Regardless of how far technology has expanded over the last few years, running a courier business is still a fairly viable option for starting a business. By registering as a limited company (if desired) and purchasing your own van, you can either choose to deliver documents etc on a contract basis , or start your business from scratch
. The courier business relies on people who have great customer skills, are calm & confident drivers, and are willing to operate under the pressure of time keeping.
If you choose to work for another company, you will not have the worry or trouble of chasing all of the leads yourself. They will provide most of the customers and be responsible for all of the advertising and marketing costs. The company will also have to raise the invoices and chase client payments.
One way to work in a self employed
capacity is to become a driver for one of the larger courier companies such as DHL. If you are successful in obtaining the work, you will be offered a set route to operate from. Whilst you are busy growing the larger companies business for them, you may be also in a position to pick up and negotiate new leads and work for yourself.
At the present time there are no special licences that you will need to operate as a courier in the UK. You will however be required to have passed and be in possession of a full driving licence. This will allow you to drive a car or van up to 3,500 kg in weight (Gross Vehicle Weight – GVW
). To drive a vehicle 3,500 kg or over, you will need an operator`s licence, but most courier jobs do not require these larger capacity vans.
You will of course be required to have suitable insurance cover. First you will need to insure the vehicle itself, just like any other motorist who drives on the highways. Whether you choose third party or fully comprehensive insurance will depend on whether you can afford to replace the vehicle should anything happen to it should you be found to be at fault. Fully comprehensive insurance would enable you purchase a replacement vehicle and return to work should your vehicle be involved in an accident (always check the details with your insurance broker).
Employees insurance will be obligatory if you have anyone working for you, and public liability insurance
is advised to protect you from any claims that may be made against you by the general public. Once you have the experience under your belt you could be in the enviable position to employ other people and find your own contacts. Apart from acquiring your own transport, insurance and being communicative/ friendly towards your clients there is not a whole lot of things stopping you starting this type of business. If in doubt there are hundreds of articles on the internet regarding the ins and outs of being a courier.