The new provisions for businesses regarding public signs and posters, trademarks appearing on products, and francization will come into effect in:

On June 1, 2022, the Act respecting French, the official and common language of Québec became law. It modifies the Charter of the French language, which applies to all businesses active in Quebec.

Here is an overview of the main changes (in French only) affecting businesses.

Summary of the main obligations applying to businesses

Effective June 1, 2022

The workplace and job offers
  • Respect your workers’ right to carry on their activities in French.
  • Use French in written communications with your workers and the association representing them.
  • Provide offers of employment, individual employment contracts, job application forms, documents about conditions of employment, and training documents produced for the staff in French.
  • When you publish offers of employment or promotion requiring knowledge of a language other than French (in French only), specify the reasons for this requirement.
  • You must take all reasonable means to avoid requiring a person to have knowledge of a language other than French to obtain or keep a position, by meeting the following 3 conditions:
    1. Assess the actual language needs associated with the duties to be performed (take the self-assessment [in French only]).
    2. Make sure that the language knowledge already required from other staff members is insufficient for the performance of those duties.
    3. Restrict as much as possible the number of positions involving duties whose performance requires knowledge of another language.
Francization committee

If your business has 100 or more employees, you must form a francization committee (in French only). This committee must meet at least every 6 months, and must now send its meeting minutes to the Office québécois de la langue française (the OQLF).

Language of service and customer communication

In Quebec, you must serve customers in French. If you also provide a service to an individual or another business in another language, make sure that the service is available in French on terms that are at least as favourable.

  • Respect consumers’ right to be informed and served in French. Otherwise, the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) will deem a language-of-service complaint admissible and could intervene.
Public signs and posters and the Marked predominance rule

All publicly visible content inside or outside your establishment, including public posters, signs, and stickers, must be in French. You can also use another language, so long as French is markedly predominant, i.e., the text in French must have a much greater visual impact than the text in the other language.

Product labelling
  • All inscriptions on products offered in Quebec, and the documents supplied with them, must be in French.
  • If the information is also given in another language, it may not be available on more favourable terms than the French.
Commercial documents
  • All of your commercial documents (e.g., invoices, catalogues and brochures), regardless of the medium used, already had to be available in French. This includes websites and social media posts, even those produced by third parties.
  • Contracts of adhesion between two parties (e.g., electricity supply contracts, insurance policies and telephone service agreements) must always be drawn up and available in French. This obligation also applies to all documents related to these contracts.
Declaration and registration with the Office
  • Businesses with 5 to 49 employees (in French only)
    • If you run a small business, you must declare the percentage of your workers who are unable to communicate in French, when registering with Quebec’s Registre des entreprises.
    • The Registre des entreprises will make this information public.
    • New businesses must declare this information in their first filing.
    • If your business is already registered, you must disclose this information when you file your current or annual updating declaration.
  • Businesses with 50 or more employees (in French only)

In effect since June 1, 2023

Contracts of adhesion

As of June 1, 2023, you must systematically provide a French version of the contracts of adhesion before you come to any sort of agreement with the other party. The parties may express their wish to be bound by a contract in another language only once they have received the French version.

By June 1, 2025

Public signs and posters and the Marked predominance rule

Starting June 1, 2025, a trademark registered under the Trademarks Act can be displayed, even partially, on a product in a language other than French language, only if there isn't a French version of the trademark in the registry. Nevertheless, if the trademark contains a generic term or description that isn't in French, these elements must also be displayed in French on the product.

Product labelling

Starting June 1, 2025, if a registered trademark within the meaning of the Trademarks Act appears on one of your products that includes a generic term or a description of the product in a language other than French, that information must also appear in French on the product.

Registering with the Office

The obligation to undertake a francization process is now extended to businesses with 25 or more employees:


  • As an employer, you may communicate in writing with a worker exclusively in a language other than French if the worker has requested it.
  • If you operate an eligible business, you may use the Demande d’entente particulière form (in French only) to apply for a special exemption for your head office or research centre in Quebec, or for both, so that a language other than French can be used as the operating language.

Rumours and facts

The Office has provided clarification on certain details:

  • All English-speaking citizens will continue to have the same access to health services in their language.
  • English-speaking communities will continue to enjoy access to high-quality English-language schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals at a level unmatched in French-speaking communities elsewhere in Canada.
  • Quebec Anglophones will continue to enjoy the same constitutional guarantees regarding access to justice in their own language.
  • The law will continue to be applied in a way that respects the rights of First Nations and Inuit communities, while ensuring the preservation and development of their traditional languages and cultures.
  • The Office québécois de la langue française does not and will not conduct searches or seizures.

Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)

The OQLF offers a self-assessment service to help you understand your business’s linguistic situation and direct you towards tools and services to help improve it. Rather than sanctioning or penalizing non-compliant businesses, the goal of this service is to support and guide them towards good linguistic practices.

It is designed for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Start my self-assessment (in French only)

Other related resources (in French only)
To contact the Office québécois de la langue française

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

CFIB’s legislative work

Media Centre (in French only)