The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is made up of 23 items, each of which is required by the FTC.
These items give franchise candidates the information they need to make an informed decision about investing with your franchise.
THE FRANCHISOR, AND ANY PARENTS, PREDECESSORS
YOUR ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT
RESTRICTIONS ON SOURCES OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
FRANCHISOR’S ASSISTANCE, ADVERTISING,
COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND TRAINING
PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION
OBLIGATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ACTUAL OPERATION
OF THE FRANCHISE BUSINESS
RESTRICTIONS ON WHAT THE FRANCHISEE MAY SELL
RENEWAL, TERMINATION, TRANSFER AND
FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIONS
OUTLETS AND FRANCHISEE INFORMATION
Exhibits to the Disclosure Document & Franchise Agreement
Confidentiality & Non-Competition Agreement
Multi Unit Development Agreement (see “Multi Unit Developer Program” below)
Site Selection Addendum (if applicable)
Agreement With Landlord (if applicable)
Operations Manual Table of Contents
Franchisee Closing Compliance Questionnaire
List of State Administrators
List of State Agents for Service of Process
State Specific Addenda to the Disclosure Document
State Specific Addenda to the Franchise Agreement
So, what’s the best way to find and download a franchisor’s FDD? The following state websites that maintain registered FDD’s as publicly available documents that are available for free download:
California Free FDD Search – This is a link to the search feature on the California Department of Business Oversight’s website. When searching for an FDD you’ll need to enter the legal / corporate name of the franchisor and select “Uniform Franchise Registration Application” as the application type.
Indiana Free FDD Search – This is a link to the FDD registration portal of the Indiana Secretary of State. When searching this site, select “Franchise” as the registration type, enter the legal name of the franchisor, and enter the “Effectiveness” dates that you are searching for.
Minnesota Free FDD Search – This is a link to the regulatory document search feature maintained by the Minnesota Commerce Department. Select “Franchise Registrations” in the area of interest dropdown and from there enter the franchisor information and select either “Initial Registration” or “Renewal” as to the document type.
Wisconsin Free FDD Search – This is a link to the franchise search portal of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The search functionality on this site is simple and, in most instances, all you’ll need to do is enter the franchisor brand name. Once a franchisor’s information is retrieved you are provided with a summary of the franchisor’s filings with the state and at the bottom of the “Filings Details” page you are able to download the franchisor’s FDD.