If you run a business in the accommodation and food services industry, it’s important to know the licenses, permits, legislation and operational requirements in the industry. At Sky Accountants Ballarat & Bookkeepers Ballarat, our goal is to empower you to become a better, more finance-focused and well-rounded entrepreneur. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 328 855
The accommodation industry includes hotels, motels, serviced apartments and other short-term accommodation for visitors. The food services industry, on the other hand, includes cafes, restaurants, takeaways, pubs, bars and other businesses that sell meals, snacks and beverages.
You need to know the laws that apply to the industry. Key legislation includes the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Australian Consumer Law, National Trade Measurement Legislation, Food Standards Codes, Country of Origin food labelling and Franchising code of conduct.
The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 covers the relationships between wholesalers, suppliers, consumers and retailers. It aims to promote fair trading and competition through consumer protections. It covers unfair market practices, product safety and labelling, price monitoring, industry regulation, industry codes and mergers and acquisitions.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) is a national law to protect consumers. You must comply with the ACL in that – if your customer asks for an itemised bill, you have to provide it for free. If you sell goods or services worth over $75 (excluding GST), you have to provide the customer with a receipt. If you give receipts, your ABN or ACN, your name, the item supplied, the price and date of supply must be shown. If the good or service doesn’t meet a consumer guarantee, the customer may ask for a refund, replacement or repair for goods and services under $40,000. For items over $40,000, these should normally be bought for personal or household use. If there is a problem with the good or service, the customer may ask for compensation for damages and loss, provided you could have reasonably foreseen the problem. You also can’t have a store policy that overrides consumer guarantee rights.
The National Measurement Institute is the peak body responsible for maintaining Australia’s measurement system, which covers trade, legal, biological, physical and chemical measurement. It aims to ensure a safe, fair and competitive Australia. NMI administers trade measurement laws that benefit Australians by providing buyers and sellers with the confidence that transactions are fair and accurate. It audits businesses to assess compliance and issues licenses to private operators to ensure the use of accurate measuring instruments.
The Food Standards Code covers labelling requirements, pre-market clearance, microbiological limits and processing requirements, prohibited contaminants and residues, food standards based on different categories, food safety requirements and primary production and processing standards.
Most food products for retail sale also require a country of origin label so you need to check if the Country of Origin Food Labelling Info Standard 2016 apply to your products. If not, the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code will apply.
The Franchising Code of Conduct regulates the conduct of franchising participants towards each other. Both current and prospective franchisees and franchisors must act in good faith in their business dealings with each other. The Code also provides mechanisms for parties to try and resolve disputes in a cost effective and timely manner. They also risk financial penalties and infringement notices if they breach provisions of the Franchising Code.
There are different liquor licensing types, permits and restricted trading days for each state and territory governments. The licenses and permits you may need include preparing and selling food, selling and consumption of alcohol, erecting or displaying signage, outdoor dining, playing video or sound recordings and waste disposal.
The Accommodation and food services industry also has specific goods and services tax (GST) measures. It is a 10% tax on most goods, services and other items consumed or sold in Australia. If the business is registered for GST, the extra money must be collected from the customer (one-eleventh of the sale price) and paid to the ATO when it is due.
You must register for GST if your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more, your non-profit organisation has a GST turnover of $150,000 or more, you provide taxi or limousine travel or you want to claim fuel tax credits for your business.
If your business has an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million, you may get some GST concessions. In the same tax period, you can get payments from your customers, account for GST on your sales, make payments to your suppliers and claim GST credits on your purchases. You can also pay GST by installments or claim a full GST credit for purchases intended for private purposes.
Those who employ staff need to comply with national workplace laws and must understand responsibilities relating to employee rights, employment terms, contracts, leave and wages to avoid penalties.
There are also general occupational health and safety regulations for businesses and the accommodation and food services industry have state-specific Workplace Health & Safety requirements including occupational noise management, standards for protective clothing and equipment, standards for occupational safety signage, national standard for manual handling, prevention of burns from hot liquids, surfaces or steam, prevention and response to workplace bullying, prevention of workplace violence and electrical safety.
As you look for different ways to grow and improve your business, seeking professional advice could prove to be an important and helpful decision.
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