Express Employment Franchise vs. AtWork: How They Compare

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Companies are turning to staffing providers for workforce flexibility and access to skilled talent. Explore the differences between an Express Employment franchise and an AtWork franchise to decide which one is best for you.

With unemployment reaching its lowest level in 54 years, growth in the staffing industry remains strong. It was forecasted to hit $32.2 billion in 2022, and United States staffing companies employ more than 14.5 million temporary and contract workers, according to the American Staffing Association.

In today’s challenging labor market, many businesses are seeking the assistance of staffing providers to address their hiring needs. If you’re thinking of investing in a staffing franchise, it’s essential to understand key differences between different brand opportunities.

For entrepreneurs with a keen business sense and determination, opening a staffing franchise can be lucrative. To help you make an informed decision, let’s compare two prominent franchises. Start your journey with a side-by-side rundown of their startup costs and ongoing fees.


Express Employment Franchise*


AtWork Franchise*
Franchise Fee $40,000 $40,000
Initial Investment $140,000 – $400,000 (traditional location) $153,500 – $210,500


Net Worth Requirement $250,000 $250,000
Cash Requirement $150,000 $100,000
Royalty Fee 8% Gross Revenue or 40% Gross Margin 7% – 9% Gross Revenue
Ad Royalty Fee Less than 3% 1%
Territory Availability Limited U.S. availability Exclusive territories available in U.S.


Express Employment

Express Employment Professionals provides staffing services in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The company opened its doors in 1983 and strives to provide businesses with human resource solutions. The Oklahoma City-based company franchises 860 locations and has helped put more than 10 million people to work worldwide.

The downside to this larger brand is that territory potential in the U.S. is fairly well saturated. The company has a limited number of franchise territories available domestically, causing prospective business owners to wait for the right resales or conversions.

Express Employment provides franchises available for resale on its website. The company transferred ownership of 28 locations in 2022 and 39 in 2021, according to its Financial Disclosure Document (FDD).

AtWork: Make a Difference Today

In comparison, AtWork is focused on expanding its reach in the U.S. and added 12 new locations last year. With over 90 locations, AtWork is one of the largest providers of contingent and permanent workforce solutions in the U.S., offering protected franchise territories to individuals who want to gain a foothold in the staffing industry. And there are still many territories available.

Their locations generated an average gross revenue of $4.3 million in 2022, based on information in their latest FDD, and AtWork franchisees can take advantage of government-sponsored tax credits like the WOTC to further offset operating expenses.

AtWork has 30+ years of experience helping entrepreneurs put people to work in their communities. They place talented professionals into administrative, light-industrial, and management-level positions at some of the nation’s largest and most recognizable companies.

Franchise owners with AtWork can count on the resources and tools they need to succeed, such as ongoing training and development, a full-service IT department, and an in-house performance team. Most importantly, AtWork helps franchisees focus on scaling the business by providing a full suite of accounting services. The franchisor handles payroll funding, accounts receivable, invoicing, and processing for you — so you can focus on growth and customer service.

Learn More About AtWork

Get started to learn more about the AtWork business model and explore the benefits of a future in the staffing industry. Connect with a member of the franchise team to begin your journey to self-sufficiency and financial freedom.

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