-face, on the phone, and the sales cycle of meeting, procuring, and being awarded cleaning contracts for their Unit Franchisees to service. They also are comfortable with and can build relationships with the blue-collar mentality that is prevalent amongst their Unit Franchisees, but can also meet and build relationships of trust with the white-collar business executives/office managers/CFOs who make the commercial cleaning account decisions.




A Unit Franchise is focused on the nightly service of their accounts, and the management, training, hiring/firing of their cleaning employees. This includes physically being on sight some nights (or all nights depending upon the type of account and the reliability and consistency of their employees) to inspect the cleaning. In many cases, Franchisees work side by side with their employees to do the cleaning at the accounts that they service. Depending upon the size and management ability of the Franchisee, they will have a lead or supervisor that will do this work for them. Franchisees also can and should spend time marketing and selling their services, but it has been our experience that their day-to-day focus is primarily on the cleaning services for existing customers that they already have. Our most successful Unit Franchises are excellent communicators to their cleaning staff, their customers, and the Master Franchise Office. They also “like” cleaning. They like the evening hours, the quietness of the work, and the satisfaction of having things clean and orderly at their customer’s locations.










In both cases (both for the Unit and the Master) it should be noted that the investment is substantial both in terms of time and money. It has been our experience that Unit Franchisees typically put the majority of their liquid capital on the line when they go into business with Forte. So although the dollar amount may be less, the relative weight of the investment for the Unit Franchisee is just as substantial as that of a Master Franchisee.

A Unit Franchise investment typically is between $5,000 - $20,000 whereas a Master Franchise will invest between $100,000 - $1,000,000 depending upon the size of their region, and how aggressive they are in building their region.

This website is for informational purposes only, and is not an offer or solicitation to buy a Forte® Commercial Cleaning franchise. Any offer or solicitation will be made in accordance with applicable laws and only through the Forte® Franchise Disclosure Document. Forte® Commercial Cleaning franchises are available to qualified prospective franchisees but only in certain states. At this time we are not registered to offer or sale franchises in the following states: California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. To the extent that any information on this website contradicts or is inconsistent with our disclosure documents, the disclosure documents will control. Some states may require licenses, permits, or other authorization to perform certain services.  Please check your local laws, rules, and ordinances for specific requirements.