After years working in the industry, you’ve finally decided to branch out and buy your very first butchery. Congratulations! Buying your own business can be the culmination of all those years spent building your skills and growing your customer base, but the reality is buying your own butchery is not always a simple task. Without a thorough understanding of the legal issues involved when buying a butchery, it can become a costly exercise and one that could end up as a failed venture.
As the owner of your very first butchery, it’s likely that you will be involved in hiring and training your own staff, sourcing the best quality suppliers to give you the best quality meat products, managing the books and making sure you have the highest standard of customer service. However, it’s also important you pay attention to the legal side of the business and the legal issues to consider when buying a butchery. At the end of the day, you are running a business, which warrants that certain legal requirements must be met.
Licensing, Qualifications and Permits
In purchasing your very own butchery, it’s important to make sure you obtain the right business licenses so that you comply with requirements in the state or territory you wish to buy your butchery.
Food Business License
Firstly, you must get the correct business license from your local council. Depending on the category your food business falls into (E.g. restaurant, hotel, butchers etc.) different rules and regulations apply.
Each state has their own food business classifications so it is advised that you visit the appropriate website provided below to check which classifications apply to your business:
- NSW – http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au
- ACT – http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=sp&did=10192956
- VIC – http://www.health.vic.gov.au/foodsafety/
- QLD – http://www.health.qld.gov.au/foodsafety/
- SA – http://www.health.sa.gov.au/pehs/food-index.htm
- WA – http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/2/786/3/food_informatio.pm
- NT – http://www.health.nt.gov.au/Environmental_Health/Food_Safety/index.aspx
- TAS – http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/food_safety
Remember, each council implements different licence costs and processing times so it is best you check with your local council when applying.
Food, Health and Safety Regulations
Under the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code (FSANZ) and Food Act 2003 (NSW), butchery businesses must satisfy the food and safety regulations. The NSW Standard for Construction and Operation of Retail Meat Premises (this includes butcheries) includes a range of requirements related to receiving, storage, processing, display, packaging and transportation of meat, as well as health and hygiene, cleaning, sanitising and maintenance and construction.
For example, a common requirements for a butchery business is that staff handling meat must have appropriate skills and knowledge to handle meat, meat and meat products are to be stored in an appropriate manner which protects it from contamination and minimises growth of pathogenic bacteria and product temperature is controlled to minimise microbial growth.
You must ensure that you meet these food, health and safety regulations in operating your butchery.
In relation to training your staff, you are legally required to provide proper training that covers both basic training and food safety, and food handling. Training programs come in many forms and it is up to you to decide in which method to train staff, i.e. online, classroom, manuals and in-house training.
Remember, buying and running a successful butchery business does rely solely on a passion for meat (although this helps!) It is crucial that you comply with the relevant state or territory laws, or risk significant penalties and potentially even having your business closed before it even gets off the ground. Various legal issues such as food, health and safety requirements and licenses/permits are vital when buying a butchers. These considerations can be complex and confusing, especially when added to the stress of negotiating the purchase of the business as well. It is strongly recommended that you talk to a lawyer when considering these factors so that you receive expert legal advice when purchasing your butchers.
A business lawyer at LegalVision will gladly assist you with buying a butchers, so do not hesitate to call us 1300 544 755.