Franchisors franchising in Alberta should already be aware of the critical importance of complying with the province’s Guarantees Acknowledgment Act (failing which, a guarantee will have no effect). However, the rules are changing.

On April 30, 2015, Alberta’s Notaries and Commissioners Act (the Act) will come into effect. Of particular note for franchisors are the amendments that the Act makes to the Guarantees Acknowledgment Act:

  • the person (other than a corporation) entering into the obligation must appear before a lawyer, rather than a notary public, to acknowledge the execution of the guarantee and sign the prescribed form of certificate; and
  • the prescribed form of certificate has changed and is available here.

Failure to comply with these requirements means that the guarantee has no effect. As a result of these changes, franchisors should promptly update their disclosure documents, form of guarantees and prescribed form of certificate, as applicable. More information on the Notaries and Commissioners Act can be found here.