Below is list of commonly asked questions regarding exemption and registration of a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) with state regulators.    


What do I need to file with the states?  What you need to file in order to sell franchises in a given state varies from state to state.  Below is an outline of the filing requirements: 


  • ·      A one-time filing is required in the state of Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Texas. 


  • ·      If your franchise system does not include the licensing of a registered trademark, a filing is required in Connecticut, Maine, North Carolina, and South Carolina.


  • ·      Annual registration filings are required in the state of California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin (Registration States). 


  • ·      Annual exemption filings are required in Florida, Michigan, and Utah.


How long does it take for my registration or exemption filing to become effective?  The exemption states of Michigan, Florida, and Utah along with the registration state of Wisconsin are effective upon the state’s receipt of your filing. 


The processing time for registration applications with a registration state will vary based on the state, time of year the application is filed, the examiner that reviews the application, and other factors.  The initial review of the registration application by the state examiners takes between 3-4 weeks.  Most states will tender comment letters requesting changes to the FDD. Such changes may include the listing of additional risk factors on the state cover page, insertion of supplemental information pertaining to your system, or changes in the verbiage of the FDD.  Comment letters, especially with an initial franchise registration, are innately part of the registration process.   


The overall registration process will take between 4 and 8 weeks for completion.


Can I advertise or offer to sell franchises in a registration or exemption state prior to my exemption or registration becoming effectiveness?  No, you must have an effective registration or exemption in order to offer or sell franchises in a registration or exemption state. 



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