Wisconsin Franchise Law
Wisconsin is a franchise registration state. Before you offer or sell a franchise in Wisconsin, you must file and register your Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”) with the Securities Division of the Wisconsin State Department of Financial Institutions. FDD registration is annual, occurs through an online only process, and must be renewed no less frequently than annually, or earlier if there are any material changes in your FDD. The FDD filing fee is $400 and this fee applies to each submission and application to the State of Wisconsin whether your filing is an initial registration, annual renewal or update.
To learn more about registering your franchise in Wisconsin and how we can help get your FDD registered, give us a call at (718) 979-8688 or contact us.
Wisconsin Franchise and FDD Registration FAQ’s
Who Regulates Franchises in Wisconsin?
The Securities Division of the Wisconsin State Department of Financial Institutions is charged with enforcing the Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law. The Division also oversees the FDD registration and application process which occurs through an online filing system.
Where are Wisconsin FDD Registration and Renewal Applications Filed?
Applications for FDD registration and renewal must be filed electronically with the Securities Division through the Division’s e-filing portal. Wisconsin does not accept FDD registrations or filings by mail. For inquiries (not for FDD Filings) the email address for the Division is DFIDLSecuritiesEnforcement@wisconsin.gov and their phone number is (608) 266-0448.
What Should I Include with My Wisconsin Franchise Registration Application?
The franchise registration application must be submitted on-line through the Division’s e-filing portal and must include:
The Franchise Disclosure Document
Signed Uniform Consent to Service of Process
Payment of filing fee through credit card
- Disclosure of the following information during the on-line filing process:
The legal name of your franchise company
The trade name of your franchise system
The principal business address of your franchise company
A list of the other states where you plan to register your FDD
The name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for your registration application.
How Long Will It Take for My Registration Application to Be Approved?
Unlike other Franchise Registration States, FDD registration occurs automatically at the time of filing your FDD. There is no waiting period or formal review process by the state although, as with all registration states, it is your obligation and responsibility to ensure that your FDD is compliant with Federal and state franchise laws.
When Must I Renew My Wisconsin FDD Registration?
No less frequently than annually and not later than within 120 days of the end of your fiscal year. The Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law does not technically recognize registration “renewals” and, as such, technically every year you must file a FDD registration application. If there is any material change in the disclosures contained in your FDD, you must immediately file and register your updated FDD.
What Qualifies as a Franchise Under Wisconsin Law?
Like many other states, Wisconsin applies a broad definition as to what constitutes a franchise. Under Wisconsin Law a “franchise” exists where the business involves: (a) a common marketing plan that is either required or suggested by the presumptive franchisor; (b) the license of or association with a trademark or other commercial symbol; and (c) the payment of a fee.
Can I look Up and Search FDD’s Registered in Wisconsin?
Yes. The Department of Financial Institutions maintains an on-line database where you can search for a franchisor’s FDD registration status with the state and you can download a franchisor’s FDD. You can access Wisconsin’s Franchise Search database, here.
Useful Links Concerning Wisconsin’s Franchise Laws
You may find this links helpful regarding Wisconsin 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.