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Courier Business Idea

Learn how to start a courier business and make a healthy profit by filling a needed delivery niche in the business world.

Even in this age of instant information and wireless business, there are still many companies that contract with private couriers – especially for immediate deliveries.

Businesses still need to deliver legal documents, special materials, and various packages but find it more economically feasible than having an inner office employee perform the duties. In these situations it’s typically easier for a business to work with a local courier service than with a larger delivery firm.

When deciding how to start a courier business, there are many decisions to make. Begin by asking potential customers questions about their typical delivery needs and then follow through by completing a solid business plan for success.


Before you invest any money or make any decisions you should begin to network. Check with your local business associations and attend meetings for leads and advice. We have found that companies are quite willing to talk to new businesses trying to provide them services. Ask owners and representatives questions that can help you grow your business, for example:

  • What services are you not receiving from your current provider that you would change providers to receive?
  • How often do you use a courier franchise?
  • What price point would be appealing enough for you to change providers?
  • What advice would you give me for approaching your colleagues and future clients?

Use the answers to these questions to help you better understand how to start a courier business.

Delivery Area

The word "local" means different things to different people. You will almost certainly need a large metropolitan area to be successful but deciding how much of that area to cover can be tricky. Perform a search of both potential customers and competitors and place them on a map.

Call your competitors and find out their delivery radius and place that information on a map. This should give you a good idea of your target area delivery business parameters.

Staff Size

You can start your business with yourself as the single employee or with a small staff. When deciding be sure you weigh all of the profit and loss potential. If you start with just yourself you can control costs but will only be able to adequately serve a couple of clients.

Marketing will be difficult and if you are unable to provide quality services to prospective clients, may even be detrimental.

Private Transportation or Fleet

Part of figuring out how to start a courier business that is right for you is deciding whether you will use a "private contractor" situation with your employees in which they utilize their own vehicles or fully employed employees that use a vehicle you provide.

You should work with your CPA to weigh out the tax benefits of both systems as they vary from state to state. Also, spend some time with your insurance company to understand what courier insurance is needed in both scenarios.

How To Start A Courier Business – Marketing

The amount of marketing you perform will depend on your business plan and the size of staff at your launch. However, no matter whether you are trying to approach 5 clients or fifty there are some things you should do to ensure success.

  • Plan or attend an event that allows one on one time with the prospective client. Whether you host a lunch for a prospective client or attend a golf tournament that includes prospective clients, BE CREATIVE!
  • Professionally written and presented brochures and web resources are important. You should always have an information packet ready to hand a prospective client.
  • Sponsorships of fundraising events are a great way to meet clients. You can typically acquire sponsorships in charity events for less than you would pay for a mail campaign and you get to reach your market directly.

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