Georgia Franchise and Business Opportunity Law
Georgia has not enacted franchise specific laws and there are no Georgia state specific FDD registration or filing requirements. Franchisors are not required to register or file an FDD in the State of Georgia.
Georgia has enacted Business Opportunity Laws that regulate the offer and sale of business opportunities. Georgia Code Section 10-1-410(2) broadly defines a business opportunity and included in the definition of a business opportunity are business transactions that "enable the purchaser to start a business," the payment of a fee in an amount exceeding $500, and a sales or marketing plan provided to the buyer. Excluded from this common marketing plan component of the Georgia's business opportunity laws are sales and marketing programs that are connected to the licensing of a trademark registered with the USPTO. From a franchising and franchise law perspective, if your principal trademarks are registered with the USPTO you will most likely be exempt from Georgia's business opportunity laws and no franchise registration or filing is required. If your trademarks are not registered with the USPTO you must review Georgia's business opportunity disclosure requirement to ensure that your FDD covers all of the disclosure requirements under Georgia law.
To learn more about Georgia franchise law and how we can help, give us a call at (718) 979-8688 or contact us.
Georgia Franchise Law, Business Opportunity, and FDD FAQs
Who Regulates Franchises in Georgia?
Because Georgia has not enacted franchise specific laws Georgia does not have any state specific regulator. However, the Department of Law of the Georgia Consumer Protection Division is charged with overseeing enforcement of Georgia's Business Opportunity Laws.
Does Georgia's Business Opportunity Law Apply to Franchises?
Franchisors that maintain federal USPTO registration of their trademarks are exempt from Georgia's definition of a business opportunity. Franchisors that do not maintain federal trademark registration may fall within Georgia's business opportunity definition and should be careful to ensure that their FDD contains all of the mandatory pre-sale disclosures and requirements. Many of Georgia's business opportunity disclosure requirements are covered by standard FDD disclosures. Georgia Code Section 10-1-410 identifies the specific disclosures that must be made before a business opportunity may be sold in the state. These pre-sales disclosure requirements are similar to FDD franchise disclosure requirements and require a signed receipt confirming the disclosure process.
Georgia Franchise Law Links and Resources
You may find these links helpful regarding Georgia franchise laws.
We also recommend visiting our interactive franchise registration map to learn more about state franchise laws, FDD registration states, and required franchise filings.