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Buying or selling an existing food or health business (intention to register)

Legislation requires the new owners of an existing food or health business to register the food business, or to transfer registration of the health premises with Council. Before you purchase or settle on any existing food or health business, Council recommends you arrange a pre-purchase inspection.

Stages of submitting an intention to register an existing food or health business

Stage 1 

 Decide whether you would like to register with or without a pre-purchase inspection.

Stage 2 

Detailed information and instructions for each of these options are available in the Submit an intention to register request section on this page.

  • Option 1 (with pre-purchase inspection)
  • Option 2 (without pre-purchase inspection)

Stage 3 

Council will review your request and then email you the registration requirements, and any additional information on the food or health premises registration process, as well as the correct application form/s.

Stage 4

Once the application is approved, a Certificate of Food/Health Registration will be issued which is the legally required Food/Health registration. 

Why do food or health businesses have to register?

Food business

Legislation requires the new owners of an existing food businesses to register the premises with Council.  Operating an unregistered food business is an offence under the Food Act 1984.

An existing registered food business is generally classed as:

  • Class 1 - Food prepared for the elderly in aged care services, children in child services, people in hospital etc.
  • Class 2 - Preparation, manufacture, service etc of potentially hazardous food. E.g. Restaurants, take-away café, canteens, delicatessens etc.
  • Class 3 - Preparation, manufacture, service etc of low risk and/or pre-packaged food. E.g, Convenience stores, low risk biscuit manufacturer, green grocer, bakery (low risk food only) etc.
  • Class 4 - Sale of low risk, pre-packaged food only. eg Newsagent, pharmacy etc.

For a detailed list of food business classifications types visit DH Class types

Health business

If you are buying an existing health business you will need to transfer the registration of the business into your name. Failure to transfer the registration under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 is an offence.

An existing registered health business could be:

  • a hairdressing and beauty treatment establishment
  • a tattooist establishment
  • an ear or body piercing establishment
  • a colonic irrigation establishment
  • an accommodation premise, including a rooming house
  • an aquatic facility.

Note: If you are purchasing an existing hairdressing and/or temporary make up only premises, see the Hairdressing or temporary make up only premises section.

 

      A pre-purchase inspection report is completed by Council and details all non-compliant items according to the relevant food or health legislation. 

      The service includes an inspection of the existing food or health premises, and a detailed report on any non-compliant items. 

      After Council issues the report, it is the responsibility of the purchaser and the vendor to negotiate to resolve all outstanding non-compliant items. Any outstanding issues once settlement has occurred become the responsibility of the new owner.

      What will the report include?  

      The pre-purchase inspection report will detail any non-compliance identified at the time of the inspection in relation to the following legislation:

      • Food Act 1984 & Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code.
      • Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
      • Public Health and Wellbeing Regulation 2019.
      • Infection prevention and control guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries.
      • Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020.

      The pre-purchase inspection will provide a report on:

      • structural issues, including floors, tiling, surface finishes, sinks, hand washing facilities,etc
      • the cleanliness and maintenance of the premises
      • the condition of the premises and equipment.

      To arrange a pre-purchase inspection, and receive a copy of the report, you will need to get the current owner's permission using the Consent to release Information form. See Submit an Intention to Register section below.

      Fees

      The fee for a pre-purchase inspection report depends on how quickly you need the report:


       Timeframe  Fee
       Standard within 10 business days  $230 
       Express within 5 business days $290

      There are 2 ways to submit an intention to register request for an existing food or health business

      1. With a pre-purchase inspection (recommended by Council)
      2. Without a pre-purchase inspection

      Option 1: With a pre-purchase inspection: 

      Before purchasing or settling on an existing food or health business, Council recommends that you arrange a pre-purchase inspection which will detail any non-compliant items of the premises 

      Please follow the below steps to request a pre-purchase inspection:

      • Step 3 - Council to arrange pre-purchase inspection

      • Council will email you an invoice for the pre-purchase inspection. Once payment has been made, the inspection will be arranged. When the inspection is complete, the report will be emailed to you (or the person nominated) and to the current business owner.
      • Step 4 - Premises registration

      • Council will email you the registration requirements, and any additional information on the food or health premises registration process, as well as the “Application to Register a Food/Health Premises form” for completion. Pro-rata registration fees also apply,

      Once the application to register is approved a Certificate of Food/Health Registration will be issued which is the legally required Food/Health registration.

       

      Option 2: Without a pre-purchase inspection: 

      You can register an existing food or health business without a pre-purchase inspection, however any issues with the premises automatically become the responsibility of the new owner once settlement occurs.  

      Please follow the below steps to register without a pre-purchase inspection:

      • Step 1 - inform council of intention to register

      • Inform Council of your intention to register a food or health business by completing our online Existing Food or Health business intention to register form. Please note this is not an application to register. 
      • Existing Food or Health business registration request form
      • Step 2 - Council to review

      • Council will review your request.
      • Step 3 - Premises registration

      • Once your registration request has been received, Council will email you the registration requirements, and any additional information on the food or health premises registration process, as well as the “Application to Register a Food/Health Premises form” for completion. A registration inspection will be conducted by your Environmental Health Officer which may include items to be rectified.

      Once the application is approved, a Certificate of Food/Health Registration will be issued which is the legally required Food/Health registration. 

      Any business involved in the sale or preparation of food and located in the municipality, must register its premises with Council.

      If you have closed or sold your food business or your hairdressing, beauty, tattooing, skin penetration, accommodation or aquatic facility business, please complete the Declaration of closure or sale form and email this to: maroondah@maroondah.vic.gov.au

      Declaration of closure or sale of registered business  (docx, 833KB)
      Declaration of closure or sale of registered business  (pdf, 524KB)

      If you are purchasing an existing hairdressing and/or temporary make up only premises, you must apply for ongoing new registration. This ongoing registration cannot be transferred.

      If you are starting a new hairdressing, beauty salon, tattooist establishment, ear/ body piercing establishment, accommodation facility or aquatic facility, please go to one of the following for further information:

      If you are purchasing a low risk packaged food premises, you must notify Council by completing a notification form instead of registering. You can find information for this on our New food premises registration page 

      Further information

      If you need more information on buying an existing food or health business, please contact Community Health Services for more information on 9294 5603.

      03/06/2021
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