Thursday, March 16, 2006

Franchise Offering Circulars

We are often asked to do research on a particular franchise. Recently, I learned of a resource for franchise offering circulars (UFOC). In NYS, the client may call the Office of the Attorney General to find out if a certain franchise is registered with the state. If so, the client can obtain a copy of the franchise offering circular on file, but must pay for the photocopying costs. Now, the State of California has scanned the franchise offering circulars and makes them freely available through the Web via the Cal-EASI Database: http://www.corp.ca.gov/caleasi/caleasi.htm or http://134.186.208.228/caleasi/pub/exsearch.htm.

This morning, I typed 'Juice Zone' into the company name field of the Cal-EASI Database. The results showed a Franchise Registration on file. By clicking on that 'Franchise Registration' link, I could then view a list of available documents - including the Offering Circular. Most (or all) of the documents are in PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. Also, the Offering Circulars can be quite lengthy and take a while to load (the Juice Zone circular is 144 pages long). On a technical note, the Cal-EASI Database works best with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or later or Netscape 7.0 or later. Next time your client is interested in a franchise, check the Cal-EASI Database to obtain a copy of the offering circular. Note that the franchisor still has to register with the State of New York. Each state has its own requirements regarding disclosure for franchises or business opportunities.

3 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

I've bookmarked these sites!

Roger Owen Green said...

MB- I mentioned this post in my talk last night!

Franchises For Sale said...

NOTE: Effective July 1, 2008, a revised Federal Trade Commission rule governs franchise disclosure documents. That’s why the document known as the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular, or UFOC, is now known as the Franchise Disclosure Document, or FDD.

The new FTC rule does more than change the name of the document—it imposes new requirements for its contents, too. Franchises whose FDDs are not fully compliant with the July 1, 2008, rule change risk FTC penalties, lawsuits, and more.