State Guide: Franchise Disclosure Laws

If you live in a state with specific franchise disclosure laws, this article will help you get in contact with the specific agency in your state that administers and enforces the laws. Fifteen states have franchise investment laws that require franchisors to provide pre-sale disclosures, known as "offering circulars," to potential purchasers. Thirteen of these state laws treat the sale of a franchise like the sale of a security. They typically prohibit the offer or sale of a franchise within their state until a franchise offering circular has been filed on the public record with, and registered by, a designated state agency. Two of the fifteen states do not require a filing of offering circulars, as noted in the list of state offices below.

These state laws give franchise purchasers important legal rights, including the right to bring private lawsuits for violation of the state disclosure requirements. Potential franchise purchasers who reside in these states are encouraged to contact their state franchise law administrators for additional information about the protection these laws provide.

STATE

FRANCHISE LAW ADMINISTRATOR

California

(filing required)

Franchise Division
Department of Corporations
1515 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-7205

Hawaii

(filing required)

Franchise & Securities
Division State Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, HA 96813
(808) 586-2722

Illinois

(filing required)

Franchise Division
Office of Attorney General
500 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-4465

Indiana

(filing required)

Franchise Division
Office of Secretary of State
302 W. Washington St., Rm. E111
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-6681

Maryland

(filing required)

Franchise Office
Division of Securities
200 St. Paul Place - 20th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 576-6360

Michigan

(only notice required)

Consumer Protection Division
Franchise Section
PO Box 30213
Lansing MI 48909

Minnesota

(filing required)

Franchise Division
Department of Commerce
133 East Seventh St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-6328

New York

(filing required)

Franchise & Securities Division
State Department of Law
120 Broadway 23rd Floor
New York NY 10271
(212) 416-8211

North Dakota

(filing required)

Franchise Division
Office of Securities Commission
600 East Boulevard - 5th Floor
Bismarck, ND 58505
(701) 328-2910

Oregon

(no filing)

Corporate Securities Section
Dept. of Insurance & Finance
Labor & Industries Bldg.
Salem, OR 97310
(503) 378-4387

Rhode Island

(filing required)

Franchise Office
Division of Securities
233 Richmond St. - Suite 232
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-3048

South Dakota

(filing required)

Franchise Office
Division of Securities
910 E. Sioux Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-4013

Virginia

(filing required)

Franchise Office
State Corporation Commission
1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 371-9276

Washington

(filing required)

The Department of Financial Institutions
Securities Division
P.O. Box 9033
Olympia, WA 98507-9033
Voice: (360) 902-8760 Fax: (360) 586-5068

Wisconsin

(filing required)

Franchise Office
Wisconsin Securities Commission
P.O. Box 1768
Madison, WI 53701
(608) 266-3364

Speak to an Attorney about Franchise Disclosure Laws in your State

Many specific franchise disclosure laws are alive and well in numerous states throughout the country. Call a business law attorney today to help you figure out the best way to comply with the laws and requirements in your jurisdiction.

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