Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Franchise Rule FAQ Clarifies “Exclusive Territory”

This posting was written by Pete Reap, Editor of CCH Busines Franchise Guide.

The Federal Trade Commission Staff, on October 16, answered an additional frequently asked question (FAQ) regarding the 2007 amendments to its franchise disclosure rule.

The most recently answered question FAQ 37 is:

"May a franchisor state in Item 12 that it grants an "exclusive territory" if it reserves the right to open franchised or company outlets in so-called "non-traditional venues" like airports, arenas, hospitals, hotels, malls, military installations, national parks, schools, stadiums and theme parks?"
The FTC Staff replied:

"No. Pursuant to FAQ 25, a franchisor may state in Item 12 that it grants an "exclusive territory" only if the franchisor contractually "promises not to establish either a company-owned or franchised outlet selling the same or similar goods or services under the same or similar trademarks or service marks" within the geographic area or territory granted to a franchisee. A reservation of rights to open outlets selling the same goods or services under the same trademarks or service marks within a franchisee’s territory negates any such commitment and triggers the Item 12 requirement to include a disclaimer stating that franchisees will not receive an exclusive territory."
The entire series of questions and answers is reproduced at CCH Business Franchise Guide ¶6090 and here on the FTC website.

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