FRUNS (FRANdata Unique Numbering System) is a coding system that uniquely identifies every brand in the U.S.A. that is associated with franchising.
This is similar in concept to the DUNS numbering system provided by Dun & Bradstreet that uniquely identifies incorporated businesses. A FRUNS number replaces previous coding references to brands used by SBA lenders and is necessary for all SBA loans.
In order to issue a FRUNS number for a brand, FRANdata has created a verification system by which we confirm that a company is an active business and meets the US Small Business Administration's definition of a franchise. For business format franchise brands, verification requires submission and review of a Franchise Disclosure Document. For other types of affiliated business systems, such as distributorships and licensees, verification depends on submission of appropriate documentation.
Why is this Important?
This initiative grew out of the desire to improve the SBA Loan Loss Data reported on every franchise whose franchisees get SBA-guaranteed loans. Though the SBA themselves recommend that lenders do NOT use their data for risk assessment, and even though far more accurate and complete tools exist to assist the lender in underwriting franchise loans, such as the Bank Credit Report, still too many lenders use this data as part of their credit policy.
One of the most basic reasons for the inaccurate data is that there was no "master list" of franchise brands that would allow lenders to properly code loans. The SBA asked FRANdata, as the only research company whose mission is to study all franchise companies, to produce just such a list.
The Franchise Registry exists to provide one location where ALL franchise lenders will come to find information about ALL franchise brands so that more and better loans to franchisees can be made.
To download an excel snapshot of the entire list (note: it us updated daily), click here.
For SBA Lenders
IMPORTANT NOTE: The existence of a FRUNS number does not imply that the franchise meets the requirements for SBA guaranteed lending. Lenders you must access the private portion of the Franchise Registry to learn about those brands that are pre-approved for SBA loans. Alternatively your loan must be reviewed to determine SBA eligibility.
What if the brand you are lending to is not listed? Complete this form, providing FRANdata with as much information about the brand as you have. FRANdata will immediately research the company and, if we can verify that it is a franchise, will issue you a FRUNS number. If you would like more information about the information provided on the Franchise Registry, especially about SBA eligibility of franchises, go here.
Getting a FRUNS number and maintaining your franchise listing is free and easy to do. If your franchise is not already listed, simply complete this form and FRANdata will review your information and add you to the list. You will be given a login to the site and will be able to update your info, add your logo, and marketing information. If you are listed but do not know your login, call us at 800.485.9570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and will provide you with your username and password.
More than 50,000 visitors come to the Franchise Registry website on a given month. This is made up of prospective franchisees, lenders, suppliers of all sorts, and franchise industry executives. Whether you take advantage of the lending tools offered or not, a simple listing on the site is a way for franchisees and others to validate that you have a viable and thriving franchise. For information about the value of the site for franchisors, go here.