Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Courier Business in the United Kingdom
Supply chain logistics is a crucial part of global eCommerce businesses. As the world shops electronically, the physical work goes on behind the scenes. All those parcels, etc., need to be delivered, which makes starting a courier services company in the UK an excellent business idea.
A Dynamic Delivery Business
The United Kingdom’s postal and courier services industry includes postal operators and courier companies. It covers two segments:
- Postal delivery of mail, publications, etc.
- Delivery of international and domestic parcels.
Of these, parcel delivery is the more robust sector that includes receiving, sorting, transporting, and delivering various products.
Your courier business model can be as dynamic as the industry itself, servicing the public and other businesses. You can go low-impact and opt for a bicycle or motorbike delivery service. There are also options to have a fleet of delivery vans or trucks. Alternatively, you can hop onto the high-tech trend and consider drone delivery services. It will all come down to budget and research, which makes a business plan very essential.
Industry Best Practices for Courier Services
Here are some of the best delivery practices which can help you while starting your courier services:
A courier service that provides a different range of shipping methods will help you in quick expansion as you can cater to many requirements.
Use an automated system for sorting the parcel and GPS tracking to keep track of the delivery goods.
Have a tracking record that will help you track the parcel and know if it’s on time if it’s delayed or lost.
Have Policy in Place
Stick to the trade rules and ensure you abide by your courier policy. Inform your customers about the maximum courier weight that you can handle. Draft a policy form and provide customer reads and signs before hiring you.
Give Customers the Best Experience
Try to give the best experience possible by being available on festival holidays as their parcels may be of utmost importance to you.
Steps for Starting a Courier Business
Courier business is rising as the eCommerce industry is booming and millions of customers shop online. Here is a list of things from a corporate service provider which will help you before starting a courier business:
Study Your Target Market
Research to find out the demand, competition, and expectations in the market. Does your service provide all the benefits that the people want?
Once you find the demand in the market, you will know what services will sell the most and how profitable can your new business be.
Find Your Niche
Niching and investing in the appropriate sector are crucial factors for success. You could choose one or more from the below list:
- Fresh grocery deliveries
- Same-day deliveries, both local and national
- Next day delivery
- Overnight delivery
- Night and weekend delivery
- Hand courier service package by air or sea
- Regular delivery round
- Pallet services
- Heavy parcel delivery
- Special item delivery such as motorcycles, animals, pianos, hazardous goods
Make a Business Plan
Write up your business plan with research on location, competition, and how much start-up capital is needed to get started. This should include considerations of whether you will need a single vehicle or a fleet. You may need to rent serviced office space for your operations or a warehouse for storage.
Consider apps and vehicle tracking software that will keep accurate track of everything.
Choose a Name
A prerequisite step before starting a courier company is choosing a business name that is unique. There are many websites available today which help you find a business name based on your industry. You can also take the help of your company’s incorporation service provider.
You should also have a website, reliable web hosting, and secure e-payment gateways to handle online traffic. The courier industry is very competitive, so any edge you can give to your business will be worthwhile.
A UK Company Registration expert will help you with all the above processes right from choosing the right business name to getting the necessary permission from the government.
Choose the Right Entity
The courier business is fluid enough to allow you to operate as a sole trader or partnership. You can also incorporate your business as a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP).
3E Accounting provides customizable UK company incorporation services and will guide you on the pros and cons of each entity. Choosing the proper business structure can impact your business, so getting professional help is a good investment.
You must register for taxes with HMRC, and where applicable, value-added tax (VAT) as well. You should also open a business bank account and keep track of all your finances for audit purposes.
Licenses and Permits Needed for Starting a Courier Business
When it comes to approvals, there are no specific courier licenses. However, the UK Government website does list licenses and permits that may be required depending on the type of courier business:
- Valid driving license and road tax for applicable vehicles (DVLA)
- Goods vehicle operator license
- Certificate of professional competence
- Transporter authorization
If you’re keen on starting a courier services company in the UK with the least hassle, Contact 3E Accounting today. We provide comprehensive and customizable company formation services that will set up your business in no time. All our packages are expertly tailored to meet your specific business needs. Incorporating the latest in technology and innovation, our services are fully digitalized to deliver cutting-edge solutions. Get in touch with 3E Accounting today to work with award-winning, global industry experts.