Franchising is a highly regulated industry that requires franchisors to be legally compliant at both the federal and local state levels.
To offer or sell a franchise in all fifty states, franchisors must comply with a complex set of federal laws under the Federal Trade Commission’s amended Franchise Rule. Many states have also enacted supplemental laws to further regulate the offer and sale of franchises. While some states require franchisors to file their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) annually, other states known as the Franchise Registration States require franchisors to register their FDD with state regulators for review and approval before offering or selling franchises in their jurisdiction.
Not all states require franchisors to file or register their FDD before offering or selling franchise opportunities, though. Non-registration states are states that lack supplemental laws regulating the offer or sale of franchises in their jurisdiction. In non-registration states, franchisors must only comply with federal franchise laws, including developing an FDD. While franchisors are required to register their principal trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), they are not required to file or register their FDD with a state agency or regulator before offering or selling franchises in non-registration states.
To learn more about state-specific franchise laws, visit our interactive state franchise law map.
The Franchise Non-Registration States
The list of non-registration states below is based on the assumption that the franchisor has an FDD and has registered its trademarks with the USPTO.
District of Columbia (D.C.)
Georgia (for franchisors with federally registered trademarks only; otherwise a franchise filing state)
Louisiana (for franchisors with federally registered trademarks only; otherwise a franchise filing state)
Maine (for franchisors with federally registered trademarks only; otherwise a franchise registration state)
In non-registration states, franchisors must have an FDD and a federally registered trademark but are not required to file or register their FDD with a state regulator before offering or selling franchises in those states.
To learn more about state franchise laws and how we can help file, register or renew your FDD, call us at (800) 976-4904 or schedule a complimentary consultation.