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Hey, Get a Clue!

Find out why the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular has been a franchisee's best friend for 25 years.

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This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you're seriously considering purchasing a franchised business, you have a marvelous advantage over buyers of independent businesses: You receive a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) from the franchisor at least a couple of weeks prior to closing on your purchase. This document is designed to make your franchise investment a fully informed decision, and for prospective franchisees, it's worth its weight in Big Macs.

Since 1979, federal franchise law has required franchisors in the United States to deliver this document to all prospective franchisees. The fundamental pre-sale disclosure approach to franchise sales regulation hasn't changed in 25 years, but the UFOC has changed considerably over that time.

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