The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the world economy, and franchising is just one of the industries that has been, and will continue to be, severely affected. In light of the crisis, some franchise registration states have taken steps to loosen their franchise renewal requirements to help franchisors through this difficult time.
Yesterday, Dale Cantone, Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Securities Division, issued this notice to franchisors:
The Maryland Securities Division is continuing to accept and process franchise registration applications as we receive them, even though most Division staff are working remotely as much as possible.
In response to the current state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Maryland Securities Commissioner today issued an order granting an automatic extension of the effective dates of franchise registrations and exemptions of effective franchise offerings in Maryland that would otherwise have expired during the state of emergency.
The Securities Commissioner’s Order allows a franchisor whose Maryland registration is extended during this emergency period to continue to offer (but not sell) a franchise under certain conditions, if the franchisor provides to prospective Maryland offerees an updated Franchise Disclosure Document that complies with the FTC Franchise Rule.
The Securities Commissioner’s Order applies only to franchise registrations and exemptions filed in Maryland.
The text of the Commissioner’s Order can be found at: