What is a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC)?What is a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC)? This is a document that must be provided by the franchisor to the prospective franchisee at least 10 business days before any agreement of sale is signed and finalized.
What is the importance of this document? Well, it is considered a disclosure statement that covers such items as the Franchisor's obligations, the Franchisee's obligations, territory boundaries, and initial and ongoing fees to be paid. All in all, 23 important subsets of information are included in this comprehensive disclosure statement about the franchise that the franchisee is about to invest in. (See below for a full listing of the information that makes up the document).
Furthermore, since prospective franchisees need to have enough information to be able to compile a business plan for financing purposes, the franchisor must offer sufficient documentation for franchisees to forecast future expenses for the business.
The UFOC is non-negotiable and is written within a consistent or "uniform" set of criteria. Individual states are not afforded the opportunity to change the terms and conditions of a franchise agreement. The only items that have any flexibility are territory location and possibly extreme demographic disadvantages.
Since 1995, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has required that this document be written in plain English rather than be full of legal terms that the layman cannot understand. The North American Securities Administrators Associations (NASAA) administers and monitors the UFOC.
Following is a list of the 23 categories included in the UFOC:
If there is any hesitation on the part of the franchisor to provide you with the UFOC, you may wish to consider a different opportunity.
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