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David J. Kaufmann David J. Kaufmann

In response to what it perceived as the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many franchise businesses, on June 17, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Franchise and Business Opportunities Project Group—the quasigovernmental organization of federal and state franchise regulators that coordinates regulatory policy nationwide—issued guidance (the FPR Guidance) advancing new requirements, restrictions and prohibitions pertaining to Franchise Disclosure Document Item 19 franchise network historic financial performance representations (FPRs) (accessible at https://www.nasaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/FPRs-in-the-time-of-COVID-19.pdf).

(Full disclosure: this author has for 25 years served as one of 12 outside advisors to the NASAA Franchise and Business Opportunity Project Group—six representing franchisor interests, six franchisee interests—but it is noteworthy that, for the first time in memory, the advisers’ input and counsel were not at all sought in connection with the Franchise and Business Opportunity Project Group’s promulgation of the FPR Guidance examined in this column.)

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