2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 553. Wisconsin franchise investment law.
553.03 Definitions.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 553.03 (2017)

553.03 Definitions. In this chapter:

(2) “Area franchise" means any contract or agreement between a franchisor and a subfranchisor whereby the subfranchisor is granted the right, for consideration given in whole or in part for such right, to sell or negotiate the sale of franchises in the name or on behalf of the franchisor.

(3) “Division" means the division of securities.

(4)

(a) “Franchise" means a contract or agreement, either express or implied, whether oral or written, between 2 or more persons by which:

1. A franchisee is granted the right to engage in the business of offering, selling or distributing goods or services under a marketing plan or system prescribed or suggested in substantial part by a franchisor; and

2. The operation of the franchisee's business pursuant to such plan or system is substantially associated with the franchisor's business and trademark, service mark, trade name, logotype, advertising or other commercial symbol designating the franchisor or its affiliate; and

3. The franchisee is required to pay, directly or indirectly, a franchise fee.

(b) Unless specifically stated otherwise, “franchise" includes area franchise.

(5) “Franchisee" means a person to whom a franchise is granted.

(5m) “Franchise fee" means any fee or charge that a franchisee or subfranchisor is required to pay or agrees to pay for the right to enter into a business under a franchise agreement, including, but not limited to, any such payment for goods and services. The following shall not be considered the payment of a “franchise fee":

(a) The purchase or agreement to purchase goods at a bona fide wholesale price. The division may issue rules defining wholesale transactions exempt under this paragraph.

(b) The payment of a reasonable service charge to the issuer of a credit card by an establishment accepting or honoring such credit card.

(c) Amounts paid in connection with trading stamp promotions permitted under s. 100.15 by a person issuing trading stamps in connection with the retail sale of merchandise or service.

(d) Any other consideration which the division by rule excludes from “franchise fee".

(6) “Franchisor" means a person who grants a franchise.

(8) “Fraud" and “deceit" are not limited to common law fraud or deceit.

(8g) “Notification" means notification under s. 553.26.

(8r) “Offer to sell" includes every attempt to offer to dispose of, or solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise or interest in a franchise for value. This term does not include the renewal or extension of an existing franchise where there is no interruption in the operation of the franchised business by the franchisee.

(9) “Order" means every direction or determination of the division designated an order and made in writing by the division, except a rule as defined under s. 227.01 (13).

(11) “Sale" or “sell" includes every contract or agreement of sale of, contract to sell, or disposition of, a franchise or interest in a franchise for value. This term does not include the renewal or extension of an existing franchise where there is no interruption in the operation of the franchised business by the franchisee.

(12) “Subfranchisor" means a person to whom an area franchise is granted.

History: 1971 c. 241; 1983 a. 189, 538; 1985 a. 182 s. 57; 1987 a. 381; 1995 a. 27, 364.

Service stations leased to their operators under agreements under which the rent was based on the amount of gasoline sold were not franchises subject to the Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law. Clark Oil & Refining Corp. v. Leistikow, 69 Wis. 2d 226, 230 N.W.2d 736 (1975).

Franchise tie-ins and antitrust; a critical analysis. Boer. 1973 WLR 847.

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