How to Buy a Starbucks Franchise

Updated April 07, 2017

There is a Starbucks on practically every corner, many with lines outside the door. If you would like to buy into their business, you should know that Starbucks stores are not franchised. To sell Starbucks products, you must obtain a license. Your chances are better if your business is in a place where Starbucks cannot buy in, such as an airport, college campus, hospital or hotel. It is a long process, but the benefits of a Starbucks license are enormous.The type of licensee they are looking for is one who is financially stable, and has high traffic in or near his location.

Go to To know what type of coffee business you will be running, it will be good to read their financial statistics, mission statement and philosophy.

Click on "For Business," and then read more on licensed stores. As stated above, you are not getting a franchise. All the stores you see are company owned. When you go to a bookstore that serves Starbucks, it is because they a licensed to do so.

The first path to getting a license is filling out the survey: Your business must fit into one of the following categories: Travel lodging Health School Retail (Other) Business Grocery Recreation Air Travel

Devise a financial plan in case you are approved: Starbucks license fees vary according to the type of business soliciting one, but getting specific details on the required amount is almost like trying to get government secrets. The only thing Starbucks will say was that a proposed new outlet has to have a "desirable retail space."

Wait for a response from Starbucks.


They are looking for places with volume. New businesses may have to prove viability.


This is not a franchise, but a license.

Things You'll Need

  • Existing or new business
  • Computer
  • Financial statistics
  • Business plan
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About the Author

Delores Williams is an author/ new media strategist. She has written over 500 articles on a variety of topics over the past ten years. Her work has been published by Oxford Press, online, and in newspapers around the Country. She is a graduate of Lee University.