The FRanchise Electronic Depository (FRED) Frequently Asked Filer Questions

Q: Do I have to create an account to make a franchise filing?

A: Yes. The system requires a registered account for contact, renewal, and notification purposes.

 

Q: Are there any fees associated with using FRED?

A: Yes. FRED charges a system use fee for setup, maintenance, and further system development. The system use fees per state are $100 for Initial filings; $50 for Renewals; $50 for Amendments; $25 for notice filings (of any kind in notice filing jurisdictions). Please note that the first-time digitization for any form, or the “initial filing with FRED” will have the initial fee applied.

 

Q: Why is there a system use fee?

A: FRED will provide significant efficiencies for communications with regulators and compliance with state law. The system automatically tracks franchise law changes, fee structures, and document requirements for each participating jurisdiction to simplify the filing process. FRED will also notify the filer when it is time to renew a filing, store your documents, and provide a complete history of the filing for easy access by the filers, regulators, and the public who may be interested in obtaining a franchise.

 

Q: What information will the public be able to see?

A: FRED will generally make Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD) documents public by default. These settings are configurable on a state-by-state basis, and some states may elect to provide additional documents to the public.

 

Q: What type of files can be uploaded?

A: By default, the system allows for PDF uploads. Some states have elected to receive other file types (word, excel, mv4). More information on a specific state’s filing types is available on the document upload screen.

 

Q: Will I receive notices when our files are accepted or when the state requests additional documents?

A: Yes. The system will send out emails either daily or weekly depending on your configurations and will notify you of any status changes or additional requests. The system will also send out approval/acceptance letters and will house state communications for easy reference.

 

Q: Will the system send annual renewal reminders?

A: Yes. The system is designed to send annual renewal reminders. By default, this will occur 90 days prior to the filing’s expiration, but this time frame can be changed by each filer.

 

Q: Can you make multiple filings (e.g., initial, exemption, renewal, etc.) to multiple states at the same time?

A: Yes. The system will allow you to file multiple submission types at the same time to several states.

 

Q: What are the operating hours for FRED?

A: FRED is generally available at all hours, barring time for scheduled system maintenance. The EFD helpdesk is available from 9:00am to 6:00pm ET Monday through Friday (except legal holidays) to address any questions or concerns.

 

Q: Are all states going to participate in FRED?

A: We are working with more regulators to accept filings through FRED this year. At this time, Hawaii, Indiana, and Michigan have indicated that they will not be participating in the near future. We are able to onboard states in short order when they elect to participate.

 

Q: Will there be a database of searchable filings where I can locate a specific FDD?

A: FRED’s database will be searchable by name or (optionally) industry type. As the system grows, filers and members of the public will be able to obtain copies of any filed FDD. Several states have expressed an interest in uploading previously filed/non-FRED FDDs, and this option and required programming are still being discussed internally.

 

Q: If I have already submitted an initial filing through paper, can I file a renewal or amendment through FRED?

A: Yes. The system can open a new file for initials, renewals, amendments, etc. At any point when you would interact with a state to file, renew, or amend, you can submit through FRED.