20 Point Checklist to Start a Courier Business

20 Point Checklist to Start a Courier Business

As more and more people shop for items on the internet rather than on the high street, the demand for courier services is on the rise. Within the climate of growing reliance on quality and reliable courier services, starting a courier business can be a shrewd move for entrepreneurs wanting to be their own boss and run their own flexible, in-demand business.

There are different types of courier businesses that you could set up in the United States, including:

  • Bicycle courier
  • Motorcycle courier
  • Van courier
  • Drone delivery service
  • International courier services
  • Same-day delivery courier
  • Standard courier

If you are thinking about setting up your own company delivering parcels and packages to homes and businesses, take a look at the following 20-point checklist to help you start a successful courier business.

Develop a Courier Business Plan

Compiling a comprehensive business plan will act as an important guide in those first months in operation. A business plan can also help you secure investment for the business, if you need to borrow money to set the courier firm up.

Get Reliable Vehicles

The most vital tools in a courier’s toolbox are vehicles. Before you start you own courier business determine what type of vehicle you will need. If you will be transporting large items, the chances are you’ll need vans, or if you’re delivering smaller items, like pizzas or mail, motorcycles might be a more cost-effective solution. Either way, the vehicles will need to be reliable.

Organize Storage Space

Most courier businesses require space to store packages and parcels that are going out for delivery. Before you start the business, ensure you have enough space sorted out for storage.

Purchase Equipment and Materials

Asides company vehicles, you’ll need other equipment and materials, such as mobile phones, two-way radios, office supplies, a GPS unit and more, in order to run the business efficiently and avoid letting customers down.

Take Out Business Insurance

You will need to ensure your business is adequately covered with appropriate insurance in case you or an employee is involved in an accident, or your premises or goods become lost or damaged.

Give Your Courier Business a Name

Now for the fun part – choosing your business’s name. Try to be creative so that the name is memorable, unique and stands out. However, try and tie it in somehow with the services you provide by avoiding making the name too ambiguous and confusing.

Get a Courier Business Logo

Alongside a business name, you should also design a company logo, to help customers recognize you and distinguish you from competitors.

Consider the Legal Structure of the Business

Before you make your services available for business, you’ll need to decide on the legal structure of the new business. For example, will you operate as a sole proprietorship, as an L.L.C. or as a corporation?

Register the Business

Once you have determined the legal structure of the courier business, you will need to officially register the business.

Open a Business Bank Account

To keep business expenses and profits separate from personal funds, you may want to open a business bank account. In order to open a business bank account in the United States, you will need to have registered the business and present your proof of registration.

Decide What Type of Delivery Options You Will Offer

You’ll need to determine what type of delivery options you will offer customers, as the different deliveries can require significantly different operations. For example, will you offer a one-hour delivery, next-day deliver or just a standard delivery service?

Determine A Pricing Structure

Before you open your courier business to the public, you’ll need to have a defined pricing structure in place. If you’re unsure what to charge for your services, have a look at what competitors are charging to give you an idea.

Establish a Competitive Rate

As you’re a new business, you won’t have the longevity and credibility other more established courier companies might have. You may therefore want to have a competitive rate for your services to help entice customers your way.

Think About Cash Flow

Like with any business, you’ll need to work out what your ongoing costs will be and ensure you have the funds available to pay for ongoing costs like wages, rent for storage and fuel for the vehicles.

Get to Know Your Area

If you’re delivering locally, try to get to know the area as best as you can so that you can deliver packages more quickly and with greater confidence.

Start Marketing Your Courier Business

Get word of your services into the public domain by marketing your courier business. Set up a page on Facebook and use social media to create awareness about your new business. Advertise locally in the newspaper, on radio and in shop windows to generate interest in your services at a local level.

Design a Website

Reach out to a wide as audience as possible and ensure you remain competitive by having a company website. Ensure to include your services, rates and put any positive customer testimonials on the website as you get them.

Think About Branding

As well as having a logo, an online presence and a digital and local marketing strategy, develop strong branding for your business to distinguish you from competitors, such as having a specifically-colored fleet of vehicles or a company uniform.

Start Recruiting Employees

If you’re busy on out the road delivering packages, you won’t be able to take important phone calls and manage the office. In order to run the courier business properly you may want to employ people to either manage the deliveries or help with more admin-based tasks.

Grow Your Business

As you start to get more customers, grow your business by taking on more drivers, admin staff or contractors to help with the workload.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

20 Reactions
  1. Couriers are now more in demand than ever before. This makes this a business with a ready demand.

  2. Vincent Mapiye +263772210510

    I would want to set up a courier service company in Africa Zimbabwe

  3. In a courier company, one of the biggest factor to gain more customer and client is the services and the rate of the delivery cost/charge. As a Sales Executive in one of the leading courier company in UAE, we offer affordable charges within UAE delivery services to meet our customer’s satisfaction.

  4. Interested in business opportunities

  5. In this trial times, online shopping is in demand so it is also for couriers.

  6. great informative article sir…this parecel delivery business is becoming favourite choice for startups


    I am interested in dealing with critical deliveries only. Not desiring to have a large business, just one that I can manage and operate solely. Any info & suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for the informative post!

  8. My brother is planning to venture into the courier industry someday, and he’s thinking of incorporating a trucking dispatch software in his business because this may make the loading process easier. Well, you’re also right about the importance of separating the business profit and expenses, which is why opening a bank account for the service is a must. I also agree with you that shipping services must come up with a competitive rate because this will help attract potential customers.

  9. I want to start a courier company in Pretoria



  11. Nice post. Thank you

  12. I read this post and started my own International Courier Delivery Service from Nevada it’s called SwiftEx just in case you hear of it you should know it started from here

  13. Thanks for sharing such beautiful information with us. I hope you will share some more information about courier service. Keep more like this.

  14. Ramsun Courier

    It seems like a pro-businessman is giving you tips. Great post, Very helpful. Thanks..
    keep it up and give some more advice about e-commerce.

  15. I hope you can help me start my own company. What are the keypoints?

  16. I hope you can help me know the keypoints to start a business

  17. Nice post

  18. This is so interesting and educational.. I am really going to benefit from this.