Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

The Canadian anti-spam legislation came into soft effect July 1, 2014, to protect Canadians while ensuring businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

Any business using electronic channels to promote or market your business will be affected by these laws.

As of January 15, 2015, new rules came into effect regarding installing computer programs. It is now illegal to install programs, such as malware, on someone’s computer without consent.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to understand and comply with the new legislation.


If you use email, SMS, social media, or instant messaging to send promotional information about your business to customers and prospects, you must have a valid form of implied or expressed consent from your contacts.

How do I ensure I am CASL compliant?

In order to be CASL compliant, you need to have the recipient’s consent, to identify yourself, to offer an unsubscribe mechanism, and to be truthful. In addition, you must have:

  • Consent: You must have express consent from your contacts. Learn how to properly obtain express consent.
  • Identification: Clearly identify your organization, include your mailing address, phone number, and email address or website.
  • Unsubscribe: Provide an unsubscribe mechanism.
  • Truth in advertising: Your message must NOT be false or misleading.



What is the difference between express and implied consent?

Implied Consent

You have implied consent when:

  • You have an existing business relationship (business inquiry, past purchase of goods and/or services, interest in business, investment opportunity).
  • You have an existing non-business relationship (registered charity, political party or candidate, donations, club or association member, or volunteer).
  • The recipient’s email address was published without any restrictions and the recipient relates to your business
  • The recipient’s email was sent to you

TIME LIMITED: Implied consent is time-limited to approximately 2 years after the relationship ends.

Express Consent

You have express consent when:

  • You have valid consent given in writing or orally
  • You have a record of how you obtained that consent

NOT TIME-LIMITED: Consent is withdrawn when the recipient unsubscribed.