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.

Table of Contents

    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.

    • Accessibility rules for businesses and non-profits
      Only Applies to : Ontario
      Find out what you need to do under Ontario accessibility laws to make your business or workplace accessible for people with disabilities.
    • Price-related representations
      Learn how to price your product according to the provisions of the Competition Act.
    • Internet Sales Contract Regulation
      Only Applies 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.
    • Consumer affairs (Newfoundland and Labrador)
      Only Applies to : Newfoundland and Labrador
      Learn about your consumer protection obligations and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.
    • Gift card regulations in Nova Scotia
      Only Applies 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
      Only Applies to : Nova Scotia
      Find out what your legal obligations are to your customers and how consumer rights can affect your business operations.
    • Consumer protection
      Only Applies to : Manitoba
      As a business owner in Manitoba, learn more about legislation that protects businesses and consumers alike.
    • An Act respecting hours and days of admission to commercial establishments
      Only Applies to : Quebec
      Do you operate a retail business? If so, find out what steps you need to take to be in compliance with this Act.(in French only)
    • Specific duty on new tires
      Only Applies to : Quebec
      Do you sell or lease new tires or road vehicles with new tires that are subject to the specific duty in Quebec? Find all the information you need to meet your obligations.
    • Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act
      Only Applies to : Saskatchewan
      Learn about your consumer protection obligations relating to subjects such as unfair practices, warranties, gift cards, and more.
    • Consumer Protection BC
      Only Applies to : British Columbia
      You can get detailed information on how to comply with the Consumer Protection Legislation including regulated activities and licence requirements.
    • Consumer Services
      Only Applies to : Prince Edward Island
      Learn about the consumer protection measures in Prince Edward Island that could affect your sales and promotions activities.
    • Rules for loyalty reward points
      Only Applies to : Ontario
      Are you offering reward points to your customers? Find out more about the rules for loyalty points programs and point expiry dates in Ontario.
    • Buying or using gift cards
      Only Applies to : Ontario
      Learn about Ontario rules for gift cards including restrictions on expiry dates, taxes and additional charges.

    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.

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