A new Franchises Act was passed by the B.C. legislature on October 20, but has not yet been proclaimed. Government is now seeking input on a proposed regulation on disclosure until January 15, 2016.

The regulation will regulate the information that is required in a disclosure document such as the costs of establishing a franchise, earnings projections, financing, training, manuals and restrictions on purchase and sale. The regulation will also prescribe financial documents to include in disclosure.

Government has said that the regulation will be modelled on the Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s disclosure documents regulation; and the recommendations contained within the B.C. Law Institute’s report on the proposed uniform franchise law which discussed the disclosure regulation (beginning on page 133 of the report).

The differences between the Uniform Law Conference of Canada and B.C. Law Institute reports are outlined in the B.C. Law Institute report including those surrounding: (1) “wrap-around” disclosure documents which meet the needs of more than one jurisdiction (province); and, (2) mandatory mediation for dispute resolution.

Next Steps

RCC will monitor consultations around the regulation.

Background

Uniform franchise legislation is supported by both the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Franchise Association.  B.C. joins Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Prince Edward Island in adopting uniform franchise legislation. The law will help bring certainty to investors expanding into British Columbia, as there is currently no such legislation in B.C.

The legislation itself was the subject of an RCC member notice on October 6, 2015.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: [email protected] or 604-736-0368.