South Carolina is not a Franchise Registration State, it is a Franchise Filing State.
The State of South Carolina is not a franchise registration state but is a franchise filing state. South Carolina has enacted Business Opportunity Laws that apply to the sale of franchises, and before offering or selling a franchise in the state, you must first determine whether or not your franchise system maintains a registered trademark. If your system maintains a registered trademark, then you may be exempt from South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Laws and the only recommended filing with the State is a notice to the South Carolina Secretary of State where you advise of your intention to offer or sell franchises in the state and you request a “no action letter” exempting your franchise offering from South Carolina’s business opportunity requirements. If you do not have a registered mark, in addition to your FDD disclosure obligations, you may also be required to register your franchise offering as a South Carolina business opportunity.
The franchise notice requirement is triggered by South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Sales Act. Under this act, the term “business opportunity” is broadly defined and, in many instances, includes franchise offerings. However, franchisors with a federal- or state-registered trademark may claim exemption from South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Sales Act. But to ensure compliance, filing notice with the South Carolina Secretary of State is the proper course of action.
The South Carolina Secretary of State is charged with enforcing South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Sales Act and, because the definition of a “business opportunity” may include a franchise offering, the Secretary of State is the governing agency for franchisors.
Franchise and business opportunity notices are sent to:
South Carolina Secretary of State
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Attn: Business Opportunities Division
Telephone Number: (803) 734-0367
Because if your franchise system maintains a registered trademark, then you may claim an exemption to South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Laws. To do so, you should submit a letter (i.e., a “notice”) to the South Carolina Secretary of State where you submit proof that your system maintains a registered mark and request exemption from South Carolina’s business opportunity registration requirements.
It depends. If your franchise system maintains a registered trademark, then your filing should be in the form of a letter to the South Carolina Secretary of State (Business Opportunities Division) where you advise them of your intention to offer and sell franchises, the registration status of your trademarks, and your request for a business opportunity exemption. If you do not maintain a registered trademark, you should contact the Secretary of State and determine whether or not you will be required to register and file as a business opportunity.
If you maintain a registered mark, you will most likely receive a “No Action Letter” where you are advised that the Secretary of State “will not require you to register and file disclosures as a business opportunity in the State of South Carolina.”
You will be required to file and register your franchise offering as a business opportunity under the South Carolina Business Opportunity Sales Act.
Yes. In fact, it is South Carolina’s Business Opportunity Laws that trigger the franchise notice requirement and, potentially, the registering of your franchise offering as a business opportunity.
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 South Carolina and across the United States, contact us at (800) 976-4904 or contact us.
In this guide you’ll learn the basics of franchising, how to franchise your business, and how to win at franchising. We’ll also take a deeper dive into legal requirements for franchising and why they matter, steps to take before and after you launch your franchise, and even some tips on... read more
When considering expanding a business both franchising and licensing are possible options. In this guide, you'll learn the differences of franchising and licensing and understand how each will affect you. read more
Are you a successful business owner? Are you looking for ways to expand your business? If so, this article will provide the answers you need to decide whether franchising your business is the right step for you. In short, franchising allows you, the franchisor, to create a relationship among several... read more
Under federal law, prior offering or selling a franchise in any state, franchisors are required to disclose a franchise disclosure document (FDD) to their prospective franchisees. In addition to federal law certain states, including the franchise registration states, require that franchisors register their FDD with the state. The legal documentation... read more
Franchising may be the next big step for your business and, like many other business owners and entrepreneurs, you may have questions like “is my business franchisable?” and “should I franchise my business?” So, how do you know whether or not franchising is right for you? In this guide, we'll... read more
Key strategies to accelerate franchise growth for startup and emerging franchisors In this webinar, franchise attorney Charles Internicola and Nick Powills, founder of No Limit Agency and 1851 Franchise, discuss key strategies to accelerate franchise growth through PR and digital media. Some topics include: Steps franchisors should take when it... read more
One of the biggest issues for emerging franchisors is not having a plan for insurance and system-wide protection. What do emerging brands need to know when they're starting off, who should they rely on, and how can they plan ahead? Get an insurance game plan to protect your franchise system... read more
Key strategies for developing the right logo & trade dress to drive franchise growth with branding and design expert Dan Antonelli. Dan is the author of ‘Building a Big Small Business Brand’ and is the creative director of the branding firm KickCharge Creative. Learn how to drive franchise growth and... read more
With services to make your growth strategy simple, cost effective, and with a team excited to help you, let’s talk about how we can help grow your business.
Fill out the following form and we’ll contact you as soon as possible. To reach our team directly, give us a call at (800) 976-4904.
An attorney client relationship is not established by submitting this initial contact information.