The Government of British Columbia today launched a consultation on a proposed new Franchises Act that would help level the playing field for small business owners and provide certainty for investors.
B.C. is planning to develop new franchise legislation that would be consistent with legislation used in five other provinces.
Government recognizes that franchise purchasers make a significant capital investment, yet they are often at a disadvantage when relying on the information provided by the company offering the franchise due to a lack of knowledge and experience, and access to expert advice. Franchise legislation would help to rectify this imbalance and support the expansion of franchises by standardizing regulatory requirements, while at the same time encouraging investment in B.C.
A Franchises Act would govern all franchised businesses throughout the province and would provide important protection for small business owners and franchisors alike by:
- Regulating the sale of franchises.
- Requiring that contracts include pre-sale disclosure agreements.
- Providing more legal rights and protections to help parties to resolve disputes.
The proposed act would be based on the Uniform Franchises Act, developed by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC), and the recommendations of the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) in its “Report on a Franchise Act for British Columbia”, containing draft legislation.
All stakeholders and members of the public are invited to provide comments on the proposed act. Following the consultation, ministry staff will review feedback and begin developing recommendations for proposed new legislation.
Responses to the BCLI report can be submitted until Dec. 10, 2014.
By email: CPLO@gov.bc.ca
By regular mail:
Civil Policy and Legislation Office
Justice Services Branch
Ministry of Justice
P.O. Box 9222, Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C., V8W 9J1
- Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba have enacted legislation that is generally consistent with one another.
- Earlier this year, the BCLI published its “Report on a Franchise Act for British Columbia”, recommending a new Franchise Act based on the ULCC Uniform Franchises Act. The ULCC act was adopted in 2005 to address the need for uniform legislation across Canada.
About the consultation: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation/franchises/index.htm
The British Columbia Law Institute report: http://www.bcli.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/report-76_BC-franchise-act_final_3_with_cvr1.pdf
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement