This week the Washington Securities Division announced that it is considering an amendment to the Washington Administrative Code (“WAC”) to formally adopt the Statement of Policy Regarding the Use of Franchise Questionnaires and Acknowledgments (“NASAA Policy”) promulgated by the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (“NASAA”).
If adopted, the new section to the WAC would read as follows:
WAC 460-80-325: NASAA SOP regarding the use of franchise questionnaires and acknowledgments. In order to promote uniform regulation, the administrator adopts the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Statement of Policy Regarding the Use of Franchise Questionnaires and Acknowledgments, as adopted September 18, 2022.
Washington released a “Proposal Statement of Inquiry” explaining that any adoption of the NASAA SOP “does not represent a material change in requirements for franchise offerings in Washington. However, adoption of the Statement of Policy would aid franchisors in complying with existing Washington law by providing specific examples of prohibited questionnaires and acknowledgments, while also increasing compliance with anti-waiver and anti-fraud requirements across the states with such requirements”
While the amendment is now only under consideration, it is this author’s opinion that it is more likely than not, that it will be formally adopted by Washington. Therefore, it is likely that Washington should be added, along with California, to the states that will require compliance the NASAA SOP when submitting state franchise renewal registrations.