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What details should a franchise disclosure document contain?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Franchising |

In the world of franchising, the franchise disclosure document (FDD) can be a beacon of transparency and information. Yet, it can also be a daunting and confusing document. Whether you are a seasoned franchisor or a first-time franchisee, how can understanding the FDD be crucial for making informed decisions?

Purpose of the FDD

The FDD legally binds the franchisee and franchisor. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a potential franchisee must receive it from the franchisor at least 14 days before signing a contract or making a payment. The FDD covers various aspects of the franchise system, such as:

  • Background information about the franchisor, its executives and any previous bankruptcies or litigations
  • Initial and ongoing fees, plus other financial obligations the franchisee must pay
  • The franchisee’s contractual obligations and the conditions under which they can renew, terminate or transfer the franchise agreement
  • The franchisor’s obligations, including training, assistance, advertising and territorial rights
  • Dispute resolution methods for various scenarios

In addition, the FDD must contain financial performance representations and the franchisor’s financial statements. It should also provide information about the franchise’s supply chain, product or service offerings and the location and contact details of existing outlets.

Importance of the FDD

The FDD is more than just a legal document. It serves as a tool for a franchisee to evaluate the franchisor and the franchise system. It provides insights into the franchisor’s business model, financial stability and track record. Further, it helps a franchisee understand their obligations and the risks involved in the investment.

Improving your decision-making

Going through the franchising process can be challenging and overwhelming. With legal guidance, you may understand the complexities of franchising to improve your decision-making while considering a franchise deal.