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Are you planning on starting an e-commerce business? Are you aware that when selling online you are supposed to follow the regional and provincial regulations of the state or country which you are conducting your business in? Even if you don’t have a physical address in other territories or provinces, you should be in terms with the rules and regulations of selling products to clients in those specific regions. Various parts of Canada may have different rules for advertisements, e-commerce, online sales contracts and the terms and conditions for sale to be conducted.

Online businesses can also use some of the regulations which are used by traditional businesses. Some of these regulations are registering your business or company name, trademarks and copyrights, product safety, privacy and exporting.

Things to look out for when selling in Canada

1. Extra-provincial registration

If you conduct business with clients outside the territory or province in which you are registered, you might be required to register your company or industry in their province or the region in which they reside. You can get in touch with the Canada business if you don’t have a licence and enquire from them the process of registering a business as well as other permits or licences that you may need.

2. Incorporation

You might opt to talk to a professional to discuss some of the benefits of integrating your online business either provincially or federally.

3. Protection acts of consumers

Every territory or province has consumer protection acts. Hence you should be aware of these regulations or facts before you go selling products to a person in another region. You can also research and find out if there are other regulations set in that area or if it allows you to have a multi-channel ecommerce experience.

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4. Terms and conditions for online sales

Be outright and detailed when giving out the terms and conditions of the sales, warranties, methods of payments, shipping and delivery charges, exchanges and refunds. Ensure you give out the terms and requirements for the sales to the customers to ensure that they read and understand them before making orders or purchasing. If you are having trouble complying with some of these requirements, there are internet sales harmonisation templates which are available, and they can help you with your internet sales contract.

5. Taxes

 If you are selling products or goods to a customer who is not of the same province as you, it is necessary for you to know when and the methods of charging taxes. In case you are dealing with international clients, you are not supposed to take any tax from them if the goods or products are delivered outside Canada. But if the good will be considered in Canada, you can collect PST or GST taxes. If clients such as tourist make purchases in your shop, they should also pay the PST and GST taxes.

 Notably, the e-commerce platform that you are using should be in a position to automatically add the correct amount of tax. But before using your e-commerce platform, you should first test to confirm whether it is updated and also ensure that it is set up accurately.

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6. Anti-spam laws

You should first seek approval from the relevant authorities before sending promotional materials to your old customers or prospective clients. Also, learn how the unsubscribe function works and which things you are supposed to do or not do when carrying out marketing activities.


Knowing the requirements that relate to the selling of products or services online might help in avoiding disputes, liabilities and cancellations that could occur due to the transaction carried out in the country.