If you are an existing franchisor or about to franchise your business, reviewing and evaluating competitor FDD's is an important step in competitively benchmarking your franchise offering.
So, what's the best way to find and download a franchisor's FDD? The following state websites that maintain registered FDD's as publicly available documents that are available for free download:
- California Free FDD Search
This is a link to the search feature on the California Department of Business Oversight's website. When searching for an FDD you'll need to enter the legal / corporate name of the franchisor and select "Uniform Franchise Registration Application" as the application type.
- Indiana Free FDD Search
This is a link to the FDD registration portal of the Indiana Secretary of State. When searching this site, select "Franchise" as the registration type, enter the legal name of the franchisor, and enter the "Effectiveness" dates that you are searching for.
- Minnesota Free FDD Search
This is a link to the regulatory document search feature maintained by the Minnesota Commerce Department. Select "Franchise Registrations" in the area of interest dropdown and from there, enter the franchisor information and select either "Initial Registration" or "Renewal" as to the document type.
- Wisconsin Free FDD Search
This is a link to the franchise search portal of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The search functionality on this site is simple and, in most instances, all you'll need to do is enter the franchisor brand name. Once a franchisor's information is retrieved you are provided with a summary of the franchisor's filings with the state and at the bottom of the "Filings Details" page you are able to download the franchisor's FDD.
Depending on the state website, search results may be extremely sensitive to the information that you enter. So make sure that you've entered the correct information. If you've entered everything correctly but find no records, it could mean that the franchisor has not filed or registered its FDD with the particular state.
To learn more about FDD registrations and state filing requirements visit our interactive State Franchise Law and Franchise Registration Page.