How to Find Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDDS) Online for Free

There are four states that publish FDDs online. California https://docqnet.dbo.ca.gov/search/ California’s search engine is slow to update, but every document associated with a franchise registration (FDDs, blacklines, applications, permits) is available on the site, once they get around to updating it. Sometimes you have to know the exact name of the franchisor to be able to find the filing.…

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What is a Trademark Disclaimer?

A disclaimer is a statement that indicates that the applicant does not have the exclusive right to use a specific word of a trademark by itself. Disclaimers are required for composite trademarks (English translation=trademarks with more than one word or design marks with separate elements) for the portion of the trademark that is merely descriptive, generic, or geographic or it contains a company…

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When does my FDD expire?

Your FDD will expire on a national level 120 days after your fiscal year end. So, if your fiscal year end is December 31, your FDD will expire on April 30. When your FDD expires in a certain state will depend on whether that state’s registration is tied to your fiscal year end or if it is tied the effective date of registration. For example, several states’ registrations also expire 120 days…

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Trademarks, Goods and State Lines.

I don’t distribute my goods out of state. Can I still trademark my names? The short answer is YES! The Lanham Act (also known as the Trademark Act of 1946) is the federal statute that governs trademarks. Generally, the Lanham Act requires that a mark is used in interstate commerce before it may be registered as a federal trademark. Thankfully, interstate commerce is broadly defined.…

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Clothing Trademarks

Is your trademark a "brand identifier" or just a decoration? Trademarks are used to identify products. A trademark tells you about the product (usually who made the product and a certain level of quality). In order to file a trademark for clothing, you have to use your trademark to identify the clothing as belonging to the trademarked brand and not as a decoration. Trademarks that are only…

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Franchise Financial Assurance Options

To defer, or not to defer, that is the question. A blog on state registration financial assurance options. As most franchisors know, there are 14 states that require a registration of the Franchise Disclosure Document (“FDD”). Of these 14, nine states will review the franchisor’s financial statements and impose financial assurance requirements if the franchisor’s financial health is not up to…

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Talent Investment Protection Non-Solicitation Provisions Under Political Attack

What is a non-solicitation provision? A non-solicitation provision is an agreement that prohibits franchisees from lobbying or taking any employees from the franchisor or other franchisees. It’s also called a “no-poaching” provision. Why do franchise agreements have non-solicitation provisions? Each franchise system is unique, and it takes time to train employees to do things the “system-way.”…

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