Exemptions from registration requirements.
The registration requirements of this chapter shall not apply to:
(1) The offer or sale or transfer of a franchise by a franchisee who is not an affiliate of the franchisor for the franchisee's own account if the franchisee's entire franchise is sold and the sale is not effected by or through the franchisor. A sale is not effected by or through a franchisor merely because a franchisor has a right to approve or disapprove the sale or requires payment of a reasonable transfer fee. Such right to approve or disapprove the sale shall be exercised in a reasonable manner.
(2) The offer or sale of a franchise by an executor, administrator, sheriff, marshal, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, guardian, conservator, or pursuant to a court-approved offer or sale, on behalf of a person other than the franchisor or the estate of the franchisor.
(3) The offer or sale of a franchise to a bank, savings institution, trust company, insurance company, investment company as defined in the Investment Company Act of 1940, pension or profit sharing trust, or other financial institution or institutional buyer or to a broker dealer where the purchaser is acting for itself or in some fiduciary capacity.
(4) The offer or sale of a franchise by a franchisor:
(a) Who has delivered in writing to each prospective franchisee, at least fourteen calendar days prior to the execution by the prospective franchisee of any binding franchise or other agreement, or at least fourteen calendar days prior to the receipt of any consideration, whichever occurs first, a disclosure document complying with guidelines adopted by rule of the director. The director shall be guided in adopting such a rule by the guidelines for the preparation of the disclosure document adopted by the federal trade commission or the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., or its successor, as such guidelines may be revised from time to time; and
(b) Who either:
(i)(A) Has a net worth on a consolidated basis, according to its most recent audited financial statement, of not less than five million dollars or who has a net worth, according to its most recent audited financial statement, of not less than one million dollars and is at least eighty percent owned by a corporation which has a net worth on a consolidated basis, according to its most recent audited financial statement, of not less than five million dollars; and
(B) Has had at least twenty-five franchisees conducting business at all times during the five-year period immediately preceding the offer or sale or has conducted business which is the subject of the franchise continuously for not less than five years preceding the offer or sale or if any corporation which owns at least eighty percent of the franchisor, has had at least twenty-five franchisees conducting business at all times during the five-year period immediately preceding the offer or sale or such corporation has conducted business which is the subject of the franchise continuously for not less than five years preceding the offer or sale; and
(C) Requires an initial investment by the franchisee of more than one hundred thousand dollars; and
(D) Files annually with the director a statement prescribed by rule of the director giving notice of such claim, and pays a filing fee as set forth in RCW 19.100.240; or
(ii)(A) Has no outstanding franchises granted for businesses located or to be located outside the state of Washington; and
(B) Has granted and grants no more than three franchises for franchise businesses to be situated within the state of Washington; and
(C) Does not publish an advertisement or engage in general solicitation for the franchise offering; and
(D) The buyer is represented or advised in the transaction by independent legal counsel or certified public accountant; or
(iii) Does not charge a franchise fee, as defined in *RCW 19.100.010(12), in excess of five hundred dollars; and
(c) Who has not been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have been in violation of this chapter, chapter 19.86 RCW, or any of the various federal statutes dealing with the same or similar matters, within seven years of any sale or offer to sell franchise business under franchise agreement in the state of Washington.
(5) The offer or sale of a franchise to an accredited investor, as defined by rule adopted by the director. The director shall be guided in adopting such a rule by the rules defining accredited investor promulgated by the federal securities and exchange commission.
(6) The offer or sale of an additional franchise to an existing franchisee of the franchisor for the franchisee's own account that is substantially the same as the franchise that the franchisee has operated for at least two years at the time of the offer or sale, provided the prior sale to the franchisee was pursuant to a franchise offering that was registered in the state of Washington.
[2012 c 121 § 3; 1991 c 226 § 3; 1972 ex.s. c 116 § 2; 1971 ex.s. c 252 § 3.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 19.100.010 was alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsection (12) to subsection (8).|