Marketing, advertising and sales regulations 

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Attracting new customers to your business is essential, but you need to follow a few rules. This document provides an overview of the key regulations, permits and licences related to marketing, advertising and sales.

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Advertising and promotion

When advertising the benefits of your product, you must be truthful. You may not make claims or use promotional techniques that are false or misleading.

Sales and customer service regulations

Good customer service is important to the success of every business. To ensure that all customers are treated fairly, your business may need to comply with certain regulations or standards related to sales and customer service.

If you weigh or measure products that you sell, you need to ensure that you are using approved equipment and that your measuring devices are accurate.

  • Price-related representations

    Learn how to price your product according to the provisions of the Competition Act.

  • AccessON
    Applies only to: Ontario

    Find out what you need to do under Ontario accessibility laws to make your business or workplace accessible for people with disabilities.

  • Internet Sales Contract Regulation
    Applies only to: Alberta

    Learn about your obligations to consumers if you sell goods or services online valued at more than $50 in Alberta. Some businesses may be exempt.

  • Gift card regulations in Nova Scotia
    Applies only to: Nova Scotia

    Learn about regulations for gift card expiry dates and what rules apply when issuing the cards in Nova Scotia.

  • Consumer rights in Nova Scotia
    Applies only to: Nova Scotia

    Find out what your legal obligations are to your customers and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.

  • Consumer Services
    Applies only to: Prince Edward Island

    Learn about the consumer protection measures in Prince Edward Island that could affect your sales and promotions activities.

  • Consumer affairs (Newfoundland and Labrador)
    Applies only to: Newfoundland and Labrador

    Learn about your consumer protection obligations and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.

  • Consumer protection
    Applies only to: Manitoba

    As a business owner in Manitoba, learn more about legislation that protects businesses and consumers alike.

  • Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act
    Applies only to: Saskatchewan

    Learn about your consumer protection obligations as a seller including unfair practices, warranties, gift cards and more.

  • Consumer Protection BC
    Applies only to: British Columbia

    You can get detailed information on how to comply with the Consumer Protection Legislation including regulated activities and licence requirements.

  • Specific duty on new tires
    Applies only to: Québec

    Do you sell or lease new tires in Quebec? Find all the information you need to meet your obligations.

  • An Act respecting hours and days of admission to commercial establishments in French only
    Applies only to: Québec

    Do you operate a retail business? If so, find out what steps you need to take to be in compliance with this Act.

Banned and restricted products

There are some products that you cannot sell in Canada. In addition, there are other products that have specific:

  • Restrictions with regards to banned or dangerous ingredients
  • Mandatory safety requirements
  • Voluntary standards
  • Required licences or product approvals

If you are manufacturing, importing or selling these products, you must be aware of the related regulations, standards and guidelines.

Product labelling

The label you put on your product is an important way of communicating the value of your product to potential customers. You can use the label to sell the benefits of your product to your customers, but you must follow a few rules about labelling when you do so. The rules are more restrictive for some types of products than others, and you should research the labelling requirements for your product carefully before finalizing your label.

Anti-competitive and fraudulent practices

You must be careful not to engage in business practices that could unfairly reduce competition in your industry.

  • Preventing abuse of market power

    Learn about business practices that constitute abuse of market power under the Competition Act.

  • Multi-level marketing and pyramid selling

    Learn the difference between legal multi-level marketing and pyramid selling schemes.

  • Mass marketing fraud

    Whether you are marketing your products by phone, mail, or online, you need to ensure that your message is not misleading, deceptive or untruthful.

  • The Fair Trading Act
    Applies only to: Alberta

    Find out if you need to license your business in accordance with Alberta's Fair Trading Act.

  • Competition and prohibited practices in French only
    Applies only to: Québec

    Find out about the various types of deceptive or misleading business practices covered by Canadian consumer protection legislation.

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