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A courier service invoice is a form that is completed upon the successful delivery of one (1) or more packages to a company or individual. The invoice is designed for both large and small courier services, although small companies and freelancers may benefit the most by issuing the document. Smaller-scale couriers work directly with local businesses and charge their services on an hourly basis or with set prices for a list of services they provide.
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A courier delivers an item from one location to another in exchange for one-time or recursive payments. The term “courier” applies to both small businesses consisting of one (1) or more employees, to massive-scale delivery companies with fleets of ground and air vehicles, such as UPS and FedEx. Large couriers operate on a global scale, offering a broad scope of services including specialty overnight or same-day delivery. For smaller couriers, finding areas where larger couriers don’t operate in due to being impractical or impossible paves the way for a significant profit to be earned.
- Same-day Delivery
- Overnight Delivery
- Personal Courier Services
- Standard Courier Services
Starting a courier business can be achieved with minimal upfront capital – which is rare in the business world. That isn’t to say there will be significant expenses along the way, but as a company grows, said expenses are typically easier to afford. Begin with step one (1) below to head on the journey of starting a courier company:
Step 1 – Filing the company with the state
Deciding on a company structure can be a difficult task. Sole proprietorships and partnerships can be easy to form, but leave all the liability on the owner if an accident or legal trouble were to occur. LLCs on the other hand, protect the owner(s) from liability and pay taxes in a similar fashion as to partnerships. Writing an LLC Operating Agreement is highly recommended for providing an orderly breakdown of the company’s structure, and in some states, is mandated. To create a free legally-binding LLC, check out eForms.
Step 2 – Courier Insurance
Obtaining insurance is a must for any company, as an emergency or accident can happen at any time and can be the end of a company if proper protections are not set in place. Searching online provides many options, but each insurer should be intensively researched before purchasing a plan.
Step 3 – Purchase Vehicles & Tools
Courier businesses require little purchases to get started. To get started, the following should be purchased or readily accessible:
- Communication: A cell phone can cost relatively cheap for used ($50-200) to $500+ for new. Cell phone plans typically range from $30 to $50 a month. If hiring multiple employees, many carriers offer business plans, such as AT&T and Verizon. A computer is also essential for marketing and communicating via email with clients. According to computertooslow.com, the average cost of a new computer is $650, although cheap computers can be found for $250.
- Transportation: Those looking to start a courier business typically have a vehicle they plan on using at first – if not, small and large vans are the go-to courier vehicle. Buying used can save couriers thousands compared to purchasing new.
- Other Items: GPS, maps (for emergencies), marketing items (business cards, flyers, etc.), and tools for moving heavy loads on the ground are all items that should be acquired at some point after starting the business.
As time goes on, couriers will find new tools and items that aid in perfecting their craft, but for those just starting out, the above items should provide as more than enough.
Step 4 – Find Clients
Market the new courier business in any way possible. Creating both an online and in-person presence can maximize the number of clients that are exposed to the service. This can be done via creating a website, paying for online advertising, having business cards printed, going to networking events, cold-calling businesses, and putting up flyers.
The salaries found below are for a courier employee – those running their own courier services may make more (or less) than the figures below.
Salary: $30,177/yr (source: glassdoor)
Hourly Rate: $14.45/hr (source: indeed)