How to Find the Name of a Franchise Owner

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If you have a complaint regarding a franchise or you want to research the validity of the operation, you are going to need the owner's name. There are a number of ways that you can go about finding out this information. Keep in mind that if the owner operates a sole proprietorship, his real name is his business name, but if he operates as a corporation, the business name will likely be different from his own. You may have to do a bit more digging in the latter case.

Go into the franchise location and look for the printed business license. This information should be prominently displayed on a wall in the business per most state regulations. If it is not, ask to see the license.

Visit the business website of the state in which the franchisee is located. Look for the "Business Listing" or "Corporate Search" area and perform a search. Enter the name of the franchise and the location (city and state at minimum). Franchise owners are required to register with the state for tax and regulation reasons, though it is not always guaranteed that the owner's full name will be listed on the website or available by calling the state's business information line.

Contact the local licensing agency that oversees the business to ask for the owner's name and contact information. For instance, the town administration office where the company operates usually will issue a local business permit to the owner.

Call the franchise's parent company directly to find out the name of the franchise owner. The parent company may choose to mediate the situation and get in touch with the franchise owner directly regarding your issue.

Check Hoovers.com (a website that maintains information about U.S. businesses) and BBB.org (Better Business Bureau) for the franchise's name and location. These websites may list the owner's name. You may have to pay for a report from Hoovers.com.

Do a search for the business online, including the franchise name, city and state. This may bring up a website, press release or news story regarding the owner.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the franchise is organized as a corporation, the "owner" will likely be listed as a principal of the company on the corporation's paperwork.

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