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Franchise Lawyers Serving Wisconsin

What You Need to Know About Franchising


Any Green Bay Packers fan can tell you Wisconsin is known for their cheese. In fact, the state is called America’s Dairyland because of its many dairy farms, milk production, and exports. Manufacturing also drives the economy, especially paper products, and the state’s eastern coastline along Lake Michigan provides a destination location for tourists.

Per the Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law, Wisconsin is a registration state. Franchise businesses must register their business with the state and pay an annual fee of $400.

Wisconsin Franchise Filing Fees






Post-Effective Amendment**

*Renewal filings must be submitted prior to the registration expiration date to maintain an effective registration.

**Post-Effective Amendment filings must be submitted if you are making a material change to your FDD after your initial or renewal filing is approved.


Wisconsin filings are completed online and payment of filing may be made via ACH or credit card. For ACH payments, you will be required to complete and submit an ACH authorization form to us before we will submit the filing for you. For credit card payments, you will be required to complete and submit a credit card authorization form to us before we will submit the filing for you.

There is no application required for filings in Wisconsin, but you must provide the name and title of an officer of the franchisor entity to input on the website authorizing the uniform consent to service of process.

Wisconsin requires the submission of the current FDD, but the state does not review the document and all filings are typically approved within an hour.

If you are a first-year start-up franchisor Wisconsin will allow unaudited financials in the FDD in lieu of an audit.

Did You Know?

99.4% of businesses in Wisconsin are small businesses, employing half of the state’s workers


On average, Wisconsin has a net migration of 5500. People want to live there!


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation offers a Focus Forward initiative, which is a popular support tool and community resource for business owners throughout the state

Wisconsin Franchise Exemptions

Large Investment – exemption from registration only

Fractional Franchises – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales to Existing Franchisees – exemption from registration and disclosure

Renewal of an Existing Agreement – exemption from registration and disclosure

Sales by Existing Franchisees – exemption from registration and disclosure

Out-of-State Sales – exemption from registration only

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.

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Attorneys Who Understand WI 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 franchises in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

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