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Business Opportunity Regulation States

Before you buy into a business opportunity, find out if your state regulates them and how the laws can protect you.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Over a period of about 25 years, 24 states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted laws that impose a variety of requirements on companies and individuals who sell packages that qualify as "business opportunities." Some statutes call the concept "seller-assisted marketing plans." The FTC adopted a set of business opportunity regulations as part of its 1979 Franchise Rule basically requiring full presale disclosure, but it included a definition of a business opportunity venture that was so loose it reached only a fraction of the companies covered by state laws.

To learn more about FTC compliance, visit the FTC Web site . For information on specific state rules, contact the state offices below.

California | Connecticut | Florida | Georgia | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Michigan | Minnesota | Nebraska | New Hampshire | North Carolina | Ohio | Oklahoma | South Carolina | South Dakota | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Washington

California (filing required)

Attorney General's Office

Public Inquiry Unit

P.O. Box 944255

Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

(800) 952-5225 (in-state only)

(916) 322-3360 (out-of-state)

http://www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/samp.htm piu@doj.ca.gov

Connecticut (filing required)

Department of Banking

Securities Division

44 Capitol Avenue

Hartford, CT 06106

(203) 566-4560 ex8322

http://www.state.ct.us/dob/pages/bsoplist.htm

Florida (filing required)

Dept. Agri. & Consumer Services

Room 110 - Mayo Building

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-2221

(800) 342-2176 (in-state only)

http://doacs.state.fl.us/onestop/cs/business.html

Georgia (no filing required)

Office of Consumer Affairs

No. 2 - Martin Luther King Dr.

Plaza Level, East Tower

Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 656-3790

http://www.legis.state.ga.us/GaOCA/

Illinois (filing required)

Illinois Securities Department

Lincoln Tower

520 S. Second St. Suite 200

Springfield, IL 62701

(217)782-2256

http://www.library.sos.state.il.us/departments/securities/securities.html

Indiana (filing required)

Consumer Protection Division

Attorney General's Office

219 State House

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(317) 232-6331

http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/consumer/index.htm

Iowa (filing required)

Securities Bureau

Second Floor

Lucas State Office Building

Des Moines, IA 50319

(515) 281-4441

http://www.iid.state.ia.us/division/securities/default.asp

Kentucky (filing required)

Attorney General's Office

Consumer Protection Division

209 St. Clair

Frankfort, KY 40601

(502) 573-2200

http://www.law.state.ky.us/cp/Default.htm

Louisiana (bond filing required)

Office of the Attorney General

Consumer Protection Division

2610-A Woodale Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA 70804

(504) 342-7900

http://www.ag.state.la.us/consumer.shtml

Maine (filing required)

Banking Bureau

Securities Division

State House - Station 121

Augusta, ME 04333

(207) 624-8551

http://www.state.me.us/pfr/sec/sec_index.htm

Maryland (filing required)

Attorney General's Office

Securities Division

200 St. Paul Pl. - 20th Floor

Baltimore, MD 21202

(301) 576-6360

http://www.oag.state.md.us/Securities/index.htm

Michigan (notice required)

Consumer Protection Division

Dept. of the Attorney General

670 Law Building

Lansing, MI 48913

(517) 373-7117

http://www.ag.state.mi.us/cp/index.htm

Minnesota (filing required)

Department of Commerce

Registration Division

133 East 7th Street

St. Paul, MN 55101

(651) 296-6328

http://search.state.mn.us/commerce/

Nebraska (filing required)

Dept. of Banking & Finance

P.O. Box 95006

Lincoln, NE 68509

(402) 471-2171 or

(402) 471-3445

http://www.ndbf.org/

New Hampshire (filing required)

Attorney General's Office

Consumer Protection Div.

State House Annex

Concord, NH 03301

(603) 271-3641

http://www.state.nh.us/nhdoj/Consumer/cpb.html

North Carolina (filing reqired)

Department of Justice

Consumer Protection Division

P.O. Box 629

Raleigh, NC 27602

(919) 733-3924

http://www.jus.state.nc.us/cpframe.htm

Ohio (no filing required)

Attorney General's Office

Consumer Fraud & Crime Section

25th Floor, State Office Tower

30 East Broad Street

Columbus, OH 43266-0410

(614) 466-8831

800-282-0515 (in-state only)

http://www.ag.state.oh.us/consumer/consumer.htm

Oklahoma (filing required)

Oklahoma Department of Securities

Suite 860, First National Center

120 N. Robinson

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

(405) 280-7700 (voice)

(405) 280-7742 (fax)

http://www.securities.state.ok.us

South Carolina (filing required)

Secretary of State's Office

P.O. Box 11350

Columbia, SC 29211

(803) 734-2169

http://www.scsos.com/

South Dakota (filing required)

Division of Securities

910 E. Sioux Avenue

Pierre, SD 57501

(605) 773-4013

http://www.state.sd.us/dcr/securities/

Texas (filing required)

Secretary of State's Office

Statutory Documents Section

P.O. Box 13563

Austin, TX 78711

(512) 475-1769

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/index.shtml

Utah (filing required)

Consumer Protection Division

160 East 300 South

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

(801) 530-6601

http://www.commerce.utah.gov/dcp/index.html

Virginia (no filing required)

Consumer Affairs Office

101 North 8th Street

Richmond, VA 23219

(804) 786-0594

(800) 451-1525 (in-state only)

http://www.vdacs.state.va.us/index.html

Washington (filing required)

Department of Financial Institutions

Securities Division

P.O. Box 9033

Olympia, WA 98507-9033

(206) 753-6928

http://www.dfi.wa.gov/sd/default.htm