A franchise disclosure document (FDD) is a legal document which is presented to prospective buyers of franchises in the pre-sale disclosure process in the United States. It was originally known as the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) (or uniform franchise disclosure document), prior to revisions made by the Federal Trade Commission in July 2007.
The FDD underlies the franchise agreement (the formal sales contract) between the parties at the time the contract is formally signed. This franchise sales contract governs the long-term relationship – the terms of which generally range from five to twenty years. The contracts cannot generally be changed unless there is agreement of both parties.
Under the Franchise Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a prospective franchisee must receive the franchisor’s FDD franchise disclosure document at least 14 days before they are asked to sign any contract or pay any money to the franchisor or an affiliate of the franchisor. The prospective franchisee has the right to ask for (and get) a copy of the sample franchise disclosure document once the franchisor has received the prospective franchisee’s application and agreed to consider it. The franchisor may provide a copy of its franchise disclosure documents on paper, via email, through a web page, or on a disc. Franchise disclosure document requirements.