Typically a copy is delivered by the franchisor, either electronically or by mail. The current trend is toward electronic disclosure and I expect, as time goes by, more and more franchisors will move to electronic delivery as a cost saving measure and for the convenience of prospects.
The Franchise Disclosure Document must be shared with the prospective franchisee at least 14 days prior to executing a franchise agreement. The FTC rule also requires the franchisor share the Franchise Disclosure Document when a prospect “reasonably requests” to see the document. Each franchisor will have its own policy in regard to when the Franchise Disclosure Document is shared with a prospective franchisee and what “reasonably” really means, but in all cases it must follow the basic rules outlined above.
Once you receive the Franchise Disclosure Document, you will be required to sign and return an Acknowledgement of Receipt. This receipt simply records the fact you received the document and records the date in which you were “disclosed.”
As I mentioned above, once you receive a Franchise Disclosure Document, there is a mandatory waiting period of two weeks before any contract can be signed. This waiting period is designed to give you time to formulate questions and to make sure there is not a rush to conclude a deal without complete information being exchanged.