The Basics - How Do You Start a Courier Business?

We’ve been getting quite a few emails over the last few months from people who want more information on how to start a courier business. So, I’m (Abbie Stutzer – the editor of Courier Magazine) going to start writing content that covers this issue!

First topic: How do you open a courier business? wrote up a nice, little summery of all the things one must consider when starting a courier business. Entrepreneur presents the following basic facts about startup delivery businesses:

  • Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
  • Franchises Available? No
  • Online Operation? No

What comes first?
You need to decide what your delivery specialty will be. Do you want to specialize in envelopes and documents? Small packages or large shipments? Or perhaps you want to combine package types? Once you decide, research all you can!

According to, “the least expensive way to get started in the courier industry is to subcontract your services to an established courier company, meaning that you supply the transportation and yourself to pickup and deliver parcels.” This option does leave you with the lowest profit potential and ability to grow your business, though.

For a better result, Entrepreneur suggests that you start your own business outright: “A better option is to start your own courier service outright, and hire other owner/operators on a revenue-sharing basis to make deliveries, while you concentrate on marketing, managing and building the business.”

The following are a few other must-need things to invest in when starting up your courier business:

  • Suitable transportation
  • A courier's license (this depends on what you’ll be delivering)
  • A two-way radio system
  • Moving dollies

You’ll also need to investigate your municipality to discover its regulations for issuing courier's licenses to drivers and courier companies. This information can typically be found at your city’s city hall or a transportation office.

Also: Note that courier rates vary by size, weight and parcel destination.

While competition in the courier industry is high, great customer service and dependability will help you gain and retain customers.


Image source: