It was a sprint to the finish, but as of March 1, the AAFD has sent official requests for our chapters to be disclosed in the Franchise Disclosure Documents for about 50 franchise brands for which the AAFD supports active chapters!
Thanks to an amendment to the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule advanced by the AAFD in 2007, any independent franchisee association that requests disclosure in a franchisor’s FDD must be disclosed in the company’s Franchise Disclosure Document. The Rule requires that franchisee associations must make their requests annually within 60 days following the end of the franchisor’s fiscal year, in most instances by March 1 of each calendar year.
“It’s always a sprint to the deadline, but our amazing team updates our chapter records during January, and most of our FDD disclosure requests are delivered by mid-February,” reported AAFD Chairman, Robert Purvin. “There are always a few stragglers, and we had two new chapters form at the end of February, but the last five were sent, by February 26, ahead of the deadline.”
All requests are sent by Certified Mail, but also by email with confirmed receipts.
“The Rule is quite clear. If the request is made, the franchisee association must be disclosed,” Said Purvin. “Nevertheless, there are always one or two franchisors who balk, usually objecting to the chapter name, but most franchisors comply, and the effort frequently opens the door to increased dialogue.”
Purvin stressed that franchisors are required to ‘acknowledge’ franchisee associations, but the Franchise Rule does not require a franchisor to ‘recognize’ requesting associations. “While our chapters uniformly seek recognition, respect, and a dialogue, the FDD disclosure request is a step in the right direction, and frequently opens a door – sometimes slightly – to increased dialogue.”