U.S. SEC EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval System) ; 1996 - present
Access to U.S. SEC filings are also available through Kresge's D&B Hoovers, Mergent Online, Bloomberg, and Intelligize
Franchise Disclosure Statements
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all franchises provide a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) so that the prospective franchisees understand the investment risks and obligations. A few large franchises are exempt from filing.
This FTC Franchise Rule (16 CFR Parts 436 and 437) requires the FDD to contain 23 specific items of information about the offered franchise, its officers, and other franchisees. Required disclosure topics include:
For a summation, see Entrepreneur Magazine’s article on how to read a financial disclosure statement.
Twenty-one U.S. States have the authority to regulate franchises and a few of them offer access to the actual FDD filings:
Must know the exact legal franchise name to retrieve FDDs. Consult the International Franchise Association’s identifier
Countries and their securities exchange have different company financial disclosure requirements. To locate filings and documents:
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx)
Locate HKEXnews -> Listed Company Information
Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX)
Locate Securities -> Company Information -> Annual Reports & Related Documents
Shanghai Stock Exchange (English)
Locate Listings or Disclosure
To learn more about franchise operations, you can view the franchise disclosure document (FDD). This is a document that is presented to prospective buyers of franchises in the pre-sale disclosure. A few states make these publicly available:
Minnesota CARDS (Commerce Actions and Regulatory Documents Search) allows you to find FDD documents for no charge.
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions also allows you to find FDD documents. Here is their main page.