Virginia Extends Franchise Renewals Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Following the example set earlier this week by Maryland, Virginia has announced that it is extending the renewal periods for franchisors registered in the state by a period of twenty-one days. The 21-day period may be further extended by order of the Virginia State Corporation Commission (“SCC”) or the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The renewal deadline extension is in effect pursuant to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Order Declaring Judicial Emergency in Response to COVID-19 (“Judicial Emergency Declaration”). The Judicial Emergency Declaration is in effect from Monday, March 16, 2020 to Monday, April 6, 2020 and (as stated above) is subject to possible further extension.

The text of the SCC’s Order Extending Franchise Renewal Deadlines is as follows:

The State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) takes judicial notice of the ongoing public health emergency relating to the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the declarations of emergency issued at both the state’ and federal levels, as Well as the Order Declaring a Judicial Emergency In Response to COVID-19 Emergency issued by the Supreme Court of Virginia on March 16, 2020 (“Judicial Emergency Declaration”). Accordingly, the Commission takes the following action.


NOW THE COMMISSION, pursuant to the Judicial Emergency Declaration and § 13.1-561 of the Code of Virginia (“Code”), hereby ORDERS that, any franchise registered or exempted from registration under the Virginia Retail Franchising Act (§ 13.1-557 et seg. of the Code) but whose registration or exemption is due to expire while the Judicial Emergency Declaration is in effect (“Eligible Franchise”), is granted an extension of that registration or exemption for 21 days, or such other time period as may be subsequently ordered by this Commission or the Supreme Court of Virginia through any subsequent emergency order or declaration. The Commission notes that this Order functions only as an extension of the renewal deadline for Eligible Franchises, and not a registration or exemption waiver, and that all required fees or other documentation necessary for renewal pursuant to the Code must be paid or submitted on or before any applicable extended renewal deadline.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 17th day of March, 2020.

If you need assistance understanding how this extension will affect your franchise, please feel free to contact our franchise team at mkreutzer@howardandhoward.com; jlloyd@howardandhoward.com, or jfountain@howard@howard.com.

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