I am thinking of starting a courier business. I live out in
the middle of nowhere, no big cities around, but there is
a large railroad in the area. I know they expedite things
weekly to and from other cities. My question is, do any
of you know a person in the courier business, or have
any suggestions about where to find info. I have
googled it, but not much real help out there. This would
basically be 3/4 full sized van transport, not big city
paper work courier stuff. Thanks in advance
That is a business that I have worked in.
My experience is that this relates mainly to cities and busy nearby
suburbs. So, I think so far that you have to know the cities and
near-to-city busy areas, and spread your word to them.
There is another line of work opportunity that I have heard of
(I suspect some chance as "independent contractor" rather than
Driving rental trucks against trends of 1-way moves that correspond to
For that one: Have a vehicle that you can drive in a cost-effective and
time-effective manner, but also able to be transported by rental trucks,
typically a motorcycle plus motorcycle-transportable means to keep it
upright ("rubber side down") or at least in a storage orientation that
it can take, especially by the motorcycle's battery.
Otherwise, make your own long-distance vehicle a bike without a motor,
and live cheaply enough to spend a lot of time riding your bike uselessly
to clients. (At 2,600-4,000 feet in elevation on some rural mountainish
slope in Arizona close enough to Phoenix to do grocery shopping every week
or two or 3 when you have a truck to drive?)
How this works: Drive rental trucks against 1-way rental flows, with
your bike in the truck. Then, ride your bike back from a city losing
rental trucks to one gaining them from 1-way moves.
This job that I have heard of sounds to me like an "independent
contractor" one. For USA Federal taxation of such as a sole proprietor
of a business, you file along with 1040 a "Schedule C" (profit or loss
from business or profession) and a "Scedule SE" (social security tax by
self-employed, with self-employed paying both employer and employee
As mobile as such a self-employed person would be here, such person is
advised to research states, counties and municipalities for advantages
such as lower living costs including lower to nonexistent taxation of
"sole proprietor" business income beyond preferably-lower taxation of
personal income that "business income" contributes to.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Doing it old-school, off the books, as just a good old boy with a truck
that does odd jobs, may or may not be possible in your area. In more
nannyish areas, you are looking at getting a business license, a bond, a
hauling license from whoever regulates for-hire trucking in your area,
special insurance, and so on and so on. If you have a storefront, which
many areas require for a licensed business, you have all the paper work
required for that. Around here, the state-level secretary of state is
the focal point for most licensing stuff for a business, but the local
govt also has their hand in, palm up. The model would be a
owner-operator semi truck driver who gets his own loads, since that is
basically what you would be doing on a very small scale.
Other than individuals and companies run as sole good-old-boy
proprietorships, most people won't trust a gypsy hauler for insurance
reasons. What if the stuff they entrust you with grows legs, or somehow
injures somebody? What if a paying customer is waiting on whatever you
are hauling? If they don't have an employee to haul it, they want
somebody that can get sued if there are problems.
Standard disclaimer- IANAL, or an insurance agent, and local laws and
customs vary. Areas I am familiar with make a distinction between
hauling as an adjunct to other duties and services provided as an
employee or subcontractor, and hauling as a common carrier. The latter
is a lot more tightly regulated.
I think you have a lot of research to do. Commercial trucking is regulated
by the state. Given the size of the van you are talking about, you won't
need a CDL, but the van must have commercial tags and registration and
proper insurance. Check your state DOT for starters.
You will want liability insurance for lost and damaged product. Large
truckers have a $1million plus.
You may have ICC regulations to follow. Gas taxes to report.
Most important, you need a customer base. Have you looked into what the
need is? Is there a specific area you will cover? Are there businesses
that need fast service?
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