This post was updated on April 8, 2020.
In recent days, several U.S. states have announced accommodations for franchise filings.
California announced an extension of time for calendar year franchisors to file their 2020 renewals from April 20 to June 20 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the renewal filing fee of $475 remains in effect if the renewal is filed by June 20, those who do not file by April 20 must suspend sales until approved. Filers are urged to file electronically and can sign their application forms using an e-sign software program, such as DocuSign, instead of getting their signatures notarized. Those who file by hard copy are asked to waive the automatic effectiveness, and their filing will not be effective until the actual date designated by order.
Hawaii is urging filers to use its online filing system. It has also extended the renewal filing deadline until April 30.
Indiana is granting franchisors whose current registrations were to expire between March 16, 2020, and May 31, 2020, a registration extension until June 30, 2020.
Minnesota is waiving its notarization requirement.
New York is extending current registrations and exemptions by 90 days and is accepting electronic filings.
South Dakota is asking franchisors to request an extension of their registration if they will not be able to file timely.
Virginia has extended the 21-day grace period previously reported on March 18 to registrations and exemptions expiring while the emergency declaration remains in effect. It also will accept PDF copies of the FDD on CD-ROM, though the application forms must still be submitted in paper form.
Washington is waiving its notarization requirement.
Other states, including Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota, will provide accommodations if requested.