Quebec requires businesses to use the French language

Quebec requires businesses to use the French language

With Bill 96, Quebec legislates a variety of measures and obligations to protect the French language in the Canadian province – many of which affect businesses operating there.

Businesses in Quebec may only provide goods and services in French. The rules for the dominance of the French language in packaging, labels, advertising and the use of foreign brands are being tightened.

adhesion contract (exceptions include employment contracts, financial contracts, international contracts), written notifications to authorities or applications for entries in the Land Registry must be in French. Marketing materials, websites or social media for companies based in Quebec must now also be in French.

For example, when hiring, Quebec employers are required to justify and publish in job postings why applicants need to be proficient in an additional language. Bill 96 requires that written communications with employees, including forms and training materials, be written or distributed in French. In addition, companies with 25+ employees must demonstrate extensive use of French in the workplace to obtain a Certificate of Franchise, which is required to enter into contracts with Quebec government agencies.

Another example is the publication of a deed of transfer of a property. Although the deed itself may be written in English, posting it at the land registry will require translation and will involve additional time and expense.

Violators face civil, administrative and criminal penalties, including cancellation of contracts, withdrawal of licenses and permits, and heavy fines for companies and their directors.

Various groups have taken legal action against it, but a decision will take months. Till then the provisions of law will remain in force.

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On November 16, 2022, Quebec’s Minister of French Languages, Jean-François Robert, reiterated that the law would remain in place and would not be delayed or weakened. The law went into effect on June 1, 2022; The measures will be gradually implemented until June 1, 2025.

Read more about the details of Bill 96:
Bill 96 at a glance

For information about the impact of Bill 96 on your Quebec business activities, see Anthony Fortin At Jacob Associates in Munich. Mr. Fortin is licensed as a notary in the province of Quebec and is also entitled to use this title in Germany.

About Jacobs Associates:

For more than 25 years, the law firm Jakob Associates has been working with Canadian lawyers and notaries for the rights of German clients in Canada. The law firm’s main focus is on commercial and corporate law, Canadian business law, real estate law and heritage law. Firm founder Sylvia A. Jacobs is considered a pioneer in the complex cross-border legal matters between Canada and Germany.

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