FTC To Review Franchise Rule. Public Workshop Set To Debate Provisions

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For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop/conference to discuss issues raised during the review of the Franchise Rule. The workshop will be held September 12-14 at the Crown Sterling Suites in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The Franchise Rule requires a franchisor to provide prospective franchisees with a complete and accurate basic disclosure statement containing 20 categories of information, including information about the history of the franchisor, its litigation history, the financial condition of the franchise, the terms and conditions under which the franchise operates, as well as information about other franchisees. If a franchisor chooses to make earnings claims, the rule requires the franchisor to have a reasonable basis for those claims and also to provide a document to potential franchisees containing that substantiation.

In April, the FTC announced that it was reviewing the rule and asked for public comment on several issues, including whether to modify the rule's disclosure requirements; to change the disclosure requirements for business opportunity ventures; to include trade show promoters; and to require mandatory disclosure of earnings information.

The public workshop/conference will afford FTC staff and other interested parties the opportunity to discuss the issues raised during the rule review, and particularly the comments received in response to the Federal Register notice in April. The views and suggestions made during the conference, as well as the written comments, will be used by FTC staff to formulate recommendations to the Commission as it reviews the existing rule.

Those who wish to participate must submit written comments on the rule before August 11, and must notify the Commission, in writing, of their interest in participating. The staff will select conference participants from among representatives of the significant interests affected by the Franchise Rule. Participants may include franchisors, franchisees, business opportunity promoters, trade show organizers and state and local law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

The conference also will be open to the general public.

Comments on the Franchise Rule should be addressed to Secretary, FTC, Room H-159, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580.

Notification of interest in the Public Workshop should be submitted to Myra Howard, Room H-238, at the address listed above.

Copies of the Franchise Rule and the Federal Register Notice requesting comments on the Rule are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, at the above address; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov


(FTC File No. P954402)

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