Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
3/6/2021

Chapter 110. Retail Franchising Act Rules

21VAC5-110-10. Definitions.

"Action" includes complaints, cross claims, counterclaims, and third-party complaints in a judicial action or proceeding, and their equivalents in an administrative action or arbitration.

"Affiliate" means an entity controlled by, controlling, or under common control with, another entity.

"Commission" means Virginia State Corporation Commission.

"Confidentiality clause" means any contract, order, or settlement provision that directly or indirectly restricts a current or former franchisee from discussing his personal experience as a franchisee in the franchisor's system with any prospective franchisee. It does not include clauses that protect franchisor's trademarks or other proprietary information.

"Disclose," "state," "describe," and "list" each mean to present all material facts accurately, clearly, concisely, and legibly in plain English.

"Effective date" means the date on which the franchise becomes registered under the provisions of § 13.1-561 of the Code of Virginia.

"Effective registration" means authorization to offer and sell one or more franchises provided that the initial contracts or agreements are substantially identical in their terms or provisions. Whenever the franchisor offers or sells more than one franchise and the resulting contracts or agreements vary substantially in their terms or provisions, separate franchises will be deemed to have been offered or sold and separate registration will be required. For the purpose of this rule, substantial variation in the contract will relate without limitation to different products, services, fees charged, dues imposed, obligations incurred or investments required to be made by contract or agreement.

"FDD" means Franchise Disclosure Document.

"Financial performance representation" means any representation, including any oral, written, or visual representation, to a prospective franchisee, including a representation in the general media, that states, expressly or by implication, a specific level or range of actual or potential sales, income, gross profits, or net profits. The term includes a chart, table, or mathematical calculation that shows possible results based on a combination of variables.

"Fiscal year" refers to the franchisor's fiscal year.

"Franchise seller" means a person that offers to sell, sells, or arranges for the sale of a franchise. It includes the franchisor and the franchisor's employees, representatives, agents, subfranchisors, and third-party brokers who are involved in franchise sales activities. It does not include existing franchisees who sell only their own outlet and who are otherwise not engaged in franchise sales on behalf of the franchisor.

"Material change" includes a fact, circumstance, or condition which would have a substantial likelihood of influencing a reasonable prospective franchisee in the making of a decision relating to the purchase of a franchise.

"Parent" means an entity that controls another entity directly or indirectly through one or more subsidiaries.

"Person" means any individual, group, association, limited or general partnership, corporation, or any other entity.

"Plain English" means the organization of information and language usage understandable by a person unfamiliar with the franchise business. It incorporates short sentences, definite, concrete, everyday language, active voice, and tabular presentation of information where possible. It avoids legal jargon, highly technical business terms, and multiple negatives.

"Predecessor" means a person from whom the franchisor acquired, directly or indirectly, the major portion of the franchisor's assets.

"Principal business address" means the street address of a person's home office in the United States. A principal business address cannot be a post office box or private mail drop.

"Prospective franchisee" means any person (including any agent, representative, or employee) who approaches or is approached by a franchise seller to discuss the possible establishment of a franchise relationship.

"Signature" means a person's affirmative step to authenticate his identity. It includes a person's handwritten signature, as well as a person's use of security codes, passwords, electronic signatures, and similar devices to authenticate his identity.

"Trademark" includes trademarks, service marks, names, logos, and other commercial symbols.

"Virginia Retail Franchising Act" means § 13.1-557 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 1, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009.

21VAC5-110-20. Preliminary statement.

Follow these rules for each item in franchise applications and disclosures in the FDD.

The following rules shall be adhered to with respect to applications for registration or exemption of a franchise, and applications for renewal or amendment of a franchise registration or exemption, filed pursuant to Chapter 8 (§ 13.1-557 et seq.) of Title 13.1 of the Code of Virginia. These applications shall be submitted to Virginia's state administrator: State Corporation Commission, Division of Securities and Retail Franchising, P.O. Box 1197, 1300 East Main Street, 9th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23218.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 2, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008.

21VAC5-110-30. Registration application; documents to file; interim financial statements.

A. An application for registration of a franchise is made by filing with the commission the following completed forms and other material:

1. Uniform Franchise Registration Application page, Form A;

2. Total Costs and Sources of Funds for Establishing New Franchises, Form B;

3. Uniform Consent to Service of Process, Form C;

4. If the applicant is a corporation or partnership, an authorizing resolution if the application is verified by a person other than applicant's officer or general partner;

5. Franchise Disclosure Document;

6. Application fee (payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia"); and

7. Auditor's consent (or a photocopy of the consent) to the use of the latest audited financial statements in the Franchise Disclosure Document.

B. An application for registration shall contain:

1. One copy of a complete franchise registration application, including the Franchise Disclosure Document, on paper;

2. One copy of a complete franchise registration application, including the Franchise Disclosure Document, on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising; and

3. A cover letter containing a representation that all of the information contained in the electronic file is identical to the paper documents.

C. If the commission's review of the application results in any revision to the documents submitted, the franchisor shall file a complete clean copy of the revised Franchise Disclosure Document and any other revised documents, and a black-lined copy of all revised pages, unless the commission directs otherwise. In addition to filing the complete clean Franchise Disclosure Document and black-lined pages on paper, a franchisor shall include copies on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising. The revised electronic file shall be accompanied by a transmittal letter as described in subdivision B 3 of this section.

D. The electronic version of the Franchise Disclosure Document shall be text searchable.

E. If the date of the most recent audited financial statements in the Franchise Disclosure Document precedes the date of the application by more than 120 days, the Franchise Disclosure Document shall also include the following financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles:

1. An unaudited interim balance sheet as of a date within 120 days of the date of the application; and

2. An unaudited interim statement of income or operations for the period from the most recent audited financial statements to the date of the interim balance sheet.

F. The certifications made by or on behalf of the franchisor in Form A shall extend and apply to all documents and materials filed in connection with the registration application, including any documents or materials submitted to the commission subsequent to the initial filing that may be required to complete the registration application.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 3, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 26, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2010; Volume 29, Issue 14; eff. March 1, 2013.

21VAC5-110-40. Pre-effective and post-effective amendments to the registration.

A. Within 30 days after the occurrence of a material change, the franchisor shall amend the effective registration filed at the commission. An amendment to an application filed either before or after the effective date of registration may include only the pages containing the information being amended if pagination is not disturbed. The amended pages must be black-lined to show all additions, deletions, and other changes from the franchisor's previous submission. The franchisor may not use margin balloons or color highlights to show changes.

B. An application to amend a franchise registration is made by submitting the following completed forms and other material:

1. Uniform Franchise Registration Application page, Form A;

2. One complete clean copy of the amended Franchise Disclosure Document;

3. One complete copy of the amended Franchise Disclosure Document black-lined to show all additions, deletions, and other changes; and

4. Application fee (payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia"). The fee shall accompany all post-effective amendments unless submitted in connection with an application for renewal.

C. An application to amend a registration shall contain:

1. One copy of a complete franchise amendment application, including the amended Franchise Disclosure Document, on paper;

2. One copy of a complete franchise amendment application, including the amended Franchise Disclosure Document, on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising; and

3. A cover letter containing a representation that all of the information contained in the electronic file is identical to the paper documents.

D. If the commission's review of the application results in any revision to the documents submitted, the franchisor shall file a complete clean copy of the revised Franchise Disclosure Document and any other revised documents, and a black-lined copy of all revised pages, unless the commission directs otherwise. In addition to filing the complete clean Franchise Disclosure Document and black-lined pages on paper, a franchisor shall include copies on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising. The revised electronic file shall be accompanied by a transmittal letter as described in subdivision C 3 of this section.

E. The electronic version of the Franchise Disclosure Document shall be text searchable.

F. The certifications made by or on behalf of the franchisor in Form A shall extend and apply to all documents and materials filed in connection with the amendment application, including any documents or materials submitted to the commission subsequent to the initial filing that may be required to complete the amendment application.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 4, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 29, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2013.

21VAC5-110-50. Expiration; application to renew the registration; interim financial statements.

A. A franchise registration expires at midnight on the annual date of the registration's effectiveness. An application to renew the franchise registration should be filed 30 days prior to the expiration date in order to prevent a lapse of registration under the Virginia statute.

B. An application for renewal of a franchise registration is made by submitting the following completed forms and other material:

1. Uniform Franchise Registration Application page, Form A;

2. Updated Franchise Disclosure Document;

3. One complete copy of the amended Franchise Disclosure Document black-lined to show all additions, deletions, and other changes, using no margin balloons or color highlights; and

4. Application fee (payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia").

C. An application for renewal of a franchise registration shall contain:

1. One copy of a complete franchise renewal application, including the updated Franchise Disclosure Document, on paper;

2. One copy of a complete franchise renewal application, including the updated Franchise Disclosure Document, on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising; and

3. A cover letter containing a representation that all of the information contained in the electronic file is identical to the paper documents.

D. If the commission's review of the application results in any revision to the documents submitted, the franchisor shall file a complete clean copy of the revised Franchise Disclosure Document and any other revised documents, and a black-lined copy of all revised pages, unless the commission directs otherwise. In addition to filing the complete clean Franchise Disclosure Document and black-lined pages on paper, a franchisor shall include copies on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising. The revised electronic file shall be accompanied by a transmittal letter as described in subdivision C 3 of this section.

E. The electronic version of the Franchise Disclosure Document shall be text searchable.

F. If the date of the most recent audited financial statements in the Franchise Disclosure Document precedes the date of the application by more than 120 days, the Franchise Disclosure Document shall also include the following financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles:

1. An unaudited interim balance sheet as of a date within 120 days of the date of the application; and

2. An unaudited interim statement of income or operations for the period from the most recent audited financial statements to the date of the interim balance sheet.

G. The certifications made by or on behalf of the franchisor in Form A shall extend and apply to all documents and materials filed in connection with the renewal application, including any documents or materials submitted to the commission subsequent to the initial filing that may be required to complete the renewal application.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 5, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2010; Volume 29, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2013.

21VAC5-110-55. The Franchise Disclosure Document.

A. Format. The Franchise Disclosure Document must be prepared in accordance with §§ 436.3 through 436.5 of the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule (16 CFR 436.3 through 436.5), subject to the modifications set forth in subsections B and C of this section.

B. Financial statements. Notwithstanding § 436.5(u)(2) of the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule (16 CFR 436.5), a start-up franchisor in its first partial or full fiscal year selling franchises shall provide an opening balance sheet that has been audited by an independent certified public accountant using generally accepted United States auditing standards.

C. State cover sheets and effective dates page. The Franchise Disclosure Document shall include the state cover sheets and state effective dates page prepared in accordance with the requirements set forth in Part III B of the 2008 Franchise Registration and Disclosure Guidelines, as adopted May 19, 2019, by the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 36, Issue 10, eff. January 3, 2020.

21VAC5-110-60. Automatic effectiveness (optional).

If the registrant desires, an application to amend or renew an effective registration may be accompanied by an executed Affidavit of Compliance on Form E and filed in accordance with 21VAC5-110-40 or 21VAC5-110-50. The application shall become effective immediately upon receipt by the commission (or upon such later date as the applicant indicates in writing to the commission) unless one or more of the following is applicable:

1. The franchisor has, since the effective date of its most recent application, been convicted of any crime or been held liable in any civil action by final judgment (if such crime or civil action involved a felony, an act of fraud, a misdemeanor involving a franchise, or a violation of the Virginia Retail Franchising Act).

2. The franchisor is insolvent or in danger of becoming insolvent, either in the sense that its liabilities exceed its assets (determined in accordance with "generally accepted accounting principles") or in the sense that it cannot meet its obligations as they mature.

3. The revised disclosure document submitted in connection with the application to amend/renew is not in compliance with the requirements of 21VAC5-110-55, 21VAC5-110-80 and 21VAC5-110-95.

If the application does not qualify for automatic effectiveness, it shall become effective as of the date it is granted by the commission.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 6, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008.

21VAC5-110-65. Escrow and deferral.

A. Escrow requirement. The commission may require a franchisor to escrow franchise fees and other payments made by a franchisee to the franchisor until the franchisor's pre-opening obligations under the franchise agreement have been satisfied. The commission may require escrow at any time after the submission of a registration or renewal application and upon a finding that the grounds enumerated in clause (i) of subdivision A 2 of § 13.1-562 of the Act as provided in Chapter 668 of the 2007 Acts of Assembly exist.

B. Depository. Funds subject to an escrow condition shall be placed in a separate trust account with a national bank or a state chartered bank or trust company transacting business in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

C. Compliance with escrow requirement. The franchisor shall file with the commission the following to comply with the commission's escrow requirement:

1. An original, fully executed copy of the Escrow Agreement, Form K;

2. A written consent from the depository agreeing to operate the escrow account under this regulation;

3. The name and address of the depository and the account number of the escrow account;

4. The name, address, telephone number and email address of an individual or individuals at the depository who may be contacted by the commission regarding the escrow account; and

5. An amended franchise application reflecting, in Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document or in a Virginia Addendum to the Franchise Disclosure Document, that the commission has imposed the escrow requirement and the material terms of that escrow condition, including the name of the depository.

D. Operation of escrow account. After the commission imposes an escrow requirement upon the franchisor, the franchisor shall:

1. Make franchisee checks for franchise fees or other payments for the franchisor payable to the depository; and

2. Deposit with the depository, within two business days of the receipt, the funds described in subdivision 1 of this subsection.

Deposits made to the depository shall remain escrowed until the commission authorizes the release of the funds.

E. Release of escrowed funds.

1. A franchisor may apply to the commission for the release of escrowed funds together with any interest earned.

2. A franchisor's application to the commission to authorize the release of escrowed funds to the franchisor shall be in writing, verified by an authorized officer of the franchisor and shall contain:

a. The franchisor's statement that all proceeds from the sale of franchises have been placed with the depository in accordance with the terms and conditions of the escrow requirement;

b. The depository's statement, signed by an appropriate officer, setting forth the aggregate amount of escrowed funds deposited with the depository and the franchisor's account number with the depository;

c. A list of the names and addresses of each franchisee and the amount held in the escrow account for the account of each franchisee;

d. The amount of funds sought to be released;

e. A written certification from the franchisee stating the amount of funds to be released that acknowledges that the franchisor has completely performed its pre-opening obligations under the franchise agreement, including providing real estate, improvements, equipment, inventory, training, or other items as required by the franchise agreement; and

f. Other information the commission may reasonably require.

3. If the commission finds that the franchisor has fulfilled its obligations under the franchise agreement for a specified franchisee, the commission shall authorize the depository to release to the franchisor the amount held in escrow for the account of the applicable franchisee.

F. Removal of escrow requirement. The commission may remove the escrow requirement at any time, if:

1. The franchisor agrees to defer franchise fees and other initial payments; or

2. Based upon new information, the commission finds that the escrow requirement is no longer necessary and appropriate for the protection of prospective franchisees.

G. Deferral of fees in place of escrow requirement.

1. In lieu of an escrow requirement, the commission may, under appropriate circumstances, accept a franchisor's agreement to defer franchise fees and other initial payments owed by franchisees to the franchisor until the franchisor has completed its pre-opening obligations under the franchise agreement.

2. The franchisor's agreement to defer franchise fees shall be reflected in Item 5 of the Franchise Disclosure Document or in a Virginia Addendum to the Franchise Disclosure Document.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2007; Errata, 23:24 VA.R. 4079 August 6, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009.

21VAC5-110-70. Consent to service of process.

If the franchisor is not a Virginia corporation, a foreign corporation or other entity authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the franchisor shall execute the Consent to Service of Process on Form C designating the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission, 1300 East Main Street, First Floor, Richmond, VA 23219, as the agent authorized to receive service of process for the franchisor in Virginia. If the franchisor is a Virginia corporation, a foreign corporation or other entity authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a Consent to Service of Process is not necessary under this section.

The Division of Securities and Retail Franchising does not administer the qualification of foreign corporations. Qualification of foreign corporations is handled by the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission (804) 371-9733, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218. Qualification must be completed prior to the filing of the application.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 7, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008.

21VAC5-110-75. Exemptions.

Any offer or sale of a franchise in a transaction that meets the requirements of this section is exempt from the registration requirement of § 13.1-560 of the Act.

1. Sale or transfer by existing franchisee. The sale or transfer of a franchise by a franchisee who is not an affiliate of the franchisor for the franchisee's own account is exempt if:

a. The franchisee's entire franchise is sold or transferred, and the sale or transfer is not effected by or through the franchisor.

b. The sale or transfer is not effected by or through a franchisor merely because a franchisor has a right to approve or disapprove the sale or transfer or requires payment of a reasonable transfer fee.

2. Renewal or extension of existing franchise. The offer or sale of a franchise involving a renewal or extension of an existing franchise where there is no interruption in the operation of the franchised business, and there is no material change in the franchise relationship, is exempt. For purposes of this subdivision, an interruption in the franchised business solely for the purpose of renovating or relocating that business is not a material change in the franchise relationship or an interruption in the operation of the franchised business.

3. Offers and sales to existing franchisees. The offer or sale of an additional franchise to an existing franchisee of the franchisor for the franchisee's own account is exempt if the franchise being sold is substantially the same as the franchise that the franchisee has operated for at least two years at the time of the offer or sale of the franchise, provided the prior sale to the franchisee was pursuant to a franchise offering that was registered or exempt pursuant to the requirements of the Act.

4. Seasoned franchisor.

a. The offer or sale of a franchise by a franchisor is exempt if:

(1) The franchisor has a net equity, according to its most recently audited financial statements, of not less than $15 million on a consolidated basis, or $1 million on an unaudited basis and is at least 80% owned by a corporation or entity that has a net equity, on a consolidated basis, according to its most recently audited financial statements, of not less than $15 million, and the 80% owner guarantees the performance of the franchisor's obligations;

(2) The auditor's report accompanying the audited financial statements described in subdivision 4 a (1) of this section does not contain an explanatory paragraph expressing doubt as to the entity's ability to continue as a going concern; and

(3) The franchisor or any 80% owner of the franchisor or the franchisor's predecessor, or any combination thereof, has had at least 25 franchisees conducting substantially the same franchise business to be offered or sold for the entire five-year period immediately preceding the offer or sale.

b. The exemption set forth in this subdivision 4 may be claimed only if the franchisor:

(1) Files a Form H Notice of Claim of Exemption and other material as set forth in subdivision 8 of this section no later than 10 business days before the offer or sale of any franchise; and

(2) Submits financial statements demonstrating compliance with the conditions set forth in subdivision 4 a (1) of this section.

c. An initial exemption filing and any renewal filing shall expire after a period of one year. The franchisor shall file for a renewal by making an exemption filing if it intends to offer or sell franchises for any additional period annually, at least 10 business days before the expiration of the previously filed Notice of Claim of Exemption.

5. Institutional franchisee.

a. The offer or sale of a franchise to a bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, trust company, insurance company, investment company, or other financial institution, or to a broker-dealer is exempt when the:

(1) Purchaser is acting for itself or in a fiduciary capacity; and

(2) Franchise is not being purchased for the purpose of resale to an individual not exempt under this regulation.

b. The exemption set forth in subdivision 5 a of this section may be claimed only if the franchisor files an initial filing Form H, Notice of Claim of Exemption, and other material as set forth in subdivision 8 a of this section, at least 10 business days before each offer or sale of each franchise.

6. Substantial investment.

a. The offer or sale of a franchise by a franchisor is exempt if:

(1) The offer or sale is of a single unit franchise in which the actual minimum initial investment is in excess of $3 million. This amount will be based on the Item 7 requirements of the Franchise Disclosure Document;

(2) The prospective franchisee is represented by legal counsel in the transaction; and

(3) The franchisor reasonably believes immediately before making the offer or sale that the prospective franchisee, either alone or with the prospective franchisee's representative or affiliates, has sufficient knowledge and experience such that the prospective franchisee is capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective franchise investment.

b. The exemption set forth in subdivision 6 a of this section may be claimed only if the franchisor:

(1) Files a Form H, Notice of Claim of Exemption, and other materials as set forth in subdivision 8 of this section no later than 10 business days before the offer or sale of any franchise; and

(2) Obtains from the prospective franchisee a signed certification verifying the grounds for the exemption.

c. The exemption set forth in subdivision 6 a of this section applies only to the registration provisions, and not the disclosure provisions, of the Act.

d. An initial exemption filing and any renewal filing shall expire after a period of one year. The franchisor shall file for a renewal by making an exemption filing if it intends to offer or sell franchises for any additional period annually at least 10 business days before the expiration of the previously filed Form H, Notice of Claim of Exemption.

7. Disclosure requirements. If a franchisor relies upon any of the exemptions set forth in subdivision 3, 4, 5, or 6 of this section, the franchisor shall provide a disclosure document complying with 21VAC5-110-55 and 21VAC5-110-95 together with all proposed agreements relating to the sale of the franchise to a prospective franchisee 14 calendar days before the signing of the agreement or the payment of any consideration.

8. Filing requirements for exemptions set forth in subdivisions 4, 5, and 6 of this section.

a. Initial exemption filing.

(1) The initial exemption period shall expire after a period of one year.

(2) The franchisor files an application for exemption of a franchise by filing with the commission no later than 10 business days before the offer or sale of any franchise, the following completed forms and other material:

(a) Notice of Claim of Exemption, Form H;

(b) Uniform Consent to Service of Process, Form C;

(c) If the applicant is a corporation or partnership, an authorizing resolution is required if the application is verified by a person other than applicant's officer or general partner;

(d) Franchise Disclosure Document on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising;

(e) An undertaking by which it agrees to supply any additional information the commission may reasonably request; and

(f) Application fee of $500 (payable to the Treasurer of Virginia).

b. Amendment to exemption filing.

(1) Upon the occurrence of a material change, the franchisor shall amend the effective exemption filed at the commission.

(2) An application to amend a franchise exemption is made by submitting the following completed forms and other material:

(a) Notice of Claim of Exemption, Form H;

(b) One clean copy of the amended Franchise Disclosure Document on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising; and

(c) Application fee of $100 (payable to the Treasurer of Virginia).

c. Renewal exemption filing.

(1) A franchise exemption expires at midnight on the annual exemption effective date. An application to renew the franchise exemption shall be filed 10 days prior to the expiration date in order to prevent a lapse of exemption under the Act.

(2) An application for renewal of a franchise exemption is made by submitting the following completed forms and other material:

(a) Notice of Claim of Exemption, Form H;

(b) One clean copy of the Franchise Disclosure Document on a CD-ROM in PDF format or on other electronic media approved by the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising; and

(c) Application fee of $250 (payable to the Treasurer of Virginia).

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. July 1, 2007; Errata, 23:24 VA.R. 4079 August 6, 2007; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 29, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2013; Volume 34, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2018.

21VAC5-110-80. General requirements for preparation of disclosure documents; master franchises; electronic disclosure.

A. Disclosure instructions.

1. Disclose all required information clearly, legibly, and concisely in a single document using plain English.

2. The disclosure for each FDD item shall be separately titled and in the required order. Do not repeat the question in the FDD. Respond to each question fully. If the disclosure is not applicable, respond in the negative, but if an answer is required "if applicable," respond only if the requested information applies. Do not qualify a response with a reference to another document unless permitted by the instructions to that Item.

3. For each Item in the FDD, type the requirement's Arabic number and item title. Exhibits should be identified by a letter of the alphabet.

4. The disclosure must be in a form that permits each prospective franchisee to store, download, print, or otherwise maintain the disclosure document for future reference.

5. Separate documents (for example, a confidential operations manual) must not make representations or impose terms that contradict or are materially different from the disclosure in the FDD.

6. Use 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper for the FDD and other forms. All documents and disclosures must be readable, using not less than 11-point type.

7. Franchisors may prepare multistate disclosure documents by including nonpreempted, state-specific information in the text of the FDD or in a Virginia Addendum attached to the FDD. The Virginia Addendum may be included in an exhibit to the FDD. Any amendments to the franchise agreement may be included in the Virginia Addendum or in a separate exhibit immediately following the franchise agreement.

8. The two copies of the Item 23 receipt pages should be the last two pages of the FDD and should be attached after all exhibits.

9. Before furnishing a FDD, the franchisor must advise the prospective franchisee of the formats in which the FDD is made available, any prerequisites for obtaining the FDD in a particular format, and any conditions necessary for reviewing the FDD in a particular format.

10. Grossly deficient applications may be rejected summarily by the commission as incomplete for filing.

B. Retention of records.

1. Franchisors shall retain, and make available to the commission upon request, a sample copy of each materially different version of their disclosure documents for a period of three years after the close of the fiscal year in which the disclosure document was last provided to a franchisee or prospective franchisee.

2. For each completed franchise sale, franchisors shall retain a copy of the signed receipt for at least three years.

C. Master franchises.

1. When the applicant is a master franchisor seeking to sell master franchises (subfranchises), references in these regulations to "franchisee" include the master franchisee (subfranchisor).

2. The offer of master franchises (subfranchises) is an offer separate from the offer of franchises and usually requires a separate registration or exemption. A single application may register the sale of a single unit and multiunit franchises if the FDD is not confusing.

3. In an offering by a master franchisee (subfranchisor), "franchisor" means both the master franchisor and master franchisee.

4. Master franchisees (subfranchisors) must disclose the required information about the master franchisor, and to the extent applicable, the same information concerning the master franchisee.

D. Electronic disclosure.

1. A franchisor may deliver a franchise disclosure document over the Internet or by other electronic means, or in machine-readable media, provided:

a. The disclosure document is delivered as a single, integrated document or file;

b. The disclosure document has no extraneous content beyond what is required or permitted by law or regulation, but which may include customary devices for manipulating electronic documents in machine-readable form and tools or access to tools that may be necessary or convenient to enable the recipient to receive and view the disclosure document;

c. The disclosure document has no links to or from external documents or content;

d. The disclosure document is delivered in a form that intrinsically enables the recipient to store, retrieve, and print the disclosure document;

e. The disclosure document conforms as to its content and format to the requirements of applicable law or regulation;

f. The franchisor can prove that it delivered the disclosure document electronically in compliance with this subsection, and that it did so at or before the time required by applicable law or regulation; and

g. The franchisor keeps records of its electronic delivery of disclosure documents and makes those records available on demand by the commission.

2. For the sole purpose of enhancing the prospective franchisee's ability to maneuver through an electronic version of a disclosure document, the franchisor may include scroll bars, internal links, and search features. All other features such as audio, video, animation, pop-up screens or links to external information are prohibited.

3. "Delivery" requires that the disclosure document be conveyed to and received by the prospective franchisee, or that the storage media in which the disclosure is stored be physically delivered to the prospective franchisee in accordance with subdivision 1 a of this subsection.

4. This subsection does not change or waive any other requirement of law or regulation concerning registration or presale disclosure of franchise offerings.

E. Other requirements.

1. If the franchise agreement requires a franchisee to sign a release or waiver as a condition of consenting to some future action, such as a transfer or assignment of the franchise, include a sample copy of the document the franchisee will be asked to sign. This requirement does not apply to negotiated releases or waivers that a franchisee may sign to resolve a dispute with the franchisor.

2. The commission may modify or waive the provisions of this chapter or may require additional documentation or information.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 8, eff. July 1, 1995; amended, Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009; Volume 29, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2013.

21VAC5-110-85. Disclosure of confidential information.

A. This section governs the disclosure by the commission of information or documents obtained or prepared by any member, subordinate or employee of the commission in the course of any examination or investigation conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Retail Franchising Act (§ 13.1-557 et seq. of the Code of Virginia). It is designed to implement the provisions of § 13.1-567 that permit disclosure of information to governmental and quasi-governmental entities approved by rule of the commission.

B. The Director of the Division of Securities and Retail Franchising or his designee is hereby authorized to disclose information to the entities enumerated in subsections D, E and F of this section. Disclosure shall be made only for the purpose of aiding in the detection or prevention of possible violations of law or to further administrative, legislative or judicial action resulting from possible violations of law. As a condition precedent to disclosure a writing shall be obtained from the receiving entity undertaking that it will exercise reasonable measures to preserve the confidential nature of the information.

C. Disclosure may be made only under the following circumstances:

1. In response to an entity's request for information relating to a specific subject or person.

2. By disseminating to an entity information which may indicate a possible violation of law within the administrative, regulatory or enforcement responsibility of that entity.

3. To participate in a centralized program or system designed to collect and maintain information pertaining to possible violations of securities, investment advisory, retail franchising or related laws.

4. To the extent necessary for participation in coordinated examinations or investigations.

D. The following are approved governmental entities (including any agencies, bureaus, commissions, divisions or successors thereof) of the United States:

1. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any Federal Reserve Bank.

2. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

3. Congress of the United States, including either House, or any committee or subcommittee thereof.

4. Department of Defense.

5. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

6. Department of Justice.

7. Department of Treasury.

8. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

9. Office of Thrift Supervision.

10. Federal Trade Commission.

11. Postal Service.

12. Securities and Exchange Commission.

13. Comptroller of the Currency.

14. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

15. Any other federal agency or instrumentality which demonstrates a need for access to confidential information.

E. The following are approved nonfederal governmental entities:

1. The securities or retail franchising regulatory entity of any state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, state legislative bodies and state and local law-enforcement entities involved in the detection, investigation or prosecution of violations of law.

2. The securities or retail franchising regulatory entity of any foreign country, whether such entity is on a national, provincial, regional, state or local level, and law-enforcement entities within such countries.

F. The following are approved quasi-governmental entities:

1. American Stock Exchange.

2. Chicago Board Options Exchange.

3. Midwest Stock Exchange.

4. Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

5. National Association of Attorneys General.

6. NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.

7. New York Stock Exchange.

8. North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.

9. Pacific Stock Exchange.

10. Philadelphia Stock Exchange.

11. Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

12. National White Collar Crime Center.

13. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

14. Any other quasi-governmental entity which demonstrates a need for access to confidential information.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 15, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1999; amended, Volume 26, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2010.

21VAC5-110-90. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from Case No. SEC950020 § 9, eff. July 1, 1995; repealed, Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008.

21VAC5-110-95. Requirements for Franchise Disclosure Document preparation.

A. Applications for registration of a franchise, or applications for renewal or amendment of an existing franchise registration, must comply with the following requirements for preparing the contents of a Franchise Disclosure Document. Except for financial statement requirements for start-up franchise systems, as further discussed in Item 21, these requirements are substantively equivalent to the requirements adopted under the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule, 16 CFR 436.3 through 16 CFR 436.5, effective July 1, 2007.

Contents of the Franchise Disclosure Document

The Cover Page

Begin the disclosure document with a cover page, in the order and form as follows:

1. The title "FRANCHISE DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT" in capital letters and bold type.

2. The franchisor's name, type of business organization, principal business address, telephone number, and, if applicable, email address and primary home page address.

3. A sample of the primary business trademark that the franchisee will use in its business.

4. A brief description of the franchised business.

5. The following statements:

a. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a [franchise system name] franchise is [the total amount of Item 7]. This includes [the total amount in Item 5] that must be paid to the franchisor or affiliate.

b. This disclosure document summarizes certain provisions of your franchise agreement and other information in plain English. Read this disclosure document and all accompanying agreements carefully. You must receive this disclosure document at least 14 calendar days before you sign a binding agreement with, or make any payment to, the franchisor or an affiliate in connection with the proposed franchise sale. [The following sentence in bold type] Note, however, that no governmental agency has verified the information contained in this document.

c. The terms of your contract will govern your franchise relationship. Don't rely on the disclosure document alone to understand your contract. Read all of your contract carefully. Show your contract and this disclosure document to an advisor, such as a lawyer or an accountant.

d. Buying a franchise is a complex investment. The information in this disclosure document can help you make up your mind. More information on franchising, such as "A Consumer's Guide to Buying a Franchise," which can help you understand how to use this disclosure document, is available from the Federal Trade Commission. You can contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or by writing to the FTC at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580. You can also visit the FTC's home page at www.ftc.gov for additional information. Call your state agency or visit your public library for other sources of information on franchising.

e. There may also be laws on franchising in your state. Ask your state agencies about them.

f. [The issuance date].

6. A franchisor may include the following statement between the statements set out at subdivisions b and c of the cover page: "You may wish to receive your disclosure document in another format that is more convenient for you. To discuss the availability of disclosures in different formats, contact [name or office] at [address] and [telephone number]."

7. Franchisors may include additional disclosures on the cover page, on a separate cover page, or addendum to comply with state presale disclosure laws.

The Table of Contents

Include the following table of contents. State the page where each disclosure item begins. List all exhibits by letter, as shown in the following example.

Table of Contents

1. The Franchisor and any Parents, Predecessors, and Affiliates

2. Business Experience

3. Litigation

4. Bankruptcy

5. Initial Fees

6. Other Fees

7. Estimated Initial Investment

8. Restrictions on Sources of Products and Services

9. Franchisee's Obligations

10. Financing

11. Franchisor's Assistance, Advertising, Computer Systems, and Training

12. Territory

13. Trademarks

14. Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information

15. Obligation to Participate in the Actual Operation of the Franchise Business

16. Restrictions on What the Franchisee May Sell

17. Renewal, Termination, Transfer, and Dispute Resolution

18. Public Figures

19. Financial Performance Representations

20. Outlets and Franchisee Information

21. Financial Statements

22. Contracts

23. Receipts

Exhibits

A. Franchise Agreement

B. Additional exhibits as applicable

B. The additional requirements for preparation of the Franchise Disclosure Document are contained below:

1. Item 1: The Franchisor, and any Parents, Predecessors, and Affiliates.

Disclose:

a. The name and principal business address of the franchisor; any parents; and any affiliates that offer franchises in any line of business or provide products or services to the franchisees of the franchisor.

b. The name and principal business address of any predecessors during the 10-year period immediately before the close of the franchisor's most recent fiscal year.

c. The name that the franchisor uses and any names it intends to use to conduct business.

d. The identity and principal business address of the franchisor's agent for service of process.

e. The type of business organization used by the franchisor (for example, corporation, partnership) and the state in which it was organized.

f. The following information about the franchisor's business and the franchises offered:

(1) Whether the franchisor operates businesses of the type being franchised.

(2) The franchisor's other business activities.

(3) The business the franchisee will conduct.

(4) The general market for the product or service the franchisee will offer. In describing the general market, consider factors such as whether the market is developed or developing, whether the goods will be sold primarily to a certain group, and whether sales are seasonal.

(5) In general terms, any laws or regulations specific to the industry in which the franchise business operates.

(6) A general description of the competition.

g. The prior business experience of the franchisor; any predecessors listed in Item 1 b; and any affiliates that offer franchises in any line of business or provide products or services to the franchisees of the franchisor, including:

(1) The length of time each has conducted the type of business the franchisee will operate.

(2) The length of time each has offered franchises providing the type of business the franchisee will operate.

(3) Whether each has offered franchises in other lines of business. If so, include:

(a) A description of each other line of business.

(b) The number of franchises sold in each other line of business.

(c) The length of time each has offered franchises in each other line of business.

2. Item 2: Business Experience.

Disclose by name and position the franchisor's directors, trustees, general partners, principal officers, and any other individuals who will have management responsibility relating to the sale or operation of franchises offered by this document. For each person listed in this section, state his principal positions and employers during the past five years, including each position's starting date, ending date, and location.

3. Item 3: Litigation.

a. Disclose whether the franchisor; a predecessor; a parent or affiliate who induces franchise sales by promising to back the franchisor financially or otherwise guarantees the franchisor's performance; an affiliate who offers franchises under the franchisor's principal trademark; and any person identified in Item 2:

(1) Has pending against that person:

(a) An administrative, criminal, or material civil action alleging a violation of a franchise, antitrust, or securities law, or alleging fraud, unfair or deceptive practices, or comparable allegations.

(b) Civil actions, other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to the business, which are material in the context of the number of franchisees and the size, nature, or financial condition of the franchise system or its business operations.

(2) Was a party to any material civil action involving the franchise relationship in the last fiscal year. For purposes of this item, "franchise relationship" means contractual obligations between the franchisor and franchisee directly relating to the operation of the franchised business (such as royalty payment and training obligations). It does not include actions involving suppliers or other third parties, or indemnification for tort liability.

(3) Has in the 10-year period immediately before the disclosure document's issuance date:

(a) Been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge.

(b) Been held liable in a civil action involving an alleged violation of a franchise, antitrust, or securities law, or involving allegations of fraud, unfair or deceptive practices, or comparable allegations. "Held liable" means that, as a result of claims or counterclaims, the person must pay money or other consideration, must reduce an indebtedness by the amount of an award, cannot enforce its rights, or must take action adverse to its interests.

b. Disclose whether the franchisor; a predecessor; a parent or affiliate who guarantees the franchisor's performance; an affiliate who has offered or sold franchises in any line of business within the last 10 years; or any other person identified in Item 2 is subject to a currently effective injunctive or restrictive order or decree resulting from a pending or concluded action brought by a public agency and relating to the franchise or to a federal, state, or Canadian franchise, securities, antitrust, trade regulation, or trade practice law.

c. For each action identified in subdivision a and b of Item 3, state the title, case number or citation, the initial filing date, the names of the parties, the forum, and the relationship of the opposing party to the franchisor (for example, competitor, supplier, lessor, franchisee, former franchisee, or class of franchisees). Except as provided in subdivision d of Item 3, summarize the legal and factual nature of each claim in the action, the relief sought or obtained, and any conclusions of law or fact.1 In addition, state:

(1) For pending actions, the status of the action.

(2) For prior actions, the date when the judgment was entered and any damages or settlement terms.2

(3) For injunctive or restrictive orders, the nature, terms, and conditions of the order or decree.

(4) For convictions or pleas, the crime or violation, the date of conviction, and the sentence or penalty imposed.

d. For any other franchisor-initiated suit identified in subdivision a (2) of Item 3, the franchisor may comply with the requirements of subdivision c (1) through (4) of Item 3 by listing individual suits under one common heading that will serve as the case summary (for example, "royalty collection suits").

4. Item 4: Bankruptcy.

a. Disclose whether the franchisor; any parent; predecessor; affiliate; officer, or general partner of the franchisor, or any other individual who will have management responsibility relating to the sale or operation of franchises offered by this document, has, during the 10-year period immediately before the date of this disclosure document:

(1) Filed as debtor (or had filed against it) a petition under the United States Bankruptcy Code (Bankruptcy Code).

(2) Obtained a discharge of its debts under the Bankruptcy Code.

(3) Been a principal officer of a company or a general partner in a partnership that either filed as a debtor (or had filed against it) a petition under the Bankruptcy Code, or that obtained a discharge of its debts under the Bankruptcy Code while, or within one year after, the officer or general partner held the position in the company.

b. For each bankruptcy, state:

(1) The current name, address, and principal place of business of the debtor.

(2) Whether the debtor is the franchisor. If not, state the relationship of the debtor to the franchisor (for example, affiliate, officer).

(3) The date of the original filing and the material facts, including the bankruptcy court, and the case name and number. If applicable, state the debtor's discharge date, including discharges under Chapter 7 and confirmation of any plans of reorganization under Chapters 11 and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

c. Disclose cases, actions, and other proceedings under the laws of foreign nations relating to bankruptcy.

5. Item 5: Initial Fees.

Disclose the initial fees and any conditions under which these fees are refundable. If the initial fees are not uniform, disclose the range or formula used to calculate the initial fees paid in the fiscal year before the issuance date and the factors that determined the amount. For this item, "initial fees" means all fees and payments, or commitments to pay, for services or goods received from the franchisor or any affiliate before the franchisee's business opens, whether payable in lump sum or installments. Disclose installment payment terms in this section or in Item 10.

6. Item 6: Other Fees.

Disclose, in the following tabular form, all other fees that the franchisee must pay to the franchisor or its affiliates, or that the franchisor or its affiliates impose or collect in whole or in part for a third party. State the title "OTHER FEES" in capital letters using bold type. Include any formula used to compute the fees.3

Item 6 Table
OTHER FEES

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Type of fee

Amount

Due Date

Remarks

a. In column 1, list the type of fee (for example, royalties, and fees for lease negotiations, construction, remodeling, additional training or assistance, advertising, advertising cooperatives, purchasing cooperatives, audits, accounting, inventory, transfers, and renewals).

b. In column 2, state the amount of the fee.

c. In column 3, state the due date for each fee.

d. In column 4, include remarks, definitions, or caveats that elaborate on the information in the table. If remarks are long, franchisors may use footnotes instead of the remarks column. If applicable, include the following information in the remarks column or in a footnote:

(1) Whether the fees are payable only to the franchisor.

(2) Whether the fees are imposed and collected by the franchisor.

(3) Whether the fees are nonrefundable or describe the circumstances when the fees are refundable.

(4) Whether the fees are uniformly imposed.

(5) The voting power of franchisor-owned outlets on any fees imposed by cooperatives. If franchisor-owned outlets have controlling voting power, disclose the maximum and minimum fees that may be imposed.

7. Item 7: Estimated Initial Investment.

Disclose, in the following tabular form, the franchisee's estimated initial investment. State the title "YOUR ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT" in capital letters using bold type. Franchisors may include additional expenditure tables to show expenditure variations caused by differences such as in site location and premises size.

Item 7 Table
YOUR ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Column 5

Type of expenditure

Amount

Method of payment

When due

To whom payment is to be made

Total

a. In column 1:

(1) List each type of expense, beginning with pre-opening expenses. Include the following expenses, if applicable. Use footnotes to include remarks, definitions, or caveats that elaborate on the information in the table.

(a) The initial franchise fee.

(b) Training expenses.

(c) Real property, whether purchased or leased.

(d) Equipment, fixtures, other fixed assets, construction, remodeling, leasehold improvements, and decorating costs, whether purchased or leased.

(e) Inventory to begin operating.

(f) Security deposits, utility deposits, business licenses, and other prepaid expenses.

(2) List separately and by name any other specific required payments (for example, additional training, travel, or advertising expenses) that the franchisee must make to begin operations.

(3) Include a category titled "Additional funds – [initial period]" for any other required expenses the franchisee will incur before operations begin and during the initial period of operations. State the initial period. A reasonable initial period is at least three months or a reasonable period for the industry. Describe in general terms the factors, basis, and experience that the franchisor considered or relied upon in formulating the amount required for additional funds.

b. In column 2, state the amount of the payment. If the amount is unknown, use a low-high range based on the franchisor's current experience. If real property costs cannot be estimated in a low-high range, describe the approximate size of the property and building and the probable location of the building (for example, strip shopping center, mall, downtown, rural, or highway).

c. In column 3, state the method of payment.

d. In column 4, state the due date.

e. In column 5, state to whom payment will be made.

f. Total the initial investment, incorporating ranges of fees, if used.

g. In a footnote, state:

(1) Whether each payment is nonrefundable, or describe the circumstances when each payment is refundable.

(2) If the franchisor or an affiliate finances part of the initial investment, the amount that it will finance, the required down payment, the annual interest rate, rate factors, and the estimated loan repayments. Franchisors may refer to Item 10 for additional details.

8. Item 8: Restrictions on Sources of Products and Services.

Disclose the franchisee's obligations to purchase or lease goods, services, supplies, fixtures, equipment, inventory, computer hardware and software, real estate, or comparable items related to establishing or operating the franchised business either from the franchisor, its designee, or suppliers approved by the franchisor, or under the franchisor's specifications. Include obligations to purchase imposed by the franchisor's written agreement or by the franchisor's practice.4 For each applicable obligation, state:

a. The good or service required to be purchased or leased.

b. Whether the franchisor or its affiliates are approved suppliers or the only approved suppliers of that good or service.

c. Any supplier in which an officer of the franchisor owns an interest.

d. How the franchisor grants and revokes approval of alternative suppliers, including:

(1) Whether the franchisor's criteria for approving suppliers are available to franchisees.

(2) Whether the franchisor permits franchisees to contract with alternative suppliers who meet the franchisor's criteria.

(3) Any fees and procedures to secure approval to purchase from alternative suppliers.

(4) The time period in which the franchisee will be notified of approval or disapproval.

(5) How approvals are revoked.

e. Whether the franchisor issues specifications and standards to franchisees, subfranchisees, or approved suppliers. If so, describe how the franchisor issues and modifies specifications.

f. Whether the franchisor or its affiliates will or may derive revenue or other material consideration from required purchases or leases by franchisees. If so, describe the precise basis by which the franchisor or its affiliates will or may derive that consideration by stating:

(1) The franchisor's total revenue.5

(2) The franchisor's revenues from all required purchases and leases of products and services.

(3) The percentage of the franchisor's total revenues that are from required purchases or leases.

(4) If the franchisor's affiliates also sell or lease products or services to franchisees, the affiliates' revenues from those sales or leases.

g. The estimated proportion of these required purchases and leases by the franchisee to all purchases and leases by the franchisee of goods and services in establishing and operating the franchised businesses.

h. If a designated supplier will make payments to the franchisor from franchisee purchases, disclose the basis for the payment (for example, specify a percentage or a flat amount). For purposes of this disclosure, a "payment" includes the sale of similar goods or services to the franchisor at a lower price than to franchisees.

i. The existence of purchasing or distribution cooperatives.

j. Whether the franchisor negotiates purchase arrangements with suppliers, including price terms, for the benefit of franchisees.

k. Whether the franchisor provides material benefits (for example, renewal or granting additional franchises) to a franchisee based on a franchisee's purchase of particular products or services or use of particular suppliers.

9. Item 9: Franchisee's Obligations.

Disclose, in the following tabular form, a list of the franchisee's principal obligations. State the title "FRANCHISEE'S OBLIGATIONS" in capital letters using bold type. Cross-reference each listed obligation with any applicable section of the franchise or other agreement and with the relevant disclosure document provision. If a particular obligation is not applicable, state "Not Applicable." Include additional obligations, as warranted.

Item 9 Table
FRANCHISEE'S OBLIGATIONS

[In bold] This table lists your principal obligations under the franchise and other agreements. It will help you find more detailed information about your obligations in these agreements and in other items of this disclosure document.

Obligation

Section in agreement

Disclosure document item

a. Site selection and acquisition/lease

b. Pre-opening purchase/leases

c. Site development and other pre-opening requirements

d. Initial and ongoing training

e. Opening

f. Fees

g. Compliance with standards and policies/operating manual

h. Trademarks and proprietary information

i. Restrictions on products/services offered

j. Warranty and customer service requirements

k. Territorial development and sales quotas

l. Ongoing product/service purchases

m. Maintenance, appearance, and remodeling requirements

n. Insurance

o. Advertising

p. Indemnification

q. Owner's participation/management/staffing

r. Records and reports

s. Inspections and audits

t. Transfer

u. Renewal

v. Posttermination obligations

w. Noncompetition covenants

x. Dispute resolution

y. Other (describe)

10. Item 10: Financing.

a. Disclose the terms of each financing arrangement, including leases and installment contracts, that the franchisor, its agent, or affiliates offer directly or indirectly to the franchisee.6 The franchisor may summarize the terms of each financing arrangement in tabular form, using footnotes to provide additional information. For a sample Item 10 table, see Appendix A. For each financing arrangement, state:

(1) What the financing covers (for example, the initial franchise fee, site acquisition, construction or remodeling, initial or replacement equipment or fixtures, opening or ongoing inventory or supplies, or other continuing expenses).7

(2) The identity of each lender providing financing and their relationship to the franchisor (for example, affiliate).

(3) The amount of financing offered or, if the amount depends on an actual cost that may vary, the percentage of the cost that will be financed.

(4) The rate of interest, plus finance charges, expressed on an annual basis. If the rate of interest, plus finance charges, expressed on an annual basis, may differ depending on when the financing is issued, state what that rate was on a specified recent date.

(5) The number of payments or the period of repayment.

(6) The nature of any security interest required by the lender.

(7) Whether a person other than the franchisee must personally guarantee the debt.

(8) Whether the debt can be prepaid and the nature of any prepayment penalty.

(9) The franchisee's potential liabilities upon default, including any:

(a) Accelerated obligation to pay the entire amount due;

(b) Obligations to pay court costs and attorney's fees incurred in collecting the debt;

(c) Termination of the franchise; and

(d) Liabilities from cross defaults such as those resulting directly from nonpayment, or indirectly from the loss of business property.

(10) Other material financing terms.

b. Disclose whether the loan agreement requires franchisees to waive defenses or other legal rights (for example, confession of judgment), or bars franchisees from asserting a defense against the lender, the lender's assignee or the franchisor. If so, describe the relevant provisions.

c. Disclose whether the franchisor's practice or intent is to sell, assign, or discount to a third party all or part of the financing arrangement. If so, state:

(1) The assignment terms, including whether the franchisor will remain primarily obligated to provide the financed goods or services; and

(2) That the franchisee may lose all its defenses against the lender as a result of the sale or assignment.

d. Disclose whether the franchisor or an affiliate receives any consideration for placing financing with the lender. If such payments exist:

(1) Disclose the amount or the method of determining the payment; and

(2) Identify the source of the payment and the relationship of the source to the franchisor or its affiliates.

11. Item 11: Franchisor's Assistance, Advertising, Computer Systems, and Training.

Disclose the franchisor's principal assistance and related obligations of both the franchisor and franchisee as follows. For each obligation, cite the section number of the franchise agreement imposing the obligation. Begin by stating the following sentence in bold type: "Except as listed below, [the franchisor] is not required to provide you with any assistance."

a. Disclose the franchisor's pre-opening obligations to the franchisee, including any assistance in:

(1) Locating a site and negotiating the purchase or lease of the site. If such assistance is provided, state:

(a) Whether the franchisor generally owns the premises and leases it to the franchisee.

(b) Whether the franchisor selects the site or approves an area in which the franchisee selects a site. If so, state further whether and how the franchisor must approve a franchisee-selected site.

(c) The factors that the franchisor considers in selecting or approving sites (for example, general location and neighborhood, traffic patterns, parking, size, physical characteristics of existing buildings, and lease terms).

(d) The time limit for the franchisor to locate or approve or disapprove the site and the consequences if the franchisor and franchisee cannot agree on a site.

(2) Conforming the premises to local ordinances and building codes and obtaining any required permits.

(3) Constructing, remodeling, or decorating the premises.

(4) Hiring and training employees.

(5) Providing for necessary equipment, signs, fixtures, opening inventory, and supplies. If any such assistance is provided, state:

(a) Whether the franchisor provides these items directly or only provides the names of approved suppliers.

(b) Whether the franchisor provides written specifications for these items.

(c) Whether the franchisor delivers or installs these items.

b. Disclose the typical length of time between the earlier of the signing of the franchise agreement or the first payment of consideration for the franchise and the opening of the franchisee's business. Describe the factors that may affect the time period, such as ability to obtain a lease, financing or building permits, zoning and local ordinances, weather conditions, shortages, or delayed installation of equipment, fixtures, and signs.

c. Disclose the franchisor's obligations to the franchisee during the operation of the franchise, including any assistance in:

(1) Developing products or services the franchisee will offer to its customers.

(2) Hiring and training employees.

(3) Improving and developing the franchised business.

(4) Establishing prices.

(5) Establishing and using administrative, bookkeeping, accounting, and inventory control procedures.

(6) Resolving operating problems encountered by the franchisee.

d. Describe the advertising program for the franchise system, including the following:

(1) The franchisor's obligation to conduct advertising, including:

(a) The media the franchisor may use.

(b) Whether media coverage is local, regional, or national.

(c) The source of the advertising (for example, an in-house advertising department or a national or regional advertising agency).

(d) Whether the franchisor must spend any amount on advertising in the area or territory where the franchisee is located.

(2) The circumstances when the franchisor will permit franchisees to use their own advertising material.

(3) Whether there is an advertising council composed of franchisees that advises the franchisor on advertising policies. If so, disclose:

(a) How members of the council are selected.

(b) Whether the council serves in an advisory capacity only or has operational or decision-making power.

(c) Whether the franchisor has the power to form, change, or dissolve the advertising council.

(4) Whether the franchisee must participate in a local or regional advertising cooperative. If so, state:

(a) How the area or membership of the cooperative is defined.

(b) How much the franchisee must contribute to the fund and whether other franchisees must contribute a different amount or at a different rate.

(c) Whether the franchisor-owned outlets must contribute to the fund and, if so, whether those contributions are on the same basis as those for franchisees.

(d) Who is responsible for administering the cooperative (for example, franchisor, franchisees, or advertising agency).

(e) Whether cooperatives must operate from written governing documents and whether the documents are available for the franchisee to review.

(f) Whether cooperatives must prepare annual or periodic financial statements and whether the statements are available for review by the franchisee.

(g) Whether the franchisor has the power to require cooperatives to be formed, changed, dissolved, or merged.

(5) Whether the franchisee must participate in any other advertising fund. If so, state:

(a) Who contributes to the fund.

(b) How much the franchisee must contribute to the fund and whether other franchisees must contribute a different amount or at a different rate.

(c) Whether the franchisor-owned outlets must contribute to the fund and, if so, whether it is on the same basis as franchisees.

(d) Who administers the fund.

(e) Whether the fund is audited and when it is audited.

(f) Whether financial statements of the fund are available for review by the franchisee.

(g) How the funds were used in the most recently concluded fiscal year, including the percentages spent on production, media placement, administrative expenses, and a description of any other use.

(6) If not all advertising funds are spent in the fiscal year in which they accrue, how the franchisor uses the remaining amount, including whether franchisees receive a periodic accounting of how advertising fees are spent.

(7) The percentage of advertising funds, if any, that the franchisor uses principally to solicit new franchise sales.

e. Disclose whether the franchisor requires the franchisee to buy or use electronic cash registers or computer systems. If so, describe the systems generally in nontechnical language, including the types of data to be generated or stored in these systems, and state the following:

(1) The cost of purchasing or leasing the systems.

(2) Any obligation of the franchisor, any affiliate, or third party to provide ongoing maintenance, repairs, upgrades, or updates.

(3) Any obligations of the franchisee to upgrade or update any system during the term of the franchise, and, if so, any contractual limitations on the frequency and cost of the obligation.

(4) The annual cost of any optional or required maintenance, updating, upgrading, or support contracts.

(5) Whether the franchisor will have independent access to the information that will be generated or stored in any electronic cash register or computer system. If so, describe the information that the franchisor may access and whether there are any contractual limitations on the franchisor's right to access the information.

f. Disclose the table of contents of the franchisor's operating manual provided to franchisees as of the franchisor's last fiscal year-end or a more recent date. State the number of pages devoted to each subject and the total number of pages in the manual as of this date. This disclosure may be omitted if the franchisor offers the prospective franchisee the opportunity to view the manual before buying the franchise.

g. Disclose the franchisor's training program as of the franchisor's last fiscal year-end or a more recent date.

(1) Describe the training program in the following tabular form. Title the table "TRAINING PROGRAM" in capital letters and bold type.

Item 11 Table
TRAINING PROGRAM

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Subject

Hours of Classroom Training

Hours of On-The-Job Training

Location

(a) In column 1, state the subjects taught.

(b) In column 2, state the hours of classroom training for each subject.

(c) In column 3, state the hours of on-the-job training for each subject.

(d) In column 4, state the location of the training for each subject.

(2) State further:

(a) How often training classes are held and the nature of the location or facility where training is held (for example, company, home, office, franchisor-owned store).

(b) The nature of instructional materials and the instructor's experience, including the instructor's length of experience in the field and with the franchisor. State only experience relevant to the subject taught and the franchisor's operations.

(c) Any charges franchisees must pay for training and who must pay travel and living expenses of the training program enrollees.

(d) Who may and who must attend training. State whether the franchisee or other persons must complete the program to the franchisor's satisfaction. If successful completion is required, state how long after signing the agreement or before opening the business the training must be completed. If training is not mandatory, state the percentage of new franchisees that enrolled in the training program during the preceding 12 months.

(e) Whether additional training programs or refresher courses are required.

12. Item 12: Territory.

Disclose:

a. Whether the franchise is for a specific location or a location to be approved by the franchisor.

b. Any minimum territory granted to the franchisee (for example, a specific radius, a distance sufficient to encompass a specified population, or another specific designation).

c. The conditions under which the franchisor will approve the relocation of the franchised business or the franchisee's establishment of additional franchised outlets.

d. Franchisee options, rights of first refusal, or similar rights to acquire additional franchises.

e. Whether the franchisor grants an exclusive territory.

(1) If the franchisor does not grant an exclusive territory, state: "You will not receive an exclusive territory. You may face competition from other franchisees, from outlets that we own, or from other channels of distribution or competitive brands that we control."

(2) If the franchisor grants an exclusive territory, disclose:

(a) Whether continuation of territorial exclusivity depends on achieving a certain sales volume, market penetration, or other contingency, and the circumstances when the franchisee's territory may be altered. Describe any sales or other conditions. State the franchisor's rights if the franchisee fails to meet the requirements.

(b) Any other circumstances that permit the franchisor to modify the franchisee's territorial rights (for example, a population increase in the territory giving the franchisor the right to grant an additional franchise in the area) and the effect of such modifications on the franchisee's rights.

f. For all territories (exclusive and nonexclusive):

(1) Any restrictions on the franchisor from soliciting or accepting orders from consumers inside the franchisee's territory, including:

(a) Whether the franchisor or an affiliate has used or reserves the right to use other channels of distribution such as the Internet, catalog sales, telemarketing, or other direct marketing sales to make sales within the franchisee's territory using the franchisor's principal trademarks.

(b) Whether the franchisor or an affiliate has used or reserves the right to use other channels of distribution such as the Internet, catalog sales, telemarketing, or other direct marketing to make sales within the franchisee's territory of products or services under trademarks different from the ones the franchisee will use under the franchise agreement.

(c) Any compensation that the franchisor must pay for soliciting or accepting orders from inside the franchisee's territory.

(2) Any restrictions on the franchisee from soliciting or accepting orders from consumers outside of his territory, including whether the franchisee has the right to use other channels of distribution such as the Internet, catalog sales, telemarketing, or other direct marketing to make sales outside of his territory.

(3) If the franchisor or an affiliate operates, franchises, or has plans to operate or franchise a business under a different trademark and that business sells or will sell goods or services similar to those the franchisee will offer, describe:

(a) The similar goods and services.

(b) The different trademark.

(c) Whether outlets will be franchisor-owned or -operated.

(d) Whether the franchisor or its franchisees who use the different trademark will solicit or accept orders within the franchisee's territory.

(e) The timetable for the plan.

(f) How the franchisor will resolve conflicts between the franchisor and franchisees and between the franchisees of each system regarding territory, customers, and franchisor support.

(g) The principal business address of the franchisor's similar operating business. If it is the same as the franchisor's principal business address stated in Item 1, disclose whether the franchisor maintains (or plans to maintain) physically separate offices and training facilities for the similar competing business.

13. Item 13: Trademarks.

a. Disclose each principal trademark to be licensed to the franchisee. For this item, "principal trademark" means the primary trademarks, service marks, names, logos, and commercial symbols the franchisee will use to identify the franchised business. It may not include every trademark the franchisor owns.

b. Disclose whether each principal trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If so, state:

(1) The date and identification number of each trademark registration.

(2) Whether the franchisor has filed all required affidavits.

(3) Whether any registration has been renewed.

(4) Whether the principal trademarks are registered on the Principal or Supplemental Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

c. If the principal trademark is not registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, state whether the franchisor has filed any trademark application, including any "intent to use" application or an application based on actual use. If so, state the date and identification number of the application.

d. If the trademark is not registered on the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, state: "We do not have a federal registration for our principal trademark. Therefore, our trademark does not have many legal benefits and rights as a federally registered trademark. If our right to use the trademark is challenged, you may have to change to an alternative trademark, which may increase your expenses."

e. Disclose any currently effective material determinations of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, or any state trademark administrator or court; and any pending infringement, opposition, or cancellation proceeding. Include infringement, opposition, or cancellation proceedings in which the franchisor unsuccessfully sought to prevent registration of a trademark in order to protect a trademark licensed by the franchisor. Describe how the determination affects the ownership, use, or licensing of the trademark.

f. Disclose any pending material federal or state court litigation regarding the franchisor's use or ownership rights in a trademark. For each pending action, disclose:8

(1) The forum and case number.

(2) The nature of claims made opposing the franchisor's use of the trademark or by the franchisor opposing another person's use of the trademark.

(3) Any effective court or administrative agency ruling in the matter.

g. Disclose any currently effective agreements that significantly limit the franchisor's rights to use or license the use of trademarks listed in this section in a manner material to the franchise. For each agreement, disclose:

(1) The manner and extent of the limitation or grant.

(2) The extent to which the agreement may affect the franchisee.

(3) The agreement's duration.

(4) The parties to the agreement.

(5) The circumstances when the agreement may be canceled or modified.

(6) All other material terms.

h. Disclose:

(1) Whether the franchisor must protect the franchisee's right to use the principal trademarks listed in this section, and must protect the franchisee against claims of infringement or unfair competition arising out of the franchisee's use of the trademarks.

(2) The franchisee's obligation to notify the franchisor of the use of, or claims of rights to, a trademark identical to or confusingly similar to a trademark licensed to the franchisee.

(3) Whether the franchise agreement requires the franchisor to take affirmative action when notified of these uses or claims.

(4) Whether the franchisor or franchisee has the right to control any administrative proceedings or litigation involving a trademark licensed by the franchisor to the franchisee.

(5) Whether the franchise agreement requires the franchisor to participate in the franchisee's defense and/or indemnify the franchisee for expenses or damages if the franchisee is a party to an administrative or judicial proceeding involving a trademark licensed by the franchisor to the franchisee, or if the proceeding is resolved unfavorably to the franchisee.

(6) The franchisee's rights under the franchise agreement if the franchisor requires the franchisee to modify or discontinue using a trademark.

i. Disclose whether the franchisor knows of either superior prior rights or infringing uses that could materially affect the franchisee's use of the principal trademarks in the state where the franchised business will be located. For each use of a principal trademark that the franchisor believes is an infringement that could materially affect the franchisee's use of a trademark, disclose:

(1) The nature of the infringement.

(2) The locations where the infringement is occurring.

(3) The length of time of the infringement (to the extent known).

(4) Any action taken or anticipated by the franchisor.

14. Item 14: Patents, Copyrights, and Proprietary Information.

a. Disclose whether the franchisor owns rights in, or licenses to, patents or copyrights that are material to the franchise. Also, disclose whether the franchisor has any pending patent applications that are material to the franchise. If so, state:

(1) The nature of the patent, patent application, or copyright and its relationship to the franchise.

(2) For each patent:

(a) The duration of the patent.

(b) The type of patent (for example, mechanical, process, or design).

(c) The patent number, issuance date, and title.

(3) For each patent application:

(a) The type of patent application (for example, mechanical, process, or design).

(b) The serial number, filing date, and title.

(4) For each copyright:

(a) The duration of the copyright.

(b) The registration number and date.

(c) Whether the franchisor can and intends to renew the copyright.

b. Describe any current material determination of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Copyright Office, or a court regarding the patent or copyright. Include the forum and matter number. Describe how the determination affects the franchised business.

c. State the forum, case number, claims asserted, issues involved, and effective determinations for any material proceeding pending in the United States Patent and Trademark Office or any court.9

d. If an agreement limits the use of the patent, patent application, or copyright, state the parties to and duration of the agreement, the extent to which the agreement may affect the franchisee, and other material terms of the agreement.

e. Disclose the franchisor's obligation to protect the patent, patent application, or copyright; and to defend the franchisee against claims arising from the franchisee's use of patented or copyrighted items, including:

(1) Whether the franchisor's obligation is contingent upon the franchisee notifying the franchisor of any infringement claims or whether the franchisee's notification is discretionary.

(2) Whether the franchise agreement requires the franchisor to take affirmative action when notified of infringement.

(3) Who has the right to control any litigation.

(4) Whether the franchisor must participate in the defense of a franchisee or indemnify the franchisee for expenses or damages in a proceeding involving a patent, patent application, or copyright licensed to the franchisee.

(5) Whether the franchisor's obligation is contingent upon the franchisee modifying or discontinuing the use of the subject matter covered by the patent or copyright.

(6) The franchisee's rights under the franchise agreement if the franchisor requires the franchisee to modify or discontinue using the subject matter covered by the patent or copyright.

f. If the franchisor knows of any patent or copyright infringement that could materially affect the franchisee, disclose:

(1) The nature of the infringement.

(2) The locations where the infringement is occurring.

(3) The length of time of the infringement (to the extent known).

(4) Any action taken or anticipated by the franchisor.

g. If the franchisor claims proprietary rights in other confidential information or trade secrets, describe in general terms the proprietary information communicated to the franchisee and the terms for use by the franchisee. The franchisor need only describe the general nature of the proprietary information, such as whether a formula or recipe is considered to be a trade secret.

15. Item 15: Obligation to Participate in the Actual Operation of the Franchise Business.

a. Disclose the franchisee's obligation to participate personally in the direct operation of the franchisee's business and whether the franchisor recommends participation. Include obligations arising from any written agreement or from the franchisor's practice.

b. If personal "on-premises" supervision is not required, disclose the following:

(1) If the franchisee is an individual, whether the franchisor recommends on-premises supervision by the franchisee.

(2) Limits on whom the franchisee can hire as an on-premises supervisor.

(3) Whether an on-premises supervisor must successfully complete the franchisor's training program.

(4) If the franchisee is a business entity, the amount of equity interest, if any, that the on-premises supervisor must have in the franchisee's business.

c. Disclose any restrictions that the franchisee must place on its manager (for example, maintain trade secrets, covenants not to compete).

16. Item 16: Restrictions on What the Franchisee May Sell.

Disclose any franchisor-imposed restrictions or conditions on the goods or services that the franchisee may sell or that limit access to customers, including:

a. Any obligation on the franchisee to sell only goods or services approved by the franchisor.

b. Any obligation on the franchisee to sell all goods or services authorized by the franchisor.

c. Whether the franchisor has the right to change the types of authorized goods or services and whether there are limits on the franchisor's right to make changes.

17. Item 17: Renewal, Termination, Transfer, and Dispute Resolution.

Disclose, in the following tabular form, a table that cross-references each enumerated franchise relationship item with the applicable provision in the franchise or related agreement. Title the table "THE FRANCHISE RELATIONSHIP" in capital letters and bold type.

a. Describe briefly each contractual provision. If a particular item is not applicable, state "Not Applicable."

b. If the agreement is silent about one of the listed provisions, but the franchisor unilaterally offers to provide certain benefits or protections to franchisees as a matter of policy, use a footnote to describe the policy and state whether the policy is subject to change.

c. In the summary column for Item 17 c, state what the term "renewal" means for your franchise system, including, if applicable, a statement that franchisees may be asked to sign a contract with materially different terms and conditions than their original contract.

Item 17 Table
THE FRANCHISE RELATIONSHIP

[In bold] This table lists certain important provisions of the franchise and related agreements. You should read these provisions in the agreements attached to this disclosure document.

Provision

Section in franchise or other agreement

Summary

a. Length of the franchise term

b. Renewal or extension of the term

c. Requirements for franchisee to renew or extend

d. Termination by franchisee

e. Termination by franchisor without cause

f. Termination by franchisor with cause

g. "Cause" defined - curable defaults

h. "Cause" defined - noncurable defaults

i. Franchisee's obligations on termination/nonrenewal

j. Assignment of contract by franchisor

k. "Transfer" by franchisee – defined

l. Franchisor approval of transfer by franchisee

m. Conditions for franchisor approval of transfer

n. Franchisor's right of first refusal to acquire franchisee's business

o. Franchisor's option to purchase franchisee's business

p. Death or disability of franchisee

q. Noncompetition covenants during the term of the franchise

r. Noncompetition covenants after the franchise is terminated or expires

s. Modification of the agreement

t. Integration/merger clause

u. Dispute resolution by arbitration or mediation

v. Choice of forum

w. Choice of law

18. Item 18: Public Figures.

Disclose:

a. Any compensation or other benefit given or promised to a public figure arising from either the use of the public figure in the franchise name or symbol, or the public figure's endorsement or recommendation of the franchise to prospective franchisees.

b. The extent to which the public figure is involved in the management or control of the franchisor. Describe the public figure's position and duties in the franchisor's business structure.

c. The public figure's total investment in the franchisor, including the amount the public figure contributed in services performed or to be performed. State the type of investment (for example, common stock, promissory note).

d. For purposes of this section, a public figure means a person whose name or physical appearance is generally known to the public in the geographic area where the franchise will be located.

19. Item 19: Financial Performance Representations.

a. Begin by stating the following:

The FTC's Franchise Rule permits a franchisor to provide information about the actual or potential financial performance of its franchised and/or franchisor-owned outlets, if there is a reasonable basis for the information, and if the information is included in the disclosure document. Financial performance information that differs from that included in Item 19 may be given only if: (i) a franchisor provides the actual records of an existing outlet you are considering buying; or (ii) a franchisor supplements the information provided in this Item 19, for example, by providing information about possible performance at a particular location or under particular circumstances.

b. If a franchisor does not provide any financial performance representation in Item 19, also state:

We do not make any representations about a franchisee's future financial performance or the past financial performance of company-owned or franchised outlets. We also do not authorize our employees or representatives to make any such representations either orally or in writing. If you are purchasing an existing outlet, however, we may provide you with the actual records of that outlet. If you receive any other financial performance information or projections of your future income, you should report it to the franchisor's management by contacting [name, address, and telephone number], the Federal Trade Commission, and the appropriate state regulatory agencies.

c. If the franchisor makes any financial performance representation to prospective franchisees, the franchisor must have a reasonable basis and written substantiation for the representation at the time the representation is made and must state the representation in the Item 19 disclosure. The franchisor must also disclose the following:

(1) Whether the representation is an historic financial performance representation about the franchise system's existing outlets, or a subset of those outlets, or is a forecast of the prospective franchisee's future financial performance.

(2) If the representation relates to past performance of the franchise system's existing outlets, the material basis for the representation, including:

(a) Whether the representation relates to the performance of all of the franchise system's existing outlets or only to a subset of outlets that share a particular set of characteristics (for example, geographic location, type of location such as free standing vs. shopping center, degree of competition, length of time the outlets have operated, services or goods sold, services supplied by the franchisor, and whether the outlets are franchised or franchisor-owned or -operated).

(b) The dates when the reported level of financial performance was achieved.

(c) The total number of outlets that existed in the relevant period and, if different, the number of outlets that had the described characteristics.

(d) The number of outlets with the described characteristics whose actual financial performance data were used in arriving at the representation.

(e) Of those outlets whose data were used in arriving at the representation, the number and percent that actually attained or surpassed the stated results.

(f) Characteristics of the included outlets, such as those characteristics noted in subdivision c (2)(a) of Item 19, that may differ materially from those of the outlet that may be offered to a prospective franchisee.

(3) If the representation is a forecast of future financial performance, state the material basis and assumptions on which the projection is based. The material assumptions underlying a forecast include significant factors upon which a franchisee's future results are expected to depend. These factors include, for example, economic or market conditions that are basic to a franchisee's operation, and encompass matters affecting, among other things, a franchisee's sales, the cost of goods or services sold, and operating expenses.

(4) A clear and conspicuous admonition that a new franchisee's individual financial results may differ from the result stated in the financial performance representation.

(5) A statement that written substantiation for the financial performance representation will be made available to the prospective franchisee upon reasonable request.

d. If a franchisor wishes to disclose only the actual operating results for a specific outlet being offered for sale, it need not comply with this section, provided the information is given only to potential purchasers of that outlet.

e. If a franchisor furnishes financial performance information according to this section, the franchisor may deliver to a prospective franchisee a supplemental financial performance representation about a particular location or variation, apart from the disclosure document. The supplemental representation must:

(1) Be in writing.

(2) Explain the departure from the financial performance representation in the disclosure document.

(3) Be prepared in accordance with the requirements of subdivision c (1) through (4) of this item.

(4) Be furnished to the prospective franchisee.

20. Item 20: Outlets and Franchisee Information.

a. Disclose, in the following tabular form, the total number of franchised and company-owned outlets for each of the franchisor's last three fiscal years. For this item, "outlet" includes outlets of a type substantially similar to that offered to the prospective franchisee. A sample Item 20a table is attached as Appendix B.

Table No. 1
Systemwide Outlet Summary
For years [--] to [--]

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Column 5

Outlet Type

Year

Outlets at the Start of the Year

Outlets at the End of the Year

Net Change

Franchised

2004

2005

2006

Company-Owned

2004

2005

2006

Total Outlets

2004

2005

2006

(1) In column 1, include three outlet categories titled "franchised," "company-owned," and "total outlets."

(2) In column 2, state the last three fiscal years.

(3) In column 3, state the total number of each type of outlet operating at the beginning of each fiscal year.

(4) In column 4, state the total number of each type of outlet operating at the end of each fiscal year.

(5) In column 5, state the net change, and indicate whether the change is positive or negative, for each type of outlet during each fiscal year.

b. Disclose, in the following tabular form, the number of franchised and company-owned outlets and changes in the number and ownership of outlets located in each state during each of the last three fiscal years. Except as noted, each change in ownership shall be reported only once in the following tables. If multiple events occurred in the process of transferring ownership of an outlet, report the event that occurred last in time. If a single outlet changed ownership two or more times during the same fiscal year, use footnotes to describe the types of changes involved and the order in which the changes occurred.

(1) Disclose, in the following tabular form, the total number of franchised outlets transferred in each state during each of the franchisor's last three fiscal years. For this item, "transfer" means the acquisition of a controlling interest in a franchised outlet, during its term, by a person other than the franchisor or an affiliate. A sample Item 20 b Table is attached as Appendix C.

Table No. 2
Transfers of Outlets from Franchisees to New Owners (other than the Franchisor)
For years [--] to [--]

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

State

Year

Number of Transfers

2004

2005

2006

2004

2005

2006

Total

2004

2005

2006

(a) In column 1, list each state with one or more franchised outlets.

(b) In column 2, state the last three fiscal years.

(c) In column 3, state the total number of completed transfers in each state during each fiscal year.

(2) Disclose, in the following tabular form, the status of franchisee-owned outlets located in each state for each of the franchisor's last three fiscal years. A sample Item 20 c table is attached as Appendix D.

Table No. 3
Status of Franchised Outlets
For years [--] to [--]

Col. 1

Col. 2

Col. 3

Col. 4

Col. 5

Col. 6

Col. 7

Col. 8

Col. 9

State

Year

Outlets at Start of Year

Outlets Opened

Terminations

Nonrenewals

Reacquired by Franchisor

Ceased Operations- Other Reasons

Outlets at End of the Year

2004

2005

2006

2004

2005

2006

Totals

(a) In column 1, list each state with one or more franchised outlets.

(b) In column 2, state the last three fiscal years.

(c) In column 3, state the total number of franchised outlets in each state at the start of each fiscal year.

(d) In column 4, state the total number of franchised outlets opened in each state during each fiscal year. Include both new outlets and existing company-owned outlets that a franchisee purchased from the franchisor. (Also report the number of existing company-owned outlets that are sold to a franchisee in Column 7 of Table 4).

(e) In column 5, state the total number of franchised outlets that were terminated in each state during each fiscal year. For purposes of this item, "termination" means the franchisor's termination of a franchise agreement prior to the end of its term and without providing any consideration to the franchisee (whether by payment or forgiveness or assumption of debt).

(f) In column 6, state the total number of nonrenewals in each state during each fiscal year. For purposes of this item, "nonrenewal" occurs when the franchise agreement for a franchised outlet is not renewed at the end of its term.

(g) In column 7, state the total number of franchised outlets reacquired by the franchisor in each state during each fiscal year. For purposes of this item, a "reacquisition" means the franchisor's acquisition for consideration (whether by payment or forgiveness or assumption of debt) of a franchised outlet during its term. (Also report franchised outlets reacquired by the franchisor in column 5 of Table 4).

(h) In column 8, state the total number of outlets in each state not operating as one of the franchisor's outlets at the end of each fiscal year for reasons other than termination, nonrenewal, or reacquisition by the franchisor.

(i) In column 9, state the total number of franchised outlets in each state at the end of the fiscal year.

(3) Disclose, in the following tabular form, the status of company-owned outlets located in each state for each of the franchisor's last three fiscal years. A sample Item 20 d table is attached as Appendix E.

Table No. 4
Status of Company-Owned Outlets
For years [--] to [--]

Col. 1

Col. 2

Col. 3

Col. 4

Col. 5

Col. 6

Col. 7

Col. 8

State

Year

Outlets at Start of the Year

Outlets Opened

Outlets Reacquired From Franchisee

Outlets Closed

Outlets Sold to Franchisee

Outlets at End of the Year

2004

2005

2006

2004

2005

2006

Totals

2004

2005

2006

(a) In column 1, list each state with one or more company-owned outlets.

(b) In column 2, state the last three fiscal years.

(c) In column 3, state the total number of company-owned outlets in each state at the start of the fiscal year.

(d) In column 4, state the total number of company-owned outlets opened in each state during each fiscal year.

(e) In column 5, state the total number of franchised outlets reacquired from franchisees in each state during each fiscal year.

(f) In column 6, state the total number of company-owned outlets closed in each state during each fiscal year. Include both actual closures and instances when an outlet ceases to operate under the franchisor's trademark.

(g) In column 7, state the total number of company-owned outlets sold to franchisees in each state during each fiscal year.

(h) In column 8, state the total number of company-owned outlets operating in each state at the end of each fiscal year.

c. Disclose, in the following tabular form, projected new franchised and company-owned outlets. A sample Item 20 e table is attached as Appendix F.

Table No. 5
Projected Openings As Of [Last Day of Last Fiscal Year]

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

State

Franchise Agreements Signed But Outlet Not Opened

Projected New Franchised Outlet In The Next Fiscal Year

Projected New Company-Owned Outlet In the Next Fiscal Year

Total

(1) In column 1, list each state where one or more franchised or company-owned outlets are located or are projected to be located.

(2) In column 2, state the total number franchise agreements that had been signed for new outlets to be located in each state as of the end of the previous fiscal year where the outlet had not yet opened.

(3) In column 3, state the total number of new franchised outlets in each state projected to be opened during the next fiscal year.

(4) In column 4, state the total number of new company-owned outlets in each state that are projected to be opened during the next fiscal year.

d. Disclose the names of all current franchisees and the address and telephone number of each of their outlets. Alternatively, disclose this information for all franchised outlets in the state, but if these franchised outlets total fewer than 100, disclose this information for franchised outlets from contiguous states and then the next closest states until at least 100 franchised outlets are listed.

e. Disclose the name, city and state, and current business telephone number, or if unknown, the last known home telephone number of every franchisee who had an outlet terminated, canceled, not renewed, or otherwise voluntarily or involuntarily ceased to do business under the franchise agreement during the most recently completed fiscal year or who has not communicated with the franchisor within 10 weeks of the disclosure document issuance date.10 State in immediate conjunction with this information: "If you buy this franchise, your contact information may be disclosed to other buyers when you leave the franchise system."

f. If a franchisor is selling a previously-owned franchised outlet now under its control, disclose the following additional information for that outlet for the last five fiscal years. This information may be attached as an addendum to a disclosure document, or, if disclosure has already been made, then in a supplement to the previously furnished disclosure document.

(1) The name, city and state, current business telephone number, or if unknown, last known home telephone number of each previous owner of the outlet;

(2) The time period when each previous owner controlled the outlet;

(3) The reason for each previous change in ownership (for example, termination, nonrenewal, voluntary transfer, ceased operations); and

(4) The time period(s) when the franchisor retained control of the outlet (for example, after termination, nonrenewal, or reacquisition).

g. Disclose whether franchisees signed confidentiality clauses during the last three fiscal years. If so, state the following: "In some instances, current and former franchisees sign provisions restricting their ability to speak openly about their experience with [name of franchise system]. You may wish to speak with current and former franchisees, but be aware that not all such franchisees will be able to communicate with you." Franchisors may also disclose the number and percentage of current and former franchisees who during each of the last three fiscal years signed agreements that include confidentiality clauses and may disclose the circumstances under which such clauses were signed.

h. Disclose, to the extent known, the name, address, telephone number, email address, and website address (to the extent known) of each trademark-specific franchisee organization associated with the franchise system being offered, if such organization:

(1) Has been created, sponsored, or endorsed by the franchisor. If so, state the relationship between the organization and the franchisor (for example, the organization was created by the franchisor, sponsored by the franchisor, or endorsed by the franchisor).

(2) Is incorporated or otherwise organized under state law and asks the franchisor to be included in the franchisor's disclosure document during the next fiscal year. Such organizations must renew their request on an annual basis by submitting a request no later than 60 days after the close of the franchisor's fiscal year. The franchisor has no obligation to verify the organization's continued existence at the end of each fiscal year. Franchisors may also include the following statement: "The following independent franchisee organizations have asked to be included in this disclosure document."

21. Item 21: Financial Statements.

a. Include the following financial statements prepared according to United States generally accepted accounting principles, as revised by any future United States government mandated accounting principles, or as permitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as provided in subdivision b of this item, these financial statements must be audited by an independent certified public accountant using generally accepted United States auditing standards. Present the required financial statements in a tabular form that compares at least two fiscal years.

(1) The franchisor's balance sheet for the previous two fiscal year-ends before the disclosure document issuance date.

(2) Statements of operations, stockholders equity, and cash flows for each of the franchisor's previous three fiscal years.

(3) Instead of the financial disclosures required by subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item, the franchisor may include financial statements of any of its affiliates if the affiliate's financial statements satisfy subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item and the affiliate absolutely and unconditionally guarantees to assume the duties and obligations of the franchisor under the franchise agreement. The affiliate's guarantee must cover all of the franchisor's obligations to the franchisee, but need not extend to third parties. If this alternative is used, attach a copy of the guarantee to the disclosure document.

(4) When a franchisor owns a direct or beneficial controlling financial interest in a subsidiary, its financial statements should reflect the financial condition of the franchisor and its subsidiary.

(5) Include separate financial statements for the franchisor and any subfranchisor, as well as for any parent that commits to perform postsale obligations for the franchisor or guarantees the franchisor's obligations. Attach a copy of any guarantee to the disclosure document.

b. A start-up franchise system may phase-in the use of the financial statements specified in subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item by providing, at a minimum, the following statements at the indicated times:

(1) The franchisor's first partial or full fiscal year selling franchises.

An audited opening balance sheet.

(2) The franchisor's second fiscal year selling franchises.

Audited balance sheet opinion as of the end of the first partial or full fiscal year selling franchises.

(3) The franchisor's third and subsequent fiscal years selling franchises.

All required financial statements for the previous fiscal year, plus any previously disclosed audited statements that still must be disclosed according to subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item.

(4) Start-up franchisors may phase-in the disclosure of all financial statements required in subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item, provided the franchisor:

(a) Prepares audited statements of operations, stockholders equity, and cash flows as soon as practicable.

(b) Prepares all unaudited statements in a format that conforms as closely as possible to audited statements.

(c) Includes one or more years of unaudited statements of operations or clearly and conspicuously discloses in this section that the franchisor has not been in business for three years or more, and cannot include all financial statements required in subdivisions a (1) and (2) of this item.

22. Item 22: Contracts.

Attach a copy of all proposed agreements regarding the franchise offering, including the franchise agreement and any lease, options, and purchase agreements.

23. Item 23: Receipts.

Include two copies of the following detachable acknowledgment of receipt in the following form as the last pages of the disclosure document:

a. State the following:

Receipt

This disclosure document summarizes certain provisions of the franchise agreement and other information in plain language. Read this disclosure document and all agreements carefully.

If [name of franchisor] offers you a franchise, it must provide this disclosure document to you 14 calendar days before you sign a binding agreement with, or make a payment to, the franchisor or an affiliate in connection with the proposed franchise sale.

If [name of franchisor] does not deliver this disclosure document on time or if it contains a false or misleading statement, or a material omission, a violation of federal law and state law may have occurred and should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580 and [state agency].

b. Disclose the name, principal business address, and telephone number of each franchise seller offering the franchise.

c. State the issuance date.

d. If not disclosed in Item 1, state the name and address of the franchisor's registered agent authorized to receive service of process.

e. State the following:

I received a disclosure document dated that included the following Exhibits:

f. List the title(s) of all attached Exhibits.

g. Provide space for the prospective franchisee's signature and date.

h. Franchisors may include any specific instructions for returning the receipt (for example, street address, email address, facsimile telephone number).

Appendix A: Sample Item 10 Table
Summary of Financing Offered

Item Financed

Source of Financing

Down Payment

Amount Financed

Term (Yrs)

Interest Rate

Monthly Payment

Prepay Penalty

Security Required

Liability Upon Default

Loss of Legal Right on Default

Initial Fee

Land/
Constr

Leased Space

Equip. Lease

Equip. Purchase

Opening Inventory

Other Financing

Appendix B: Sample Item 20(1) Table – Systemwide Outlet Summary
Systemwide Outlet Summary
For years 2004 to 2006

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Column 5

Outlet Type

Year

Outlets at the Start of the Year

Outlets at the End of the Year

Net Change

Franchised

2004

859

1,062

+203

2005

1,062

1,296

+234

2006

1,296

2,720

+1,424

Company Owned

2004

125

145

+20

2005

145

76

-69

2006

76

141

+65

Total Outlets

2004

984

1,207

+223

2005

1,207

1,372

+165

2006

1,372

2,861

+1,489

Appendix C: Sample Item 20(2) Table – Transfers of Franchised Outlets
Transfers of Outlets from Franchisees to New Owners (other than the Franchisor)
For years 2004 to 2006

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

State

Year

Number of Transfers

NC

2004

1

2005

0

2006

2

SC

2004

0

2005

0

2006

2

Total

2004

1

2005

0

2006

4

Appendix D: Sample Item 20(3) Table – Status of Franchise Outlets
Status of Franchise Outlets
For years 2004 to 2006

Col. 1

Col. 2

Col. 3

Col. 4

Col. 5

Col. 6

Col. 7

Col. 8

Col. 9

State

Year

Outlets at Start of Year

Outlets Opened

Terminations

Non-Renewals

Reacquired by Franchisor

Ceased Operations-Other Reasons

Outlets at End of the Year

AL

2004

10

2

1

0

0

1

10

2005

11

5

0

1

0

0

15

2006

15

4

1

0

1

2

15

AZ

2004

20

5

0

0

0

0

25

2005

25

4

1

0

0

2

26

2006

26

4

0

0

0

0

30

Totals

2004

30

7

1

0

0

1

35

2005

36

9

1

1

0

2

41

2006

41

8

1

0

1

2

45

Appendix E: Sample Item 20(4) Table – Status of Company-Owned Outlets
Status of Company-Owned Outlets
For years 2004 to 2006

Col. 1

Col 2

Col. 3

Col. 4

Col. 5

Col. 6

Col. 7

Col. 8

State

Year

Outlets at Start of the Year

Outlets Opened

Outlets Reacquired From Franchisees

Outlets Closed

Outlets Sold to Franchisees

Outlets at End of the Year

NY

2004

1

0

1

0

0

2

2005

2

2

0

1

0

3

2006

3

0

0

3

0

0

OR

2004

4

0

1

0

0

5

2005

5

0

0

2

0

3

2006

3

0

0

0

1

2

Totals

2004

5

0

2

0

0

7

2005

7

2

0

3

0

6

2006

6

0

0

3

1

2

Appendix F: Sample Item 20(5) Table – Projected New Franchised Outlets
Projected New Franchised Outlets
As of December 31, 2006

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

State

Franchise Agreements Signed But Outlet Not Opened

Projected New Franchised Outlet in the Next Fiscal Year

Projected New Company-Owned Outlets in the Next Fiscal Year

CO

2

3

1

NM

0

4

2

Total

2

7

3

1Franchisors may include a summary opinion of counsel concerning any action if counsel consent to use the summary opinion and the full opinion is attached to the disclosure document.

2If a settlement agreement must be disclosed in this item, all material settlement terms must be disclosed, whether or not the agreement is confidential. However, franchisors need not disclose the terms of confidential settlements entered into before commencing franchise sales.

3If fees may increase, disclose the formula that determines the increase or the maximum amount of the increase. For example, a percentage of gross sales is acceptable if the franchisor defines the term "gross sales."

4Franchisors may include the reason for the requirement. Franchisors need not disclose in this item the purchase or lease of goods or services provided as part of the franchise without a separate charge (such as initial training, if the cost is included in the franchise fee). Describe such fees in Item 5. Do not disclose fees already described in Item 6.

5Take figures from the franchisor's most recent annual audited financial statement required in Item 21. If the entity deriving the income is an affiliate, disclose the sources of information used in computing revenues.

6Indirect offers of financing include a written arrangement between a franchisor or its affiliate and a lender, for the lender to offer financing to a franchisee; an arrangement in which a franchisor or its affiliate receives a benefit from a lender in exchange for financing a franchise purchase; and a franchisor's guarantee of a note, lease, or other obligation of the franchisee.

7Include sample copies of the financing documents as an exhibit to Item 22. Cite the section and name of the document containing the financing terms and conditions.

8The franchisor may include an attorney's opinion relative to the merits of litigation or of an action if the attorney issuing the opinion consents to its use. The text of the disclosure may include a summary of the opinion if the full opinion is attached and the attorney issuing the opinion consents to the use of the summary.

9If counsel consents, the franchisor may include a counsel's opinion or a summary of the opinion if the full opinion is attached.

10Franchisors may substitute alternative contact information at the request of the former franchisee, such as a home address, post office address, or a personal or business email address.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 13.1-572 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 24, Issue 21, eff. July 1, 2008; amended, Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 2009.

FORMS (21VAC5-110).

FORM A, Uniform Franchise Registration Application (rev. 7/2008)

FORM B, Franchisor's Costs and Sources of Funds (rev. 7/2008)

FORM C, Uniform Consent to Service of Process (rev. 7/2008)

FORM E, Affidavit of Compliance -- Franchise Amendment/Renewal (rev. 7/2008)

FORM F, Guarantee of Performance (rev. 3/2013)

FORM G, Franchisor's Surety Bond (rev. 7/1999)

FORM H, Notice of Claim of Exemption (rev. 3/2018)

FORM K, Escrow Agreement (eff. 7/2007)

Forms (21VAC5-110-9999)

2008 Franchise Registration and Disclosure Guidelines, adopted May 19, 2019, North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.