State Registration Plan

Many states have franchise registration laws and/or business opportunity laws that apply to the offer and sale of franchises. If you are not registered or exempt from these laws, you cannot “offer” a franchise in these states. The term “offer” is broadly defined. In most business opportunity states, you are exempt from coverage if you offer a franchise in compliance with the FTC Rule. Some of these exemptions are automatic, meaning you do not need to take any action to rely on the exemption. In other states, you must file a notice of exemption. In a few states, the offer of a franchise in compliance with the FTC Rule does not exempt you from coverage unless you are licensing a state or federally registered trademark.

You cannot solicit franchisees in a franchise registration state until you obtain an effective registration or exemption. “Soliciting” includes providing marketing materials, having telephone or email communications, or simply responding to franchise inquiries (other than merely asking for name and contact information). Although basic, this is a very important requirement.

This chart contains a list of the states in the United States where further action is required in order to offer a franchise for sale. All states require a valid Franchise Disclosure Document and that franchisors follow the applicable federal laws. The states listed below have either filing or trademark registration requirements that are in addition to the federal law. Failure to file or register in these states can result in fines, civil actions and/or requirements of rescission offers to franchisees that purchased franchises in these states. Please review and indicate which states you wish to register/file in and return the completed form to us with a signature on the bottom (electronic is fine).

This checklist, AND ONLY THIS CHECKLIST, is what we rely on in preparing your applications for registration. Please complete this checklist and send it to us. If you do not return this form to us, your state registrations may not get filed. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

  • California1: Initial Fee - $1,510 | Renewal Fee - $1,285

  • Connecticut: Initial Fee - $421 | Renewal Fee - n/a

  • Florida: Initial Fee - $321 | Renewal Fee - $321

  • Hawaii: Initial Fee - $1,085 | Renewal Fee - $1,085

  • Illinois: Initial Fee - $1,355 | Renewal Fee - $955

  • Indiana: Initial Fee - $1,347 | Renewal Fee - $1,091

  • Kentucky: Initial Fee - $221 | Renewal Fee - n/a

  • Maryland: Initial Fee - $1,355 | Renewal Fee - $1,105

  • Michigan: Initial Fee - $1,105 | Renewal Fee - $1,105

  • Minnesota: Initial Fee - $1,255 | Renewal Fee - $1,155

  • Nebraska: Initial Fee - $321 | Renewal Fee - n/a

  • New York: Initial Fee - $1,685 | Renewal Fee - $1,085

  • North Carolina2: Initial Fee - $505 | Renewal Fee - $505

  • North Dakota: Initial Fee - $1,185 | Renewal Fee - $1,035

  • Rhode Island: Initial Fee - $1,451 | Renewal Fee - $1,144

  • South Dakota: Initial Fee - $1,105 | Renewal Fee - $1,005

  • Texas: Initial Fee - $246 | Renewal Fee - n/a

  • Utah: Initial Fee - $321 | Renewal Fee - $321

  • Virginia: Initial Fee - $1,355 | Renewal Fee - $1,105

  • Washington: Initial Fee - $1,435 | Renewal Fee - $935

  • Wisconsin: Initial Fee - $1,235 | Renewal Fee - $1,235

  • Notes:
    If you are currently registered in any of these states and can meet the requirements for a renewal filing, the Renewal fees will apply. If not, the initial fees will apply.

    Georgia, Louisiana, Maine and South Carolina allow automatic business opportunity exemptions if you have a federal or state registered trademark.

    Total fee includes state filing fees, legal fees, printing, shipping, handling, and online processing.

1: California – Negotiated Sales
Remember, California has a special law that requires franchisors who wish to negotiate with their prospective franchisees certain additional disclosures regarding negotiations with any California franchisee that purchased a franchise within the last twelve (12) calendar months. Please let us know if you: (a) negotiated any terms with any new California franchisees in the last twelve (12) months; and (b) if you complied with California’s special law regarding negotiated sales after making those sales. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will assume you complied with California’s law on this issue and represent that to the California Department of Business Oversight in your filing application.

2: North Carolina

North Carolina is a business opportunity state.  The business opportunity law (“BOL”) requires a franchisor to obtain a $50,000 surety bond, among other things, before making a sale in North Carolina.  There is an exemption from the filing requirement for franchisors who have a federally registered trademark they license in connection with the franchise, which allows them to offer and sell franchises in North Carolina without a business opportunity filing or bond.

Note that North Carolina’s BOL applies to any business (including a franchise) where: “The seller guarantees that the purchaser will derive income from the business opportunity which exceeds the price paid for the business opportunity; or that the seller will refund all or part of the price paid for the business opportunity, or repurchase any of the products, equipment, supplies or chattels supplied by the seller, if the purchaser is unsatisfied with the business opportunity and pays to the seller an initial, required consideration which exceeds two hundred dollars ($200.00).”

Most franchisors do not consider their offer of a franchise to be a “guarantee” that their franchisee will derive income from the business.  If North Carolina were to take that position, the risk to a franchisor is that an aggrieved franchisee makes a claim in court that the franchisor has violated the statute and seek rescission of the franchise agreement and damages.  Rescission, if awarded, would require the franchisor to return to the franchisee all money lost by the franchisee in the venture (returning the franchisee to the standing s/he would have had if s/he had never invested in the business).

Please select North Carolina on the list above if you wish to offer franchises for sale in North Carolina and one of the following applies to you: (a) you do not currently own and use, or have a license to use, a federally registered trademark for your franchise system (ask us if you are unsure); or (b) you wish to avoid the risk associated with the position that your franchise guarantees franchisees will derive income.  Please let us know if you would like to discuss the applicability of the North Carolina BOL further.