The franchise industry is going through a period of makeover. The federal agency FTC is laying down new rules regarding the franchisor-franchisee relationship. The changes are going to be placed in the UFOC, the first document that the franchisors give to the prospective franchisees who come in response to their franchise business for sale offers. The document will make the person seeking to buy a franchise aware of everything about the company. There will be information about the company-background, the management system and other existing franchisees. Besides, the UFOC will also tell the would-be franchisees about the cost of starting that franchise business and the support system of the franchisor. According to the new ruling, the new format of the franchise disclosure is supposed to be implemented from July of this year onwards.
Now lets see some of thechanges in the new document:
The first important change is the name itself. From UFOC it is becoming FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document).
The condition that the franchisor and franchisee have to meet face to face before handling the latter the UFOC has been scrapped.
The UFOC was supposed to be given 10 business days prior to any signing of deal and exchange of money. The new one makes it 14 calendar days.
A very important change is the mode of delivery of the new FDD. It can be given out through electronic media.
Similarly, the receipt a would-be franchisee sends back can also be electronically signed.
The company history will also include information of the main parent company that is anyhow related to the franchise system.
There wont be any list of franchise-brokers the franchisor is associated with.
The financial and other history of the people, whether they are management staffs or not, associated with the selling or dealing of the franchise have to be disclosed.
Litigation history between the franchisor and the franchisees need to be stated.
Mentioning the suppliers name in whose company an employee of the franchisor is involved in one way or another is mandatory.
If the franchisor is not going to provide any exclusive territory in the franchise agreement, then a warning notice has to be given in the relevant section.