As of July 1st (Canada Day), the regulations to the Ontario Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) 2000 will be amended to allow delivery of franchise disclosure documents by courier and by electronic transmission. For the past 15 years this has been a sticking point for franchising in Ontario, as previously only personal delivery or registered mail were permitted as methods of delivery of disclosure documents.
When delivering by electronic transmission, the document must be delivered in a form that enables the recipient to view, store, retrieve and print it. It cannot contain any links to external documents or content, and it must have an index for each separate electronic file (if any) and the index must set out the file name and if the name is not sufficiently descriptive, a statement of the subject matter. If the disclosure document is delivered electronically, the franchisor must receive a written acknowledgement of receipt from the prospective franchisee.
If the disclosure document is sent by courier, the cost of delivery must be paid for by the franchisor.
Franchisees may send a notice of rescission by prepaid courier to the franchisor and such notice will be deemed to be delivered to the franchisor on the second day after the day of delivery by courier.
The amending regulation, which was filed with the Registrar of Regulations on June 3, 2016, as O. Reg.164/16, will come into effect on July 1, 2016.