This story first appeared in the March 2013
issue of Entrepreneur
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The cheapest way is to obtain a UFOC is through the California Department of Corporations. The link http://188.8.131.52/caleasi/pub/Exsearch.htm
should get you to their UFOC if the franchisor is registered in California and has not claimed an exemption. If the franchisor is not registered in California, your options are to ask the franchisor directly, use one of the services that provide these UFOCs for a fee, or go directly to the state regulators in registration states (and request a copy under the Freedom of Information Act). State agencies are sometimes slow to respond and will also charge you a fee.