Electronic and Courier Delivery Coming to Ontario

June 2016

After long anticipation from the franchise industry, the government of Ontario has finally amended regulations under the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (“Act”) to expressly allow a franchisor to deliver its franchise disclosure document electronically and by prepaid courier. Once the amended regulations come into effect on July 1, 2016, there will be four acceptable means of delivery of a franchise disclosure document in Ontario: personally, by registered mail, by prepaid courier, and electronically.

In order to deliver a disclosure document electronically, the following specific requirements must be met:

  • the document must be delivered in a form that enables the recipient to view, store, retrieve and print it;
  • the document must not contain any links to external documents or content;
  • the document must contain an index for each separate electronic file comprising the document where each index sets out the file name and, if the file name is not sufficiently descriptive of the subject matter of the file, a statement of that subject matter; and
  • the franchisor must receive written acknowledgment of receipt from the prospective franchisee.

The amended regulations also permit delivery of a notice of rescission by prepaid courier in addition to personal delivery, registered mail or fax.

All general requirements pertaining to disclosure (e.g. that disclosure be made as one document at one time) will clearly apply to the new forms of disclosure.

Prior to these amendments, Ontario was the only province that specified mandatory delivery methods and did not explicitly permit delivery electronically or by courier. The amended regulations streamline the delivery requirements, and create greater consistency, across Canada.

This client alert is published by Dickinson Wright LLP to inform our clients and friends of important developments in the field of franchise and distribution law. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in here.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ned Levitt is a Partner in Dickinson Wright’s Toronto office. He can be reached at 416.646.3842 or nlevitt@dickinsonwright.com


Andrae Marrocco is a Partner in Dickinson Wright’s Toronto office. He can be reached at 416.777.4046 or amarrocco@dickinsonwright.com


Paul R. Fransway is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Ann Arbor office. He can be reached at 734.623.1713 or pfransway@dickinsonwright.com


James Ullman is Of Counsel in Dickinson Wright’s Phoenix office. He can be reached at 602. 285. 5090 or at jullman@dickinsonwright.com


Ted A. Kalnins is Of Counsel in Dickinson Wright’s Toronto office. He can be reached at 416.777.4008 a tkalnins@dickinsonwright.com


Patrick B. Green is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. He can be reached at 313.223.3148 or at pgreen@dickinsonwright.com

If you would like a printable version of this Franchise and distribution client alert, click here.