Hammer and gavel and documents used in court case involving franchise laws by state

In Brief:

      • State franchise laws vary on a state-by-state basis.
      • While the FTC Franchise Rule regulates franchising at the Federal level, state law deals with registration and regulating the franchise-franchisor relationship.
      • Below, we break down franchise laws by state to help you better understand each state’s unique laws and regulations!

Like much of U.S. law, franchising is multi-layered, being regulated by both the Federal government and state governments in different ways. While the FTC Franchise Rule regulates franchising at the Federal level, most franchising regulation actually takes place at the state level. 

Franchise laws by state can often differ considerably, with some states requiring Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as well as franchise advertising and salespeople registration and approval and others not. Still, some states simply require franchisors to just file their FDD with a state agency. Complicating things further is the fact that a franchise’s trademarks can impact whether it has to formally register with a state’s regulators or not. 

Seems confusing, right? 

It doesn’t have to be! We’ve broken down franchise laws by state in detail to give you an in-depth look at what they are in all 50 states. Learn more about the specific state franchise laws below!


A Primer on State Franchise Laws

While franchise law is governed at the Federal level by the FTC Franchise Rule, which requires franchisors to disclose important information about their business to prospective franchisees through FDDs, state franchise law instead deals with franchise registration and how the franchisee-franchisor relationship is regulated. 

Franchise laws by state can vary significantly, but can generally be divided into three categories: franchise registration states, franchise filing states, and non-registration states. 

Franchise Registration States

Franchise registration states require franchisors to register their FDD with state regulators before selling any franchise units there. In addition, most of these states also require that franchisors register any salespeople and advertising before offering any franchise units for sale to prospective franchisees. Franchisors are also typically required to renew and update their FDD on an annual basis. 

Franchise Filing States

Franchise filing states don’t require franchisors to register with them, but do require filing a notice with state regulators before advertising and selling franchise units. Some states may require a one-time filing, while others require it to be done annually. 

Non-Registration States

These states, unlike franchise registration and filing states, don’t require any sort of registration or filing with state regulators. 

A Detailed Look at Franchise Laws By State

Ready to learn more about state franchise law? We’ve broken them down to give you a detailed look at what they are in all 50 states across the U.S. Take a look below to learn more!

Alabama Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Alaska Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Arizona Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Arkansas Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

California Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $675

California’s initial FDD registration fee, payable to the state’s Department of Business Oversight, is $675, with an FDD renewal fee of $450. Franchise registrations expire after 110 days at the end of the franchisor’s fiscal year and require renewal annually. 

Colorado Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Connecticut Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State and Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $400

Connecticut is considered a franchise filing state with a one-time filing notice for franchises that have Federally registered trademarks. For businesses that don’t, it’s a franchise registration state. The Connecticut State Department of Banking, Securities and Business Investment Division handles the franchise filing and registration process.

Delaware Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Florida Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State

State Filing Fee: $100

Florida law requires franchisors to file annually with the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

Georgia Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State and Franchise Filing State 

State Filing Fee: $0

Georgia is considered a non-registration state if a franchisor has a Federally registered trademark, otherwise it’s considered franchise filing state which requires a one-time filing. 

Hawaii Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $250

Hawaii imposes a $250 fee for franchise registration, updates, and renewals. Franchise registrations last for one year and are required to be updated annually and within 120 days of the end of a franchisor’s fiscal year. Registrations are handled by the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The state also regulates the franchisee-franchisor relationship, in addition to requiring registration annually. 

Idaho Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Illinois Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $500

Illinois’ initial FDD registration fee is $500, while the annual renewal fee is $100. The state also regulates the franchisee-franchisor relationship, with all registrations and regulations being overseen by the Franchise Bureau in the office of the Illinois Attorney General. 

Indiana Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $500

Indiana’s initial FDD registration fee is $500, while the annual renewal fee costs $250. Registration lasts for one year and are handled by the Securities Division of the Indiana Secretary of State. 

Iowa Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Kansas Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Kentucky Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State

Kentucky is considered a franchise filing state, though doesn’t charge a filing fee. The state’s main point of contact for franchisors is the Consumer Protection Division of the state’s Attorney General office. 

Hammer and gavel used in court case involving franchise laws by state

Louisiana Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration and Filing State

Louisiana is a non-registration state for franchisors with Federally registered trademarks. For those without, it’s considered a franchise filing state with a one-time filing requirement. The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office handles all franchise filings. 

Maine Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State and Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $25

Maine is a non-registration state for franchises with trademarks registered with the Federal government. For franchises without Federally registered trademarks, franchisors must file their FDD and register with state regulators as a business opportunity. The state’s Office of Securities handles all franchise registrations. 

Maryland Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $500

Maryland requires a fee of $500 for first-time franchise registrations, with an annual renewal fee of $250. The fee for filing amendments regarding the FDD is $100. Franchise registration lasts for one year and is regulated by the Securities Division of the Maryland Attorney General. 

Massachusetts Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Michigan Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $250

Although a franchise registration state, Michigan is unique in that it doesn’t review FDDs and just requires the filing and registration of a Notice of Intent with the Michigan Attorney General every year. 

Minnesota Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $400

In Minnesota, the initial franchise registration fee is $400, with annual renewal costing $200. If the FDD has been updated compared to the prior year, this cost is increased to $300. The Securities Division of the Minnesota Department of Commerce is responsible for franchise registration and regulation in the state. 

Mississippi Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Missouri Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Montana Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Nebraska Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State 

Registration Fee: $100

Nevada requires a one-time franchise filing, with a fee of $100. Franchise regulation in the state is overseen by the state’s Department of Banking and Finance, Securities Bureau. 

Nevada Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

New Hampshire Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

New Jersey Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

New Mexico Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

New York Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $750

The franchise registration fee in New York is $750, with an annual renewal fee of $150 too. Franchise registration in the state is handled by the New York Attorney General’s Investor Protection Bureau office. Notably, New York has some of the most stringent and comprehensive franchising regulations in the United States. 

North Carolina Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State and Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $250

In North Carolina, franchisors are required to file with state regulators once if they have a registered trademark with the Federal government. Franchises that lack a Federally registered trademark are required to register instead. The North Carolina Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing franchise regulation in the state. 

North Dakota Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $250

North Dakota requires a $250 fee for franchise registration, plus a $100 renewal fee. Franchising regulation is done by the North Dakota Securities Department. 

Ohio Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Oklahoma Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Oregon Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Regulation State 

Franchising law in Oregon is unique in that no filing or registration is required with state authorities, but regulations that govern the franchisee-franchisor relationship are enforced by state law. All franchising regulation in Oregon is performed by the Department of Consumer and Business Services. 

Hammer and gavel used in a court case that involves franchise laws by state

Pennsylvania Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Rhode Island Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $600

Rhode Island imposes an initial FDD registration fee of $600 as well as an annual renewal fee of $450. The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, Securities Division enforces franchise laws and regulations in the state. 

South Carolina Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State and Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $0.00

Franchises with a Federally registered trademark are required to file annually with the state, while those without a Federal trademark are required to register. Franchise regulation is done by the South Carolina Secretary of State. 

South Dakota Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State 

State Filing Fee: $250

South Dakota requires annual FDD filings, with an initial fee of $250 and a renewal fee of $150. Franchising is regulated in the state by the Division of Insurance and Securities Regulation in the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. 

Tennessee Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Texas Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State 

Registration Fee: $25

Texas requires FDD filings with a one-time fee of $25. The Texas Secretary of State oversees franchise regulations and legal enforcement in the state. 

Utah Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Filing State 

Registration Fee: $100.00

Utah is a franchise filing state, requiring a $100 fee and annual renewal. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection oversees franchise regulation in this state. 

Vermont Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Virginia Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $500

The state of Virginia imposes a $500 initial FDD registration fee, plus a $250 renewal fee every year. Franchising in the state is regulated by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. 

Washington Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $600

Washington requires a $600 franchise fee in addition to an annual $100 renewal fee. The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division handles all franchising registration and regulation in the state. 

West Virginia Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Wisconsin Franchise Law

Status: Franchise Registration State

Registration Fee: $400

Wisconsin imposes a $400 franchise registration fee for both initial filings and renewals. FDD registration is an annual process in the state and occurs online only, though any FDD updates require an additional registration aside from the annual filing. Franchising is regulated by the state’s Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division.  

Wyoming Franchise Law

Status: Non-Registration State

Understand Franchise Laws by State to Better Understand Franchising!

Knowing how franchise laws by state work can seem confusing at first, but it’s much simpler than you’d think, not to mention a key part of understanding how franchise law works in the United States. By understanding how franchise law works on a specific state-by-state basis, you’ll be better prepared to enter the world of franchising and finally become your own boss!

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