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Franchise Lawyers Serving North Carolina

What You Need to Know About Franchising

North Carolina

North Carolina must have something in the water when it comes to new business ventures, inventors, and entrepreneurs. Starting with the Wright Brothers’ successful flight at Kitty Hawk, the Tar Heel State has a history of believing in new ideas. It was King Charles II that granted the charter for the Carolinas to become a territory because of his belief in its success.

That belief carries on in North Carolina entrepreneurs, with more than 800,000 small businesses statewide. North Carolina is also one of the friendliest states for starting a franchise, as it is a non-registration state. However, in order to sell franchises in NC, if you do not have a federally registered trademark, you must get an initial approval which needs to be renewed annually.  If you have a federally registered trademark on the USPTO’s principal register, you are automatically qualified for the Federally Registered Trademark Exclusion and no filing or fees are required.

North Carolina Franchise Filing Fees







*Renewal filings must be submitted before the expiration date each year.

**North Carolina does not require the submission of amendment filings.


North Carolina requires payment of the filing fee via check made payable to “North Carolina Secretary of State”.

The application required to be submitted to North Carolina must be notarized.

If you are in your first year of franchising, North Carolina will accept unaudited financials with your initial filing. We are required to file the current FDD with the state, but they do not conduct a full review, and filings are usually approved within a month.

Did You Know?

North Carolina is home to the largest textile mill industry in the U.S. and employs more than 27,000 people in over 600 textile manufacturing facilities at companies like Kimberly-Clark, Gildan Activewear and National Spinning Company. The state had about $2 billion in textile exports in 2017.

Think Currituck

Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7th 1914.

Only In Your State

UNC Chapel Hill is the oldest state university in the United States.

Only In Your State

North Carolina Franchise Exemptions

Federally Registered Trademark – exemption from registration only

Responsible Sellers Exemptions – exemption from registration

Non-Franchisor Exemptions


Flat Fee Program for Franchisors

Spadea Lignana’s CORE program for franchisors is a cost-effective and practical solution for the ongoing legal needs of franchisors, including but not limited to, FDD updates, state registrations and franchise agreement executions. Through a proprietary cloud-based system we can effectively and efficiently manage FDD Disclosures and Franchise Agreement executions for fair flat fees billed monthly. We believe that hourly billing, although necessary in certain circumstances like complex M&A deals and litigation, can weigh on the relationship between client and attorney.  By coming up with a fair flat monthly fee, the uncomfortable negotiating of whether or not a 6 minute increment in your bill for replying to an email was legitimate goes away.

Start With a Free Consultation

Attorneys Who Understand NC Franchise Law

Franchise laws vary from state to state, and it can be difficult to understand the requirements. Spadea Lignana has streamlined the process to ensure you remain compliant as you grow nationally.

We also work with franchisors nearby in South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.

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