Contests and sweepstakes

Things to know

  • Contests are primarily governed by the federal Competition Actand Criminal Code. The misleading advertising provisions in provincial consumer protection legislation also apply to contest advertising.

  • Contests must have a set of written rules, disclosing at least the minimum disclosure requirements set out in the Competition Act.

  • The Criminal Codeprohibits awarding prizes solely on the basis of chance or requiring a participant to pay money or other valuable consideration in order to participate in the contest or draw if the prize is goods, wares or merchandise.

  • Most contests include a no-purchase form of entry and require the winner to answer a skill-testing question to avoid these issues.

  • Companies running contests wholly or partly in Québec must register the contest with the government. This includes paying duties, posting security, and reporting the list of winners.

  • Employee contests may raise tax reporting implications.

  • The collection and use of contestants’ personal information for marketing purposes requires informed consent under privacy laws.

Things to do

  • Ensure your contest rules set out the minimum disclosures required by the Competition Act.

  • Include a no-purchase entry option and a skill-testing question, if necessary.

  • Register promotional contests that are open to residents of Quebec.

  • Ensure the contest rules are readily available to contest participants. Ensure that, at a minimum, “mini rules”, including a web site link to the full rules, are included in all contest advertising.

  • Obtain appropriate consent for any subsequent marketing activities to the contestants.

Canada Company Registration

Company Formations Canada offers fast and easy company registration in Canada for non-Canadian residents and foreign companies wishing to operate and do business in Canada.

Register a new company in Canada as a non-Canadian resident

Register a foreign company in Canada

Canada Registered agent services for foreign companies and non-Canadian residents.

Canada Nominee director services for foreign companies and non-Canadian residents.

Shared from: Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt llp Publication

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