April 08, 2012 | Legal News

New Franchise Regulations in Canada

On October 1, 2012, Manitoba will become the 5th Canadian province to regulate the offer and sale of franchises. Like the laws and regulations currently in effect in the other provinces that regulate franchising (Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island), Manitoba’s regulations deal primarily with pre-sale disclosures with regulations that generally track those of the other provinces. Franchisors who are offering franchises in Manitoba should be able to continue to use a single disclosure document, but a few adjustments will be necessary prior to October 1 to comply with additional requirements imposed under the Manitoba regulations:

  • Manitoba will require the same risk warnings that are currently required by New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
  • Franchisors who do not provide an estimate of annual operating costs will need to include a statement to that effect
  • As is required by Ontario and New Brunswick, franchisors will need to describe every license, registration, authorization or other permission that the franchisee will be required to obtain under federal or provincial laws in order to operate the franchise
  • While Manitoba does not make mediation mandatory (as New Brunswick does), franchisors will have to include the same statement describing mediation that is currently required by Ontario
  • Franchisors will have to add a Manitoba-specific certification signed by the franchisor similar to those currently required by the other provinces

All franchisors offering franchises in Manitoba will be required to comply with the new regulations by the October 1 effective date. Franchisors who amend their Canadian disclosure documents prior to that date (for example, to address material changes), might consider folding in changes necessary to comply with the Manitoba regulations in connection with that amendment.

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