Of the states that require registration or filing of franchisors’ Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin), only California, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin have online filing options. Of those 5 states, only Washington and Wisconsin require online filing. Wisconsin has required online filing for several years. However, Washington has only recently stopped accepting paper filings. We have researched the online systems and what is needed for these filings to prepare us for the 2020 renewal season.
Michigan, which only requires notice that a franchisor intends to offer and sell franchises and does not require filing of the FDD, only has a paper option to give notice.
Of the states with Business Opportunity laws that require franchisors to file exemption notices (Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, Texas and Utah), only Utah has an online filing option. Furthermore, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection requires online filing and no longer has a paper filing option.
Inevitably, other states will follow suit with the availability and eventual requirement of online filing. Contact your attorney for any updates in our procedures for franchise registrations, renewals and amendments.