On July 1, 2008, the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) passed into franchise history. The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) officially replaced the UFOC as the disclosure document to be used for all franchises sold in the United States under federal and state franchise laws and regulations. Use of the UFOC for new disclosures is prohibited under the Federal Trade Commission's revised Franchise Rule (16 C.F.R. Part 436). In a rare showing of regulatory harmony, the North American Securities Administrators Association Franchise Committee, the representative body of state franchise regulators, published its final recommendations on state franchise regulations on June 30. The case material is available at www.nasaa.org/content /Files/ 2008UFOC.pdf. The regulators provided some additional guidance on the ancillary forms and filings that are needed for franchise registration, as well as their interpretations of the FDD format instructions of the Federal Trade Commission. Combined with the FTC's Compliance Guides and updated list of Frequently Asked Questions, all of the anticipated regulatory guidance for FDD drafting has now been published.
Notably, the NASAA publication has simplified the filings for franchise sales people and eliminated their birthdates, home addresses, home telephone numbers and social security numbers from the public record filing. That change will substantially reduce the risk of identity theft from these documents. However, NASAA indicates that franchisors should update their registered list of franchise sellers monthly as the roster of franchise sellers changes.