A manufacturer is involved in using materials to create a product. Manufacturers produce machinery and equipment, furniture, plastics, as well as chemicals or food and beverages. Before a manufacturer gets involved in the business of manufacturing, there are a few legal considerations that will come into play.

Legislation

Depending on what you will be manufacturing there are various laws in place that may require your goods to meet certain standards or that will regulate the trade of your goods. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) protects consumer rights and will require that your goods reach safety standards, among other responsibilities.

Manufacturing Standards

Often not only the goods that you produce will need to meet specific standards, but also the way in which you produce them. There are specific manufacturing and processing standards in place that are used to ensure the production process creates safe and reliable products.

Packaging and Labelling

For consumers to be adequately protected, manufacturers need to comply with packaging and labelling standards. For example food products need to include a full list of ingredients. Packaging and labelling requirements may also arise when relating to warnings or environmental standards.

Licences and Permits

If you are manufacturing therapeutic goods, or use industrial chemicals or substances that may be placed under a specific controlled substance list, then you may need to consider whether you require a licence or permit to manufacture those goods.

Insurance

Many businesses in the manufacturing industry need to consider insurance in order to minimise risks. It is common to use insurance policies relating to consumer product liability or general liability. There are also insurance policies in place that cover the manufacturing process, such as machinery breakdown or business interruption insurance. Workers compensation is a compulsory insurance required by businesses.

Workplace Health and Safety

If you have employees or contractors involved in the manufacturing process, you will need to ensure that the workplace is safe and that harm to workers is prevented as much as possible. This is especially the case when there is use of machinery or plant equipment. There are occupational, health and safety regulations that exist to protect employees or contractors who work in manufacturing.

Conclusion

No matter what you are producing, it is likely that you will need to consider various laws that may regulate the good you manufacture or the process under which you are manufacturing the good. If you are unsure about the legal considerations you need to make for starting a manufacturing business, speak to one of our commercial lawyers to guide you through the process!

Lachlan McKnight
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