As we head into Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address, our thoughts at Fox Rothschild return to last year at the ABA Forum on Franchising Annual Meeting in Palm Desert, California. One of the most interesting seminars was entitled “What’s New and What’s Next: The New Administration and Beyond.” In addition to reviewing updates on joint employer issues, SBA lending rules and changes to accounting rules, the session provided an interesting update on whether the FTC Franchise Rule will succumb to the Trump administration’s mandated review of all regulations.
The short answer (drumroll please) is probably not, at least not anytime soon. The Federal Trade Commission was scheduled to review its 66 rules and regulations (including the FTC Franchise Rule) to determine whether they should be modified, expanded or repealed in 2018. However, the FTC decided it will not proceed with the review. Further, the administration clarified that the FTC is not subject to the Executive Order requiring that two regulations be discarded for every new regulation. For now, it appears there may not be any immediate changes to the FTC Rule.
However, the NASAA’s Franchise Project Group chaired by Dale Cantone, Maryland Deputy Attorney General, is forging ahead with a number of initiatives. According to the session presenters, such projects include:
- Working with state franchise regulators to implement the new FPR Commentary [PDF];
- Revising the NASAA state cover page;
- Revising the 2008 Franchise Registration and Disclosure Guidelines [PDF];
- Making Risk Factors requirements uniform among states; and
- Developing one electronic filing system for all states to use.
Although, there may be little action on the federal level, it appears that the NASAA Franchise Project Group will continue to make strides to eliminate conflicting applications of franchise disclosures among the states and work towards standardization. An action plan that all franchise regulatory attorneys likely endorse.