There is no requirement under provincial franchise legislation to include a receipt in a disclosure document although there are practical reasons for doing so and both are evidentiary. These reasons include, the starting point to calculate the 14-day statutory waiting period and secondly, recording the documents received by the franchisee.

In each of the regulated provinces, the franchisor must observe a 14-day waiting period from the date the disclosure document was delivered before any franchise agreement can be executed by the franchisee or any payment can be accepted from the franchisee (see the October 2009 Franchise Review for an explanation of how to calculate the waiting period). If a disclosure document is sent by courier (where such delivery practice is permitted) the date of delivery seems self-evident, as the franchisor could seemingly rely on the date the package was signed for. However, that date merely evidences the fact that the package arrived at a particular location, not that the franchisee actually received the package. For example, it could have been the franchisee’s assistant or family member who received it on that day. By requiring the franchisee to sign and date a receipt, the franchisor can be sure of the correct date to use as the start of the waiting period.

By including a list of all documents and exhibits the franchisee receives as part of the disclosure package, the franchisor can help to minimize the risk that a franchisee will later claim rescission on the basis that the franchisor failed to include all attachments and exhibits to the disclosure document. By including a list of all the attachments and exhibits the franchisee was provided as part of the disclosure document on the receipt, and having the franchisee acknowledge receipt of those documents, the franchisor is in a much better position to defend against any such claims. Of course, an even better practice is for franchisors to retain a copy of the entire disclosure document that was delivered to the franchisee, not just the receipt.