Selling now for future goods or services? Contract rules for businesses

If you are a business that is selling goods or services that your customers don’t get right away or don’t pay in full upfront, your contracts may qualify as a future performance contract. Examples are home renovations, travel services, and event rentals or venues.

There are laws in BC that you must follow when it comes to future performance contracts, especially when it comes to the information that needs to be in your contract and your customer’s cancellation rights. Not following the rules can result in financial penalties and/or enforcement actions and have reputational impacts on your business.

The law in BC

If your business uses this type of contract, BC’s laws:

  • require that your contract be in writing (this can include email)
  • require that you give a copy to your customer within 15 days (including by email)
  • require that your contract include specific information
  • give your customers cancellation rights in certain circumstances, including if your contract doesn’t have all the required contents

A future performance contract is NOT a:

  • contract under $50
  • time share contract
  • prepaid purchase card
  • contract for the supply of goods or services under a credit agreement, if the goods or services have been supplied.

The information on this page is not a full list of your business obligations. Please read BC’s consumer protection laws in full.

It’s important to understand that there may be other laws that apply to your contracts, including ones we don’t oversee. We recommend that you do your research and have a lawyer review your contracts.

Read the official definition of a future performance contract and that it must be for over $50.
Read about the rules for these contracts in Part 4 of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act.
Read about our process and amounts for monetary administrative penalties.

This information is an overview of your obligations under BC’s consumer protection laws. Please read the consumer contracts regulation and the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act in full to understand all your obligations and your customers’ cancellation rights.

We also recommend that you do your research to find out what other laws may apply to your contracts and have a lawyer review them.

Your customers can file a complaint with our office if they believe that you have breached the law.