Many franchisors have fiscal year ends that match the calendar year end. If you are a franchisor and fit into this category, now is the time to start thinking about the necessary updating to your franchise disclosure document (FDD), as various factual pieces of information need updating after the end of each fiscal year.

But, in addition, if you plan to offer franchises in the province of New Brunswick, you need to consider also changing the FDD in order for it to comply with the new New Brunswick requirements. New Brunswick is slated to be the fourth Canadian province to bring in a franchise law, which includes a requirement that franchisors provide to prospective franchisees a FDD at least 14 days prior to the prospective franchisee signing any agreement or paying any consideration in respect of the franchise.

Most franchisors now have a single form of Canadian FDD intended for use in the other 3 provinces currently mandating pre-sale disclosure, namely Alberta, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. And with some small amount of effort by counsel and franchisor, a franchisor can most likely then have a form of FDD that is compliant with all 4 franchise law provinces as of February 1, 2011, the day that the disclosure obligations in New Brunswick come into force.