How to Start a Contender Esports Franchise

A Contender eSports Gaming Center is a place for people to gather and watch their favorite video game players compete. This franchise opportunity provides owners with everything they need to succeed, including special gaming stations. Their proprietary technology was designed by experts with over 30 years of experience in the gaming industry.

You may also be interested in additional unique business ideas.

Learn how to start your own Contender Esports Franchise and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.

Start a contender esports franchise by following these 10 steps:

  1. Plan your Contender Esports Franchise
  2. Form your Contender Esports Franchise into a Legal Entity
  3. Register your Contender Esports Franchise for Taxes
  4. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  5. Set up Accounting for your Contender Esports Franchise
  6. Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Contender Esports Franchise
  7. Get Contender Esports Franchise Insurance
  8. Define your Contender Esports Franchise Brand
  9. Create your Contender Esports Franchise Website
  10. Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your contender esports franchise. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Contender Esports Franchise Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship, you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability.

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your contender esports franchise?

Business Name Generator

What are the costs involved in opening a contender esports franchise?

Owners need to have liquid assets of at least $50,000 and a net worth of $300,000 to become an owner. Estimated costs to open a franchise are between $150,700 and $237,080. Major costs include the initial franchise fee ($39,000) as well as the costs of furniture, gaming stations, PCs, and gaming consoles.

Total costs can vary depending on local real estate prices and the cost of required permits.

What are the ongoing expenses for a contender esports franchise?

Franchise owners need to account for the cost of employee salaries, business insurance, permit fees, and commercial insurance. They may need to upgrade or replace machines. Owners are also required to pay a 5% royalty fee for all weekly sales, and 2% of all weekly sales to an advertising fund. You'll also need to set aside 2% of gross weekly sales for your own personal advertising efforts.

Who is the target market?

Contender eSports has found that the target demographic are men between the ages of 16 and 35. Because guests will need to have some degree of disposable income, Contender eSports aims for locations where the average income is high enough to meet their fee structures.

How does a contender esports franchise make money?

Owners charge customers a fee to watch games and use the special gaming stations. The idea is to get enough 'regulars' into your store so your revenue stays consistent from month to month.

How much can you charge customers?

Charges may vary based on location and initial investment costs.

How much profit can a contender esports franchise make?

Profits depend on location, marketing, and general management. While Contender eSports Gaming Center does not release individual profit estimates, they do allow owners to consult with a development manager and existing franchise members about their numbers. This can help you estimate your own profits before opening the store.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Franchise owners can sell Contender brand merchandise, such as shirts or related gear. They may also consider holding special events to draw casual video game players into the store and potentially gain more regular customers.

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your contender esports franchise is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website. If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

Federal Business Licensing Requirements

 Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a Game Center. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

For information about local licenses and permits:

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

Trademark & Copyright Protection


If you are developing a unique product, concept, brand, or design, it is prudent to protect your rights by registering for the appropriate trademarks and copyrights.

Learn more about trademark and copyright protection

The nature of legal requirements in distance education is ever changing, especially in regards to copyright laws. Here is a frequently updated resource, which can help keep you aware of the legal requirements.

Certificate of Occupancy

A Game Center business is generally run out of a storefront or standalone building. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a  Certificate of Occupancy (CO).  A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location:
    • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
    • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a Game Center store business.
    • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening,  it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to purchase or build a location:
    • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
    • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your Game Center business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Contender Esports Franchise needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Contender Esports Franchise.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended: Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker.

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a contender esports franchise

Contender will do some of the legwork when it comes to advertising your services, but owners will still need to devise local campaigns to find people in their area. The biggest pay-off for eSports has been through Youtube marketing. Creating branded videos about the most popular video games and working with YouTube to find your audience can be a very effective strategy. See if you can get an influencer to speak on your behalf so that your audience can learn more from someone they trust. Look for ways to add value before asking customers to visit your website or physical location.

How to keep customers coming back

First and foremost, customers are looking for consistency and reliability in the technology. Owners need to ensure all machines are maintained so there are no breakdowns during the best parts of the game. Make sure the staff is friendly and accommodating to all guests. You can’t guarantee a perfect experience, but the more effort you put into the center, the more likely it is people will want to come back.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended: Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders.

Other popular website builders are: WordPress, WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify.

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

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Is this Business Right For You?

This business is great for those who understand and appreciate video games. From watching to playing, the industry continues to grow for anyone with the vision to recognize a true opportunity. People who have studied the patterns of gaming will understand how to design their business to attract the right clientele.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a contender esports franchise?

Owners will oversee the general events of their business. From employee management to scheduling games, owners may be asked to pitch in whenever and wherever their assistance is needed. You’ll likely spend a portion of the day strategizing and marketing your business so you can grow your clientele.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful contender esports franchise?

Franchise owners don’t need any formal education to get started, but Contender recommends having some experience in marketing and branding. The right person will be a spirited entrepreneur who’s willing to do whatever it takes to build their customer base.

What is the growth potential for a contender esports franchise?

A recent eSports match drew 57 million people, which is three times more than the 2018 NBA finals. The market for eSports is exploding, whether the general public understands it or not. Even if you think you live in an area where video games are not revered, you may be surprised at how many customers (and potential customers) there are who want to take their hobby from their home to the streets. Based on current projections and past revenue, the eSports market is expected to top $900 million this year.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

  • Funding
  • Events
  • Guides
  • Support

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a contender esports franchise?

Contender eSports Gaming Center franchisers will be given the training and materials they need to market and succeed in their business. They can use the trusted Contender name as a springboard to begin attracting customers. This brand name is well known for providing customers with the games they want and the technology to see them in living color. However, owners will still need to exercise some degree of creativity if they want to help their business stand apart. Owners who immerse themselves in the world of eSports will start to see certain patterns emerge that they can use to capture their public's interest.  

Because eSports is still relatively new, some entrepreneurs may struggle with the best way to get the word out about their business. Part of your job will be experimenting with the people in your area to see what they respond to. For example, are guests primarily coming for a sense of community, or a chance to learn more about how to play their favorite games? Maybe they want to celebrate the best players in the industry, or perhaps they’re just looking for better technology than they have at home. From there, owners can design marketing campaigns that speak directly to their base.

How and when to build a team

You’ll want to have a team ready from the moment you open. Look for people who are up-to-date on video games so they can provide suggestions and feedback about how to grow your business. You may need to hire a designated manager to keep up with daily operations while you concentrate more on taking the business to the next level.

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