Don’t be fooled by its name. You don’t need to be a spammer, or even be located in Canada, for legislation known as “Canada’s anti-spam law” or “CASL” to regulate important elements of your business.

Many everyday activities – such as sending an email message to a customer, operating a company website and making a mobile application available for download – will soon be subject to new, detailed rules that will likely require you to make significant changes to your operational practices or face significant fines.

The new rules will be enforced by three regulators with active enforcement offices and by the courts. Anyone who believes they have been affected by your non-compliance will have standing to commence a private action. Class actions are widely expected.

The time to prepare for the new rules is now. The Minister of Industry has committed to bringing the law into force in 2013 and the regulator with chief enforcement responsibility, the CRTC, has warned that businesses should not expect a grace period before enforcement activities begin.