candidate requirements

Is Dunkin' Right for you?

Complete each step in this checklist to see if you're ready to apply.

Available Market

Select a market that is available for current or future development.

  • Food service, retail, or multi-unit management experience
  • An understanding of, and a drive to engage in, local store marketing and community involvement
  • A clear understanding of real estate development process
  • A passion for, and dedication to, operational excellence
  • A demonstrated ability to build a high performing team and organization
  • The desire and resources to purchase multi-unit development opportunities
  • Adequate capitalization — Requirements vary by market, but the lowest requirements are $250K minimum liquid assets and $500K minimum net worth per unit
Apply Now

The Application

  • Complete your application
  • Application reviewed then the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise team will contact you 
  • Receive and review Franchise Disclosure & Qualification Package. The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), required by the Federal Trade commission, provides prospective franchisees with information about the franchisor, the franchise system and the agreements that will be required so that you have the information needed to make an informed decision.

  • Provide proof of citizenship or Permanent Resident/Alien Registration Card
  • Provide proof of assets
  • Credit check and initial financial review completed

Business Plan

  • Once initial screening is complete, meet with Franchise Manager
  • Conduct due diligence; talk with existing franchisees
  • Select territory and develop business plan


Financial Review

  • Background checks completed
  • Present business plan to Franchise Manager
  • Submit legal entity documentation
  • Financial review completed, based on business plan
  • If all criteria met, receive franchise approval



  • Sign Store Development Agreement (SDA)
  • If approval received, begin franchisee training
  • Select & submit site for approval
  • Secure financing


Grand Opening

  • Finalize lease or purchase
  • Sign Franchise Agreement
  • Begin construction
  • Begin crew training
  • Store opening



The Location

Our real estate and construction experts stand ready to assist as you identify and develop your restaurant’s physical space.

Download PDF for information on Preferred Demographics & Typical Lease Requirements

Preferred Site Criteria

  • Site Size: 1/4 - 2 acres
  • Building Size: 1,200 to 2,600 square feet
  • Morning drive side
  • Drive-thru
  • Freestanding, shared pad or end-cap located in mixed use "major tenant" community shopping center with national or regional tenants
  • High visibility from major arteries
  • Option for 24 hour operations
  • Easy ingress and egress (no more than 2 turns in or out)
  • Minimum of one (1) parking space for every three (3) seats
  • Signage:
    • Building: maximize square feet, (use prototypical colors and materials)
    • Pylon and/or monument:                    maximize square feet, use prototypical colors and materials


Site Requirements


Click any questions to learn more.

What is the availability of sites and territory in my area of interest?

Visit the What's Available page to view the markets currently open for development. Since we cannot predict which locations will be available when the recruitment process is completed, flexibility regarding location may be required.

Where can I obtain the following information?
Franchisor's Financial Statements
A copy of the Franchise Agreement
A list of existing Franchisees to contact
Cost breakdowns, Advertising Fees, Royalties and Initial Franchise Fees.

This information is available in our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Typically, after you have completed and submitted your application and prior to meeting a company representative, you will be given a FDD.

Where do I receive my training? Does everyone with financial ownership in the Franchise Agreement have to go through the training?

Prior to opening your first Restaurant, you (one person) must attend a 3-day franchise business course conducted throughout the year in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Following completion of that course, both the franchisee candidate and a designated representative must complete the Dunkin' Donuts Core Initial Training program, which includes classroom/instructional time that may be held at Dunkin' Brands University in Braintree, Massachusetts, or Orlando, Florida, or in a designated training Restaurant. Some of our required classes are only offered on the Internet as web-based training. More details are provided in Item 11 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

How many units do I have to commit to develop?

Franchisees sign Store Development Agreements (SDA), which set out one or more geographic areas for the development of new Restaurants. Signing an SDA means you are responsible for developing the minimum number of restaurants specified under that SDA, which is determined by Dunkin' Donuts as detailed in Item 12 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

What does it cost to buy an existing Dunkin' Donuts restaurant from a franchisee?

Agreements to buy an existing Restaurant are made directly between buyer and seller and are subject to prior written consent from Dunkin' Donuts. Costs associated with the transfer vary with each specific situation.

I have a perfect location in mind and there are no Dunkin' Donuts units nearby. Yet, the state and/or market do not seem to be available for development. Why not?

There are a number of reasons why an apparent "perfect site" remains undeveloped or is not available.

  • It is not unusual for a given area to be reserved by an existing franchisee that is expanding to the area in the near future.
  • Some areas may appear suitable for expansion and/or development, but our strategies or business conditions may limit our desire to expand into the area.
What is the profitability of the business?

There is no simple answer to this question. There are many variables that make it impossible to predict future results with any certainty, including such factors as: sales, location, occupancy and operating costs, the financing terms, your ability to manage and control the business and other factors. For these reasons, we do not predict sales, costs, or profits for any store or network of stores, nor can we predict whether or to what extent you may succeed at a particular location. We encourage you to fully review Dunkin’ Donuts’ Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), discuss our business with existing franchisees as well as with a competent attorney and accountant.

Have a great location for a Dunkin' Donuts store?

Click on Submit a Site for development.

What is Dunkin' Donuts' position on franchising to minorities?

Dunkin' Donuts has a track record of actively seeking individuals who are qualified to become franchisees without regard to their race, color, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or religion. We are proud that women, minorities, and first generation Americans make up a significant portion of our franchisees.

May I qualify financially with other partners?

A single candidate must personally meet the financial qualifications. However, if a partnership or corporation is formed, Dunkin' Donuts considers the overall financial strength of the business partnership or corporation.

What happens after I submit my online application?

We will email you a confirmation receipt when we receive your online application. It will detail the next steps in the application review process.

Is financing available?

Although we do not provide financing, Dunkin' Donuts has taken significant steps to ease the process of financing your franchise investment. To help you get started, we have developed relationships with several preferred lenders who offer competitive and flexible financing options. These lenders provide conventional lending products and other financial services, including SBA backed loans for smaller transactions. They also offer a simplified application process and quick turnaround times. Loan offerings include but are not limited to: business acquisition loans, equipment loans and leases, refinancing, construction loans and real estate loans. More details are provided in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

Does the investment level differ for non-traditional locations?

Non-traditional locations (or Alternative Points of Distribution) are typically located within another host establishment and come in many shapes and sizes depending on the host. Estimated cost ranges for initial investment vary with the venue and the host, and requests for non-traditional locations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. More details are provided in Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

What is the start-up cost for a new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant?

The estimated initial investment for a new Restaurant can range from $134,600 - $1,611,100, not including real estate, and depends primarily upon the number of Restaurants acquired; their size, configuration and location; who develops the real estate for and/or constructs them; and the amount and terms of financing. More details are provided in Item 7 of the Franchise Disclosure Document.


How long is the entire process of becoming a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee?

Becoming a franchisee is a multi-step process that includes Candidate Pre-Qualification, Due Diligence, Business Plan Review and Approval, Contract Signing, Franchise Training, Site Selection, Construction and Grand Opening. On average, the candidate approval process takes approximately 60-90 days, and the typical length of time between the signing of the Store Development Agreement and opening a Restaurant for business is 8-15 months.

Is it still possible to be approved as a new franchisee if I do not have direct quick-service restaurant experience?

Operational experience in a food/beverage, retail or hospitality environment is preferred for one or more partners.

Why does the franchisee fee vary across the United States?

Franchise fees are based on many factors such as existing brand presence in the market and other circumstances that vary from one market to another.

Do you offer any financial or development incentives for new franchisees?

We may offer to reduce or defer Initial Franchisee Fees in special circumstances, such as to franchisees that commit to and have the ability to develop a large number of Restaurants. Additionally, we may have special incentive offers for existing and/or new franchisees in certain new and developing markets.

We intend to offer qualified Veterans who purchase a Store Development Agreement for five or fewer Restaurants a 20% discount on the Initial Franchise Fee.


Do I have an opportunity to develop a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins Multi-Brand Restaurant?

Requests for Multi-Brand Restaurants are considered on a case-by-case basis, and decisions are made based on the territory and site selection. Not all locations that are suitable for a single brand restaurant are suitable for both brands.

Is there a separate process for Multi-Brand Restaurants?

Potential franchisees of Multi-Brand Restaurants go through the same Dunkin' Donuts multi-step process from Pre-Qualification through Grand Opening. If we approve your addition of a Baskin-Robbins restaurant to your Restaurant, you will pay to our affiliate, Baskin-Robbins, its then-current franchisee fee, and you will execute one Franchisee Agreement that covers both brands.

What are the site requirements for a Multi-Brand Restaurant?

Potential sites must meet criteria set forth by both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. Preferred site characteristics are unique to our brands and will be shared with franchisees once they have entered the system.

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