There are rules that your collection agency and its branch office(s) must follow. For example, you:

  • must operate under your registered name and location(s)
  • must be open during normal business hours and have a toll-free phone number
  • must be incorporated by or under an Act of Ontario, Canada or a province or a territory of Canada
  • cannot engage in any  or employ any prohibited method in collecting debts, (for example, using excessive or unreasonable pressure when contacting a debtor)
  • cannot make harsh, false, misleading or deceptive statements in any letter, form, notice, advertisement or similar material
  • cannot also be a bailiff or assistant bailiff under the Bailiffs Act, a private investigator or security guard under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, or a mortgage brokerage, broker or agent under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006

See sections 451122 and 25 of the CDSSA and sections 13 and 20-25 of the General Regulation for more information about rules on conducting business.

Books and records

You must keep records and accounting books showing money received and money paid out. These records must include:

  • receipts journal
  • disbursements journal
  • general journal
  • clients’ ledger
  • general ledger
  • any additional records that the Registrar requires

You must update and store these records separately from records related to any other activities. You must keep entries in books of account for at least six years from the date of the entry.

All records used by agencies that employ remote collectors (for example, call notes) must be stored at the agency’s registered place of business. It is not acceptable for such records, including digital files, to exist only as local files in the possession of the collector.

See subsections 13(12) to 13(13) of the General Regulation for more information about records.

Changes to your agency

You must notify the  in writing within 5 calendar days of:

  • changes to the address of the collection agency
  • changes in officers, directors, controlling interest or members
  • the start and end date of every collector employed, appointed or authorized by the agency

To advise of changes, send an email to with the subject line “CDSSA – Changes to Registrar” and include in your email:

  • your registration number and details
  • the previous information on file with the ministry
  • the information to be updated
  • the effective date of the change

See section 20 of the CDSSA and sections 1(3) and 16 of the General Regulation for more information about notifying the Registrar about changes to your agency.