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What Is A Franchise Disclosure Document? (FDD)

by: Josh Parker

When I became part of the Storage Authority Team one of the first things I had to do was read and re-read the Storage Authority Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).  I am not an attorney but I can say without a doubt an FDD is repetitive dry legalese. I say this because not only does it include the Franchise Agreement but it has a very detailed description of the Franchise Agreement, by section and sub section. By the time you’re done reading you feel like you read many things twice.

A Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) is a document that every Franchisor must provide to a potential Franchisee for their review. It is a legal document in a format required by the Federal Trade Commission. Consisting of several parts, the FDD gives potential Franchisees insight into who the Franchisor is- even providing an idea about the past and the future of the Franchisor. The Franchise Agreement provides the responsibilities of both the Franchisee and the Franchisor. Typically a potential Franchise must acknowledge the receipt of the FDD at least 14 days before they can sign a Franchise Agreement.

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The FDD along with several conversations with the Franchisor, will give you the insights and info to determine if you are good fit for a Franchise. An FDD also provides important financial information such as estimated expenses, development costs, Franchise fees, Royalty fees and more. There are 23 items in an FDD, and they are all important.

In his book Grow to Greatness, Steve Olson says this: “most people are overwhelmed when they first read an FDD.  They’re thick, extensive and repetitious… You may want to review sections in intervals, rather than all at once.  Be sure to make a list of questions as you go through it” That is spot on advise. The good news is the Storage Authority FDD is shorter than most.

Olson also makes this important observation, “You’ll notice that the documents are tough, one-sided, and biased… They are designed to protect the brand. They’re written to safeguard the quality of products and services that make a franchise system so successful.”  The way I think of it is, we are protecting all our Franchisees by insuring one or two bad apples don’t ruin things for everyone else.

Getting a copy of the Storage Authority FDD is simple.  All you have to do is take 10 minutes to complete the application on our website –, apply icon.  And once you are approved we will send you our FDD to review.

When you ask what a FDD is, you should also be asking “What is a Franchise?” Franchising is one of the most successful business models ever introduced to entrepreneurs. One way we like to say it is this, “Franchising means being in business for yourself but not by yourself.” The mutually beneficial relationship that exists between Franchisors and Franchisees makes Franchising unique in the world of business. Franchisees combine knowledge and resources with entrepreneurial drive and spirit to form a business relationship unique to Franchising. Franchising is a field of expanding economic opportunity in which each and every person can play a part based on talent, initiative, and dedication.

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Of course, you can’t learn everything about a Franchisor from an FDD and that is why is important to get to know the Franchisor team to confirm you are a good fit. Visiting them and one of their locations is a great idea, or at least have multiple of zoom meetings.  It always a good idea to learn more about the Franchisor and his systems by talking with an existing Franchisee.

We are happy to review the Storage Authority Franchise opportunity including the Storage Authority Franchise Disclosure Documents with you!  Just give me a call or send me an email.

Josh Parker is a Franchise Director at Storage Authority LLC, the only self-storage franchise in the US. When Josh is not helping out a Franchise Owner and their staff he is using his sophisticated computer and technology skills to make sure Storage Authority franchisees have access to the latest software and hardware that increase operating efficiency, heighten customer satisfaction, and improve the bottom line. Put simply, Josh knows that effectively managing large facilities means paying attention to small details.  It’s how he is building the technology systems that are building value for our owners. He can be reached at or directly at 203-213-7438 to answerer your self-storage franchise, development, marketing, sales and operational questions.


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