Bill 38, the Franchises Act, was introduced to the House today by the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch Coralee Oakes.
If passed, the bill will provide important legal rights and remedies to B.C.-based business owners who operate or are looking to operate a franchise business in the province. To help open the door for small business investment in B.C., the legislation will:
- ensure franchisees have all the relevant business information they need before making the decision to invest;
- guarantee legal protections should franchisees not be given the information they need, and later find themselves in a vulnerable position;
- uphold the franchisors’ rights to freely contract to allow for the success of the franchise; and
- provide certainty and consistency for franchisors, which will encourage investment in British Columbia.
The legislation is similar to franchise legislation already in place in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The act will help bring certainty to investors looking to expand into British Columbia, as there is currently no such legislation in the province.
By standardizing the framework for both franchisors and franchisees alike, British Columbia hopes to encourage franchising efforts in the province, which will generate investment and employment opportunities, as well as provide direct and indirect economic benefits to the communities in which they operate.
If passed, the act will come into force when the regulations are complete and approved and there has been an opportunity for the legal and franchises communities to learn the new law.
Jennifer Chow, Canadian Bar Association of B.C. president ─
“In our Agenda for Justice document, the Canadian Bar Association of B.C. recommended government enact a Franchises Act to provide protection to small business franchisees and last year we were pleased to participate in the resulting public consultation. Today’s introduction of the Franchises Act demonstrates the positive steps that result when there is collaboration among the legal stakeholders in this province.”
Click here to read the full release from the Province of British Columbia.