Florida Franchise Law and FDD Registration
Florida is a franchise filing state. The annual Florida franchise filing fee is $100.
Florida Franchise Law
Florida has not enacted franchise specific laws and is not a franchise registration state. However, Florida has enacted the Sale of Business Opportunities Act which is a business opportunity law that applies to the sale of franchises and requires franchisors to file an annual Franchise Exemption Notice with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Within the exemption notice you will be claiming an exemption from Florida’s Business Opportunity Laws on the grounds that you have an FDD that has been properly issued under the Federal Franchise Rule. Exemption notices must be filed annually in the State of Florida.
Florida Franchise Filing Information
Who Regulates Franchises in the State?
The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services regulates and oversees the enforcement of Florida’s Business Opportunity Law which requires franchisors to file for an annual notice of exemption. When you file an annual Notice of Exemption you are certifying that your franchise offering complies with the Federal Franchise Rule.
How Do You Qualify for an Exemption?
To qualify for an exemption from the Florida Sale of Business Opportunities Act, your franchise offering must meet and satisfy Federal FTC rules and regulations governing the offer and sale of franchises. Among other things, this means that, you must maintain and properly disclose a current and properly issued Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).
When filing an annual Franchise Exemption Notice with the State of Florida, you will be providing the following information and certifying:
- The legal name of your franchise company;
- The brand name of your franchise;
- The business address and contact information for your franchise company;
- The tax identification number of your franchise company; and
- An acknowledgment signed by an officer of your franchise company that your franchise offering complies with FTC guidelines as to the definition of a franchise and that your offering complies with the Federal Franchise Rule.
Where Do You File for an Exemption and What Is the Fee?
You must file your Franchise Exemption Application with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. You must include a filing fee in the amount of $100 by check payable to “FDACS.” Your application and filing fee must be mailed to:
P.O. Box 6700
Tallahassee, FL 32399-6700
Their telephone number is (800) 435-7352
Do I Have to File Annually?
Yes, you must file annually. Your exemption will be good for one year and it must be renewed on an annual basis. You should submit your renewal application approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of your initial filing.
How Long Will It Take for My Exemption to Be Approved?
As long as your application is complete and you have included the proper information, generally you will receive a response within a week. Once submitted, your application will be assigned to a regulatory specialist. Upon review and approval of your application, you will receive a notice advising you that you have been granted an exemption under Section 559.802 of the Florida Statutes. The notice will advise you of the effective date of your exemption and the expiration date.
Need Assistance with filing your Florida Franchise Exemption? Give us a call at (718) 979-8688 or fill out a contact form to learn more.
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services – This page links to information provided by the Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services for franchise sellers. This page includes information about Florida’s Exemption filing and the exemption application.
Florida Franchise Exemption Application – This link is to the official “Franchise Exemption Application Packet” published by the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This form must be filed on an annual basis by franchisors that offer or sell franchises in Florida.
Florida Business Opportunity Laws – This is a link to the official text to Florida’s Sale of Business Opportunities Act. Florida’s business opportunity laws apply to franchise and non-franchise transactions involving the sale of goods or services for the purpose of allowing a person start a business. Under Florida law sellers of business opportunities must comply with registration and pre-sales disclosure obligations. Although franchise sales fall within the definition of a business opportunity, Section 559.802 of Florida’s Business Opportunity Act provides for an annual exemption for franchisors who comply with the Federal Franchise Rule and FTC regulations.
Business Opportunity Consumer Protection – This link is to the official Business Opportunity Consumer Protection page of the Florida Attorney General. Within this page the Florida Attorney General provides information about business opportunity practices and a link for filing a complaint.
Visit our interactive franchise registration map and learn more about state franchise laws, FDD registration states, and required franchise filings.
To learn more about how we can help you with your franchise registrations and growing your franchise in Florida and across the United States, contact us at (718) 979-8688 or contact us.