Are you considering buying a franchise in Virginia? If you are, the first thing you should do is make sure that the franchise you're considering has properly registered in Virginia. Virginia, along with 14 other states, requires franchise registration. This means that before a company can start selling franchises in Virginia, they must submit documentation and be approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. If they have not done so, they have violated the laws of Virginia.
It's easy to determine whether a company has registered to sell franchises in Virginia. The Virginia State Corporation Commission, Division of Securities and Retail Franchising, provides an online database where you can search for companies that have registered to sell franchises in Virginia. The database can be found here: SCC franchise database.
Additionally, you can visit the Division of Retail Franchising in person to review any of the documents that have been filed by franchisors.
Once you've done this initial due diligence, you can do further due diligence. For more information on that, check out our Top 10 Checklist for Evaluating a Franchise.