What Government Agencies Regulate Franchises?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices. The regulation of franchises falls within the FTC’s mission and is discussed at the FTC’s Web site.

For an overview of the regulation of franchises, see the Web site for FranchisingLaw.com.

Fifteen states have adopted their own franchise rules and regulations. Thirteen of these states’ laws treat the sale of a franchise like the sale of a security which prohibits the offer or sale of a franchise within that state until a franchise offering circular has been filed with and registered by a designated state agency. All fifteen states are listed below, but two of the states do not require a filing of the offering circular, as follows:

  • California (filing required)
  • Hawaii (filing required)
  • Illinois (filing required)
  • Indiana (filing required)
  • Maryland (filing required)
  • Michigan (only notice required)
  • Minnesota (filing required)
  • New York (filing required)
  • North Dakota (filing required)
  • Oregon (no filing)
  • Rhode Island (filing required)
  • South Dakota (filing required)
  • Virginia (filing required)
  • Washington (filing required)
  • Wisconsin (filing required)
  • State disclosure requirements are discussed on the FTC’s Web site and the FranchisingLaw.com Web site. A list of the above states’ agencies regulating franchises, including address and contact information, is also available at FranchisingLaw.com.