Portal Filing Instructions for Franchise Registrations

  • New Portal Account Registration

  • Initial Franchise Registration

  • Renewal Registration

  • Documents required for a “Complete Application”

  • Error Messages

  • Grossly Deficient Application


  • New Portal Account Registration:

    • If you are creating a new portal account to file a Franchise application, use Option B

    • Your account should be approved within five (5) business days. Although in most cases it is approved within two (2) days, plan accordingly.

    • A confirmation email will be sent to the address you provided after your access to the self-service portal is established.

    • Additional FAQ’s http://www.dbo.ca.gov/DOCQNET/faqs.asp

    • If you need assistance, call the Department’s toll-free number at 1-866-275-2677 and ask one of our Customer Service Representatives for assistance registering your portal account.

    Register here: https://docqnet.dbo.ca.gov/

  • Initial Franchise Registration:

    • First page of online form

      • Select California Corporations Code section 31111
      • Franchise Registration Expiration Date is not applicable to initial registration

    • Second page of online form

      • The Franchisor’s legal name (Organization Name) for which you are filing an application will automatically populate. You may not make any changes to the Organizations name, as your account is linked to that organization. If you need to make any changes, contact a Customer Service Representative (866) 275-2677 and ask for the Securities Regulation Division staff member on phone duty.

      • Select Franchisor or Sub-Franchisor.

        • If you select Sub-Franchisor a search window will open.
        • Search for the Franchisor and associate the applicant sub-franchisor (a/k/a Master) to the Franchisor

       

    • Third page of online form

      • You will be asked to add a contact for your application. This is a mandatory field that you must provide.
      • Returning filers should look up their existing contact entry rather than entering a new one.
      • For Contact Type, select Counsel/Representative.
      • The Department will send all correspondence to the designated contact person. Please include an email to expedite the Department’s correspondence.

       

    • Fourth page of online form

      • Next, you will be prompted to upload the required documents. Incomplete submissions are not filed until the missing information is provided (California Corporations Code section 31116)

  • Renewal Registration:

  • The Franchisor’s registration normally expires 110 days after the date of its next fiscal year. Franchisors with a calendar (December) fiscal year end must file a renewal on or before the expiration date (April 20th for a calendar fiscal year end when the 20th falls on a week day), at 5 PM (PST). If you file after 5 PM the DocQNet database will accept the application as filed on the next business day. You must then file your application as an initial (late renewal) registration and pay an addition $225.

    If your registration has expired, the application is no longer a renewal. Consequently, DocQNet will not let you proceed and you will receive a series of error messages. See the section on error messages and restart the process and proceed as an initial registration.

    • First page of online form

      • Select California Corporations Code section 31121
      • Type in current registration expiration date

    • Second page of online form

      • The Franchisor’s legal name (Organization Name) for which you are filing an application will automatically populate. You may not make any changes to the Organization’s name, as your account is linked to that organization. If you need to make any changes, contact a Customer Service Representative (866) 275-2677 and ask for the Securities Regulation Division staff member on phone duty.

      • Select Franchisor or Sub-Franchisor.
        • If you select Sub-Franchisor a search window will open
        • Search for the Franchisor and associate the applicant sub-franchisor (a/k/a Master) to the Franchisor

    • Third page of online form

      • You will be asked to add a contact for your application. This is a mandatory field that you must provide.
      • Returning filers should look up their existing contact entry rather than entering a new one.
      • For Contact Type, select Counsel/Representative.
      • The Department will send all correspondence to the designated contact person. Please include an email to expedite the Department’s correspondence.

    • Fourth page of online form

      • Next, you will be prompted to upload the required documents. Incomplete submissions are not filed until the missing information is provided (California Corporations Code section 31116)

  • Documents required for a “Complete Application”

  • REQUIRED documents are listed below. Your application will not be accepted as filed by the Department until ALL of the following documents have been uploaded and the application is complete. (See California Corporations Code section 31116)

    • Customer Authorization
    • Consent to Service of process (for non-California entities)
    • Corporate / LLC Acknowledgement
    • Verification/Certification
    • Franchisor’s Costs and Source of Funds
    • or
      Supplemental Information Form
    • Sales Agent Disclosure Form (redacted and clean copy)
    • or
      Franchise Seller Form (as applicable)

           Please ONLY include Sales Agents in California.

    • Auditor’s Consent
    • Financial Statements – Audit or if eligible, Reviewed
    • Internet Ad Exemption Notice
    • The full Franchise Disclosure Document, complete with all exhibits applicable to your franchise

    NOTE: If you upload multiple versions of a document, the Department will ONLY accept and review the most recent version.


  • Error Messages

  • If you receive a system error, follow these steps to restart your filing:

    1. Exit your browser
    2. Open a new browser window
    3. Go back to the Portal login page and input your login credentials
    4. Once logged in, click on MY ACCOUNT on the top right corner of the page
    5. A drop-down menu will appear
    6. Choose Franchise/Securities Applications
    7. This will direct you to a screen with all the Franchise/Securities Applications for this franchisor
    8. Click on the most recent application

  • Grossly Deficient Application

  • Please note that that if the Department determines an application is grossly deficient (those submissions that do not substantively comply with the Guidelines for Franchise Registration), the filer may be asked to withdraw the application.

    Grossly deficient files may be denied under California Corporations Code section 31115.

    For more information on the documents listed above, or more specific requirements, please visit: Guidelines for Franchise Registration