Marketing, advertising and sales regulations 

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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.

On this page:

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.

  • AccessON
    Applies only to: Ontario

    Find out what you need to do under Ontario accessibility laws to make your business or workplace accessible for people with disabilities.

  • Internet Sales Contract Regulation
    Applies only 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.

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.

  • Preventing abuse of market power

    Learn about business practices that are not allowed under the Competition Act.

  • Multi-level marketing and pyramid selling

    Learn the difference between legal multi-level marketing and pyramid selling schemes. If it sounds too good to be true, it may be illegal.

  • Mass marketing fraud

    Whether you are marketing your products by phone, mail, or online, you need to ensure that your message is not misleading, deceptive or untruthful.

  • The Fair Trading Act
    Applies only to: Alberta

    Find out if you need to license your business in accordance with Alberta's Fair Trading Act.

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