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Common Questions

I put a deposit on an item and the store went out of business; I don’t have the item or the deposit, what are my rights?

Last reviewed in May 2022 by the Clicklaw Editors

Consumers, along with suppliers and employees, may encounter a situation where the company they are dealing with stops operating. The resources below provide legal information on deposits and consumer transactions and tips on how to locate a company that has gone out of business.

Good starting points include:

  • Small Claims Solution Explorer, from Civil Resolution Tribunal, is a tool for helping people manage and resolve disputes in BC. Select “Goods and Services - Buyers” and explore your options through information and self-help tools.
  • Consumer and Debt Law, from People's Law School, has information for advocates about client problems relating to consumer goods in the chapters "Deposits in Consumer Transactions" and "Sale of Goods Law."
  • Better Business Bureau Consumer Tips, from the Better Business Bureau of Mainland British Columbia, provides an extensive list of consumer tips, organized alphabetically. See the section on “Out of Business”.

Need more help?

  • If you have explored your options and now want to seek advice from a lawyer, contact Lawyer Referral Service from Access Pro Bono. They offer a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.

See our related common questions:

consumer goods, contracts, deposit