Can the Government Help?
If you think your franchisor has violated a law, or acted unfairly or deceptively, you
may be able to obtain redress through a state or federal agency. Below is a list of states
that you can use to start the process. First you have to file the complaint, and allow
your state regulator time to read and respond to your complaint. Once they have decided it
is a legitimate complaint, they will notify you and let you know what to do next.
Remember, you must have evidence that the franchisor has
been unfair to you -- without evidence there is no case.
You will need a reader such as Adobe Acrobat to view most of these forms.
Click here to download:
Consumer Complaint Form
500 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
TTY: (217) 785-2771
100 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
TTY: (312) 814-3374
1001 East Main Street
Carbondale, IL 62901
TTY: (618) 529-6403
Form or email@example.com
Maryland Office of the Attorney General
ATTN: Dale Cantone
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Securities and Franchise Complaint Form or
|The State Corporation Commission
Securities and Retail Franchising
ATTN: Brian Silverman
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Phone: (804) 371-9051
Washington Department of Financial
ATTN: Martin Cordell
PO Box 41200
Olympia, WA 98504-1200
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Case Selection Consideration
Is there an allegation of a violation of law enforced by the
Is the alleged violation within the applicable statute of
Does the problem appear to be an isolated event or part of a
pattern or practice?
What is the likely level of consumer injury?
Is a law enforcement action viable?
Are the alleged violations close to the statute of
- Can witnesses be located? Are they willing to cooperate? Is
their testimony persuasive (i.e. memory, perception, bias).
What other evidence exits that the law violation occurred? Are
documents available and complete? Can they be authenticated?
In a civil penalty action, can the Commission prove
"actual knowledge or knowledge fairly implied (Section 5(m)(1)(A))?"
Is there a viable, meaningful remedy?
Does the company have assets? Can it make redress or pay a
What would be the deterrent effect on the company and on other
In a civil penalty action, how would a court consider the
Section 5(m)(1)(A) factors: degree of culpability, prior history, ability to pay, effect
on ability to continue to do business and "other matters as justice may
require." What about harm to non-injured, existing franchisees?
What are the litigation risks?
What are the resource requirements and competing law
Are there alternatives to federal intervention?
Can the franchisee(s) sue under state law for fraud,
misrepresentation or breach of contract?
- Is the matter appropriate for a referral to state authorities
or to the FTCs alternative law enforcement program?
If you feel that after reading the above that your issue will be acceptable by FTC
standards, you must fill out a
Bureau of Consumer Protection Complaint Form.