So, you’ve tested endless recipes, brainstormed countless ideas and now you have finally perfected the drink of your aspirations. At long last, you’re ready to share your beverage with the rest of the world. 

Now all you need to do is start your beverage company.  

Even though you may have the perfect product, it’s best not to fumble this step in your entrepreneurial journey. Starting your company can make or break your business, depending on how well you do it. 

Don’t worry though, we’re here to give you all the legal tips and guidance you need – keep reading to learn more about starting your beverage company. 

What Is A Beverage Company? 

A beverage company sells drinks to consumers. This can be any kind of drink – alcoholic, non alcoholic, soda, sports drinks or fruit drinks. When starting your beverage company, it’s a good idea to think about what your niche will be. There’s a wide range of drinks out there and you are going to want to narrow it down. 

After you’ve figured out your niche, you can start thinking about branding and naming your beverage company. Think of a name that can capture your desired customer base’s attention. You may even want to distinguish yourself from your competitors by designing a logo and creating a brand identity. 

Whatever you choose to create for your beverage company, make sure you legally protect it. If you’re designing a logo or come with a really original name, then consider getting it Trade Marked. Even though registering a trade mark can be somewhat of a long process, once your application is successful, you will have exclusive legal rights over your trade mark for the next 10 years. If anyone else tries to utilise your trade mark without your permission, then you’ll be able to enforce those rights. 

As you prepare to launch your beverage company, it helps to keep all your designs, ideas and research in one place. Once it’s time to start any necessary legal processes like registering a trade mark, you’ll have everything you need ready to go. Many business owners opt to have a Business Plan, where they document everything necessary – we highly recommend doing this for your beverage company. 

How To Start A Beverage Company In Australia 

To actually start your beverage company, you will need to register it. In Australia, all companies are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). To register and run a company, it will need to be done by following ASIC’s regulations. 

This whole process can get a little complex so we recommended enlisting the help of a legal expert when registering your company. To set up your beverage company, you’re going to need to sort out things like company governance, directors and shareholders. Moreover, you’re required to thoroughly understand your rights and obligations with ASIC so you don’t make any mistakes in the future. 

Having a legal expert walk you through this process can make it much easier. Unlike other business structures, a company is a legal entity on its own. While this offers you a lot more legal protection, it also means you need to have a good understanding on the ins and outs of running a company. Having a professional in your corner can make all the difference. 

Can You Start A Beverage Company From Home? 

Then actual registration for your beverage company likely won’t require you to leave your living room, if that’s what you have in mind. Registering your Company with ASIC can be done online. However, whether or not you can start and then run your beverage company from your home will depend on a number of different factors.

As a beverage company is part of the food and drink industry, it will be subject to certain standards that may not be suitable for a home set up. Ultimately, you’ll need to assess the operations, scale of your company and future goals to see whether or not a home set up is the right choice for your beverage company.  

What Legal Regulations Do I Need To Follow When Starting A Beverage Company?

As we mentioned (see above) a beverage company is subject to certain food and drink standards. The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code is one of the main regulations you will need to look out for when starting a beverage company. The code lets you know safe ingredients, practices and more, so it’s extremely important that you’re familiar with it. 

Other than the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code, here’s a few more regulations you’ll need to keep an eye out for. 

Australian Consumer Law

When you’re selling anything in the Australian market, it needs to comply with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL largely upholds the rights of consumers — as a company it’s your responsibility to know what they are and practise them. The ACL covers basic consumer rights such as labelling, returns, exchanges and more. Not following the ACL’s regulations can lead to penalties as well as a bad reputation for your business, so it’s important to completely understand what your duties and obligations are under it. 

Employment Law

When starting a beverage company, there’s a chance you might hire staff to come work on your team. Even though having staff can be great for business operations, it’s your duty as their employer to uphold certain legal rights they are entitled to. 

Your employees should be working in an environment that is hazard free, physically safe and does not cause them any type of harm. They should also be receiving their minimum breaks, pay, leave and other entitlements.

It’s a good idea to have their rights set out clearly in Employment Agreements. Furthermore, to maintain a positive workplace, having Staff Handbooks and Workplace Policies can let your employees know what is expected of them to help maintain a safe and professional work environment. Ensuing everyone’s on the same page can make a huge difference in facilitating a healthy workplace. 

Will I Need Any Legal Documents To Start My Beverage Company?

To keep your beverage company protected, it’s essential to get the right legal documents ready. We can’t tell you exactly what legal documents you will need, as this will depend on your individual business. However, there are a number of legal documents that are likely to be useful for your beverage company, so you may want to consider getting them. 

Supply Agreement: You might decide to utilise a supplier when putting together all the elements that create your product. When you do this, it’s important to have a contract in place that covers the rights and obligations of both parties. A supply agreement can make sure both you and your supplier are clear on the terms of the relationship to make for a much smoother sailing process.  

Distribution Agreement: Distribution agreements cover essential matters such as exclusivity, standards, marketing, payments as well as what might happen if something goes wrong. Before you agree to start working with a distributor, it’s a wise idea to have everything sorted in an expertly drafted distribution agreement. 

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): As a beverage company, you’ll want to keep a number of things confidential. A company can’t run on promises to keep things a secret, so it’s important to have a NDA ready to go whenever you need it. An NDA legally binds the other party to keep matters confidential – such as your secret beverage recipe. 

Privacy Policy: If you plan on making a website for your beverage company, then consider getting a privacy policy drafted. A privacy policy lets users know what data is being collected and what is being done with it. If your website collects any kind of information from its users, then you’re legally required to have a privacy policy on it. 

Next Steps

Starting a beverage company can be an exciting new business venture. However, it’s important to consider the legal factors to ensure your beverage company is legally compliant and protected. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • A beverage company sells drinks to consumers. When defining your niche and establishing a   brand identity, trademark protection is crucial 
  • Legal aspects such as registering your company with ASIC in Australia and understanding regulations are also important 
  • While registration can be done online, operating a beverage company from home may not always be feasible due to industry standards
  • Compliance with regulations like the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Code, Australian Consumer Law, and Employment Law is necessary
  • Necessary legal documents include supply agreements, distribution agreements, NDAs, and privacy policies to protect your company and its assets
  • Taking these legal steps is essential for ensuring compliance, protecting your business, and setting it up for success

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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