The Australian food industry is relatively one of the best in the world by all standards. Fondly know as The Land of Kangaroos, Australia has no shortage of incredible food – the whole country is liberally peppered with world-standard restaurants and innovative cafes steered by imaginative and heartfelt chefs. In this post we take a look at some of the key things you need to consider while starting a food delivery business in Australia!
The following guidelines have been curated to make life easier for food businesses that provide a home delivery service for perishable foods, other than ready-to-eat meals, using unrefrigerated transport vehicles. Food delivery is a commonly availed service these days, considering the various options that you have at a reasonable prices too! Its a major help to people across all the age groups and makes life easier in every way!
Here are some food delivery guidelines;
- Total delivery time – The delivery time is from the time of purchase at the store to the time customers receive the delivery at their home. Make sure you’re able to plan the delivery in under 30mins – 45mins
- Controlling the temperature of perishable food – Running a food delivery business, involves with you making some investments and this is one of those. Invest in some fine quality hot/cold bags to keep the food in good conditions. It is not appreciated by customers when you serve their food cold.
- Skills and knowledge of all staff – Staff involved with the home delivery service, including drivers, should understand food safety requirements, particularly about the temperature danger zone.
- Don’t leave food unattended at a customer’s home – If customers are not at home at the time of delivery, do not leave food unattended unless arrangements have been made with the customer. The customer should be advised that the safety of food cannot be guaranteed if it has been left unattended.
- Plan for unexpected delays – Ensure that there is a documented procedure to deal with situations where a delivery is unexpectedly delayed through vehicle breakdown, traffic congestion or traffic accidents. Remember “Customer is King”, so be sure to keep your customers interests first!
Actions for home delivery drivers
Delivery drivers should:
- Prevent damage to packaging or bruising of food
- Implement documented procedures if unexpected delays due to vehicle breakdown, traffic congestion or traffic accidents occur
- Not leave food unattended at the customer’s home unless arrangements have been made with the customer to do so
- Communicate with customers about delivery times. Advise how long the delivery will take or the expected delivery time, and arrange a specific time for delivery
- Advise that there should be someone at home at the time of delivery. If this is not possible, ensure the customers know that the safety of the food cannot be guaranteed if it is left unattended.
- Advise that perishable foods should be placed in the refrigerator as soon as they are delivered.
Setting Up Your Food Business
1. Determine If You Need to Register Your Food Business
Different registration and licensing rules and regulations exist depending on your food business’ location. Examples of common food businesses that need a food business licence include:
- Mobile Food Units
- Takeaway food
- Community organisations
- Charities that handle and serve food
2. Determine Your Business Classification
Each Australian State and Territory classifies food businesses differently. To determine your food business classification, you should consult your State or Territory’s guidelines. These are listed for your convenience below.
If you are uncertain which industry category your food business falls under, consult our handy guide on determining your food sector.
- Australian Capital Territory –ACT Health – Health Protection Service
- New South Wales – New South Wales Food Authority
- Northern Territory – Northern Territory Department of Health
- Queensland – Queensland Department of Health – Food Safety Standards and Regulation
- Victoria – Victoria Department of Health – Food Safety and Regulation
- South Australia – South Australia Department of Health
- Tasmania – Department of Health and Human Services – Food Safety
- Western Australia – Western Australia Department of Health – Food Unit
3. Contact Your Local Authority
Keeping the above information in mind, you can now register your food business with your local council and arrange to obtain a food business licence.
To determine your local council’s process for licensing, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service to search for relevant information based on your location and business type. You will need to provide your local authority with certain information:
- Your food business classification
- What types of food you will be serving
- Who will be receiving your food
- Whether or not your food is pre-packaged
- Details of your nominated food safety supervisor (review the next step)
- You will need to fill out the proper paperwork, pay a fee, and renew your licence annually.
4. Consider Food Safety
All food businesses must comply with food safety law. First, your State or Territory may require you to hire a Food Safety Supervisor. Second, you may need to develop a Food Safety Program based on HACCP principles.
To learn more about your food safety obligations, consider reading:
- Food Standards Code
- Who Is Responsible For The Food Safety Of A Business?
- Do All Employees Who Handle Food Need Food Safety Training?
Some General Info On Starting A Business in Australia
1. Choosing your business structure
The structure you choose for your business is very important, as it has a direct effect on things such as:
- Your level of control
- The amount of tax you need to pay
- Regulatory obligations
- Health and safety requirements in the workplace
- The level of personal liability you will incur
There are four structures on which you can build your business in Australia:
- Sole trader: This is when you register someone (usually, yourself) as the sole owner of the business. That means you’re responsible for all legal aspects of running the business, but you’re entitled to hire people to work for you.
- Company: This is a commercial business or entity that has a separate legal existence to its shareholders.
- Partnership: A Partnership is when more than one person and/or entities run a business together, but not in the form of a company.
- Trust: A Trust is an entity that is in possession of property, income, or any other assets for the benefit of a third party.
You must decide on the structure of your business before you register it, as each structure entails different steps to do so. Along with this, it’s worth noting that you might change the structure of your business as it grows and evolves over time.
2. Pick a business type
With a structure in place, you can better understand the type of business you’re likely to need. There are a myriad of business types to choose from, and some of the main types include:
- An online business
- A franchise
- Independent contractor
Every industry has a different set of legal obligations and regulatory requirements, so it’s crucial that you pick the business type that best suits your industry.
3. Apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and register your business name
You can’t legally start a business in Australia unless you own an ABN. This is an 11-digit number that is unique only to your business and acts as a government identifier for the business.
Once you’ve got an ABN, you’ll be able to:
- Register your business name
- Identify your business to other entities for things like ordering goods and services or sending invoices
- Claim taxes such as Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Avail of credits for things like energy grants
It’s best to decide on your business name before you go about creating assets like your website URL, logo or any other designs. Otherwise, you’ll need to change everything in the event that your business name changes. If you do create a business logo, it’s worth considering if you need to patent it to protect yourself from copyright infringement.
You can register your ABN and business name separately if you wish, but it’s easier to apply for both at the same time here.
4. Register your domain name
You can only complete this step after you’ve secured your business name and ABN as it’s only possible to get a .com.au address if you’re a registered Australian business. The domain name you pick should be related to your business in some way and make it easy for prospective customers to find and recognise.
While you might have the perfect domain to go with a killer business name, you’ll still need to check that someone else hasn’t taken it already. Luckily, there are plenty of sites out there that can help you with that — here’s one of them to give you a head start.5
Once you’ve found a domain name that isn’t taken, you can go to the .au Domain Administration Ltd (.auDA) website to find links to domain registrars and resellers. Here, you’ll get an idea of how much you’ll have to pay to secure your domain name.
4. Identify your funding source
If you’re like the majority of new startups, cash flow will be your primary concern. You can have the best business plan in the world, but it won’t be of any use if you don’t have the money to keep the lights on while you’re getting your feet on the ground. With this, it’s important to know what resources are available to make the initial growth period a lot easier.
While there aren’t many government grants to help you start your business, there are plenty of options that are specific to each state. For example, if you’re starting a business in Adelaide, you can apply for a cool $20,000 Small Business Development Fund.
There are other grants based on:
- Taking your idea to market
- Marketing and sales
- Buying equipment
- Importing and exporting
- Employing people
Check out this page for a full list of grant types that can help fund parts of your venture.
5. Register for the correct taxes
As the saying goes: “The only certainties in life are death and taxes.” Unfortunately, this is also true if you start a business in Australia – you absolutely must register for the correct taxes to avoid any potential legal implications. The taxes you must register for are dependent on the type of business you choose to start, with some applicable to every type and others only mandatory for certain types.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) – this is compulsory if your business has a turnover of $75,000 AUD or higher
- Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding tax – this is required if you need to withhold an amount for tax purposes, such as paying wages or salaries
- Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) – if you’re lucky enough to be able to provide perks like a company car to your employees, then you’ll need to register for this
You can get more details on tax types by clicking here.
With all the above essentials sorted it’s time to get kicking and make that business a top success! Do post your queries in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you at the earliest!