Some people assume that quitting their job and working for themselves is a risky move, especially during the middle of a pandemic. However, if you’re passionate about something and believe you can turn that passion into an income, it makes sense to be self-employed.
One of the most popular self-employment options is to become a courier. As you can appreciate, there will always be a demand for transport services, and many people will seldom have the time or resources to move things themselves.
If you feel like you can offer your services as a courier, here’s what you need to do to get started:
Register as self-employed
You must let the relevant tax authorities know that you’ve become self-employed. That way, you can make sure you pay the right tax each year. The registration process is easy, and you can do it online.
Be sure to keep records for your income and expenditure. You’ll need this information to calculate the tax you owe, and as evidence to support your tax returns.
Buy a van
You won’t get very far if you haven’t got the right vehicle to use for your self-employed courier business. That’s why it makes sense to buy a van that fully meets your needs yet is within your budget.
There are many vans on the market to select. It makes sense to opt for as new a van as possible and purchase the biggest one you can afford. Doing so will ensure you can move even the largest of items with ease.
You should also ensure that your van is well-maintained and isn’t likely to break down when you’re transporting a customer’s goods in it. With that in mind, have it fully serviced as soon as you purchase it unless you’ve got written proof the work was recently done.
Get the right insurance
Having a regular van insurance policy isn’t enough when you’re transporting other people’s belongings. You’ll need insurance that offers professional indemnity cover if something you do causes your customers financial hardship.
Plus, you should get Goods in Transit Insurance cover to protect other people’s items if they get damaged or stolen while they’re in your care.
Bid on transport jobs
Once you’ve got your transport sorted out, the next stage is to bid on transport jobs. Fortunately, it’s easy to win driving jobs as many websites allow consumers and businesses to post up transport requests.
You may need to submit proof of insurance to the websites you use before you can start bidding for jobs. That way, customers know that you’ve got the right insurance cover in place for added peace of mind.
When you bid on transport jobs, you’ll need to take into account the following:
- Your fuel costs from your home to the pickup point, and then to the destination. You should also take into account the costs of driving back to your home;
- Whether you can easily fit the items into your van that require transport.
It makes sense to book jobs for the return journey home, so you’ve got income for travelling both ways.
Hopefully, you’ve found this guide useful. Good luck!