As we reported here, British Columbia’s new Franchises Act, SBC 2015, c 35 (the “Act”) and accompanying Franchises Regulation (the “Regulation”) will come into force effective February 1, 2017. From this date, franchisors granting, renewing or extending franchises in B.C. will be subject to the new legislation. Franchisors should also be aware that some provisions of the Act, such as the right to associate, apply to franchise agreements entered into prior to February 1, 2017.
The most important change for franchisors operating in B.C. will be the comprehensive disclosure regime articulated in s. 5 of the Act and the bulk of the Regulation, the breach of which could lead to considerable consequences. Franchisors operating in BC, including national franchises, should consult with legal counsel in advance of February 1, 2017 to ensure their disclosure documents and practices are compliant with the new regime. We would be pleased to assist with this process. Please feel free to contact the authors in this regard.