Doing business in La Belle Province

Doing business in la belle province, namely Québec is a little different than the rest of Canada.  When companies are dealing with the Québec market it must be done in French.  Everything that they provide must be done in the official language of the province.  Reason being, it’s the law!

They are protected by the legislation Bill 101.  What is Bill 101? Here is Bill 101 at a glance.

Bill 101, the Charte de la langue française was passed into law by the National Assembly Aug. 26, 1977. It reaffirmed French as the official language of Quebec and established French as the language of the legislature and courts in the province. Provisions of the charter include:

Workplace: Workers have a right to carry on their activities in French and cannot be discriminated against for not speaking a second language. Consumers have a right to be informed and served in French.  Every person has a right to have all government branches, professional corporations, employee associations and businesses in Quebec communicate with him in French. Every inscription on a product, on its container or on its wrapping, or on a document or object supplied with it, including the directions for use and the warranty certificates, must be drafted in French. This rule applies also to menus and wine lists. Catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications must be drawn up in French. Contracts pre-determined by one party, contracts containing printed standard clauses, and the related documents, must be drawn up in French. They may be drawn up in another language as well at the express wish of the parties.  Application forms for employment, order forms, invoices, receipts and quittances shall be drawn up in French.

As you can see, French is a must when dealing with your customers.  Whether you’re providing them with a quote, documents, training materials or bringing in products for sale, everything must be in French and English.  If your company does not have bilingual staff or a translator on site, then you will probably need the services of a translating company.

When you’re looking for a translation company, you have to make sure that they specialize in the Quebec market, namely Quebec French. It will facilitate doing business with your customers and they will appreciate it.  Make sure they are reputable and have extensive experience in the Quebec market.

About the Author

Carmen Outridge is has been translating documents and information for the Quebec market for over 20 years. Originally from the province of Quebec she has translated information from English to French for large and small companies in Canada. Form ore information please visit

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