Home/ Government/ Regulations/ Regulated business activities Marketing, advertising and sales regulations
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.
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.
Misleading advertising and labellingLearn more about advertising and labelling practices that are considered to be misleading so that you can avoid using them. Canada's anti-spam legislationGet information on Canada's anti-spam law and how it affects your business. Canada's law on spam and other electronic threatsGet information on Canada's anti-spam law and how it affects your business Fight spam: How to protect your business or organizationTo safeguard your business against spam and other electronic threats, use these tips to protect your computer, your networks and your electronic devices. Food labelling for industryIf you advertise food products, you need to be aware of requirements related to advertising, such as labelling and the use of endorsements. Information for restauranteurs and food service operatorsIf you own or operate a restaurant, you need to ensure that any claim you make about the food you are selling is accurate. Find out more. Overview of health product advertisingYou may only advertise drug and health products that have been approved for sale in Canada and your advertisement must be approved. Find out more. Mass marketing fraudWhether you are marketing your products by phone, mail, or online, you need to ensure that your message is not misleading, deceptive or untruthful. Promotional contestsIf you are running a contest for promotional purposes, find out what information you must provide to potential participants. Promotional contests (Quebec)
Only Applies to : Find out about the regulations and procedures for holding a promotional contest for profit where the total value of the prizes to be awarded exceeds $100.
Quebec (in french only) Advertising: what is covered by the law
Only Applies to : If you are a merchant, find out if your business complies with advertising legislation.
Quebec (in french only) Privacy Toolkit — A guide for businesses and organizationsGet detailed information on the rules for the management of personal information in the private sector. Permits and licencesFind the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business. 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 representationsLearn how to price your product according to the provisions of the Competition Act. Accessibility rules for businesses and non-profits
Only Applies to : Find out what you need to do under Ontario accessibility laws to make your business or workplace accessible for people with disabilities.
Ontario Rules for loyalty reward points
Only Applies to : Are you offering reward points to your customers? Find out more about the rules for loyalty points programs and point expiry dates in Ontario.
Ontario Buying or using gift cards
Only Applies to : Learn about Ontario rules for gift cards including restrictions on expiry dates, taxes and additional charges.
Ontario Internet Sales Contract Regulation
Only Applies to : 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.
Alberta Gift card regulations in Nova Scotia
Only Applies to : Learn about regulations for gift card expiry dates and what rules apply when issuing the cards in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia Consumer rights in Nova Scotia
Only Applies to : Find out what your legal obligations are to your customers and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.
Nova Scotia Consumer Services
Only Applies to : Learn about the consumer protection measures in Prince Edward Island that could affect your sales and promotions activities.
Prince Edward Island Consumer affairs (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Only Applies to : Learn about your consumer protection obligations and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.
Newfoundland and Labrador Consumer protection
Only Applies to : As a business owner in Manitoba, learn more about legislation that protects businesses and consumers alike.
Manitoba Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act
Only Applies to : Learn about your consumer protection obligations as a seller including unfair practices, warranties, gift cards and more.
Saskatchewan Consumer Protection BC
Only Applies to : You can get detailed information on how to comply with the Consumer Protection Legislation including regulated activities and licence requirements.
British Columbia Specific duty on new tires
Only Applies to : Do you sell or lease new tires in Quebec? Find all the information you need to meet your obligations.
Quebec An Act respecting hours and days of admission to commercial establishments
Only Applies to : Do you operate a retail business? If so, find out what steps you need to take to be in compliance with this Act.
Quebec (in french only) 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
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.
For Industry: If you manufacture, import, distribute or sell products, find out what you need to do to ensure that your products are safe. Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Selling tobacco — Tobacco (access) regulationThe regulations outline to whom you can sell tobacco and where signs can be posted. Some additional provincial/territorial requirements may apply. Smoke-Free Ontario
Only Applies to : Learn about your legal responsibilities as a business owner and employer.
Ontario Information for the retailers of tobacco products
Only Applies to : Are you selling tobacco products? If so, find all the information you need to be in compliance with the
Quebec Tobacco Act. (in french only) Tobacco sales, display and promotion in BC
Only Applies to : If you sell tobacco, find out the sales, display, and promotion restrictions for your business in
British Columbia BC. Tobacco sales, displays and promotions (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Only Applies to : Learn about your obligations when selling and displaying tobacco in your Newfoundland and Labrador business.
Newfoundland and Labrador Good manufacturing practices for cosmetic productsIf you manufacture cosmetics products, guidelines are available to ensure that you meet safety and quality requirements. Natural health products — Product licensingYou need a product licence before you can market or sell natural health products in Canada. Drug products — Compliance and enforcementIf you manufacture, import or sell drug products, you must comply with a variety of regulatory requirements and obtain licences. Medical devices — Compliance and enforcementIf you manufacture, import or sell medical devices, you must comply with a variety of regulatory requirements and must obtain licences. New substance notification processNotify Environment Canada of your intention to introduce new substances (chemicals, polymers and animate products of biotechnology) into the Canadian market. Radiation emitting devicesYou must ensure that radiation-emitting devices (such as X-rays and tanning equipment) comply with certain safety requirements. Getting electrical products approved
Only Applies to : If you manufacture, import, or sell electrical equipment in Ontario, you need to make sure that it meets the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
Ontario 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.
Consumer product packaging and labelling worksheetsLearn about the requirements that apply to the packaging and labelling of most consumer products in Canada. Fairtrade certification and labellingYou can get a licence to use the Fairtrade label on the products you sell or find Fairtrade suppliers for your own business needs. Food labelling and safety regulationsFind out everything you need to know when producing, handling, selling and importing food in Canada. Commercialization of bottled water
Only Applies to : Do you want to produce or sell bottled water in Quebec? If so, learn about the relevant regulations and the procedure to be followed.
Quebec (in french only) Price labelling and accuracy
Only Applies to : Find out more about posting prices, labelling and accuracy, and the rules regarding compensation for pricing errors.
Quebec (in french only) Misleading advertising and labellingLearn more about advertising and labelling practices that are considered to be misleading so that you can avoid using them. Canada's Regulatory System for Foods with Health Benefits – An Overview for IndustryA starting point for businesses wanting to promote the health benefits of their food products. Energy-efficient productsIf you are a manufacturer or a retailer of energy-efficient products, you must ensure your products meet efficiency and labelling standards. Guide to the Textile Labelling and Advertising RegulationsLearn about labelling requirements for textile products that are sold in Canada. CA identification number for textilesIf you manufacture, process or finish textile fibre products, register for a CA Number which you can use, instead of your name and address, on articles for consumers. Labelling of cosmeticsGet information on the labelling requirements for cosmetics, including the regulations and guidelines for the cosmetics industry. Made in Canada LabellingFind out what it takes for your product to be labelled as "Made in Canada". Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants
Only Applies to : Find all the information you need to offer organic food products or products from recognized terroirs (soils) in Quebec.
Quebec Anti-competitive and fraudulent practices
You must be careful not to engage in business practices that could unfairly reduce competition in your industry.
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