Checklist for Starting Your Delivery Service Business

Want to start your own business but don’t want to reinvent the wheel? If yes, then a delivery business might be your calling. It involves low start-up costs and if you already have a vehicle, you might just need a few other things.

The question is how to get started? Here’s a basic guide outlining some steps and tips to start your small delivery business.

1: Choose Your Target Market

First things first, decide whom you want to deliver for. In other words, who are your customers going to be? Since you are a small business that is just starting, it makes sense to approach small business owners in your local community. The options include cake shops, flower shops, dry-cleaning stores, pizza places, and more. Look around and you will find your target market in no time.

2: Figure Out the Costs Involved

The largest cost involved in the delivery business is the acquisition of a vehicle (in case you don’t already have one). Depending on your target market or the products that you will be delivering, you might need a truck.

The second-largest cost is insurance sink you will need more than one type of insurance. Some customers want insurance for the package delivered. If there is no insurance coverage, you will be responsible for reimbursing the customer in case of damage.

Then come other minimal costs such as fuel, offline and digital marketing expense, getting another phone, computer equipment, or licensure fee. Even if you plan to use your own car in the beginning and don’t want to spend much on marketing, you will need petty cash for daily expenses such as fuel. Therefore, list everything down and mark the prices with precision.

3: List Down Your Equipment Need

Once you have finalized whether you are getting a vehicle or not, the next thing to focus on is the equipment necessary for conducting the business. Depending on the type of delivery service, you will need some tools to move the objects.

The first item is a dolly for moving items. Ratchet straps are also necessary for securing the cargo and preventing the items from damage. The next item on the list of equipment is moving blankets to protect the delicate items during the transit. You will also need a stretch wrap for protecting furniture and other deliverables.

4: Map Out Your Budget

After figuring out the expense, plan your budget. Working for a staffing agency as a recruiter, I have learned the first thing you ask from a client is what’s their budget when they contact you to search for a candidate. Ask yourself the same question.

Your budget would depend on your local market and the number of people you are targeting. It’s ok to start with a low budget, you can always scale up later on.
This budget includes the price of the equipment and tools necessary, buying a vehicle, drivers (in case you are hiring any), insurance premium, marketing expense, and fuel cost. Figure out ways you can reduce the budget. For instance, initially don’t hire drivers, deliver yourself. Or use free marketing tools such as social media to spread the word about your business.

5: Name Your Business

Pick a catchy business name. It must be a name your audience can connect with. Choose a name that presents your brand. Be careful because this name is going to stick with you. List down a few options. Ask your friends and family for suggestions and pick the best name.

Once the name is finalized, create social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You may buy a domain later one when your business grows.

6: Legalize It

It’s extremely important to register your business to avoid legal complications later on. You can operate as a sole proprietor, LLC, or a Corp. Start by applying for a business license and get a tax ID number.

In case you don’t know much about legalizing a business, feel free to get in touch with a lawyer to take care of the legal activities. Build a relationship with them because you might need their services time and again.

7: Get Insured

Last but not least, get insurance for your business. A delivery business requires more than one insurance. You will need vehicle insurance, liability insurance, and cargo insurance. An insurance policy is a must if you want to build trust with clients.

These insurances are not just for your customers but also for you. They will keep you from legal troubles and out of pocket expenses. Talk to an insurance company in your local area to figure out a plan for your small delivery business.


Starting a small delivery service business is not as complicated as starting a manufacturing staffing agency but it certainly is overwhelming if you are not experienced. With an action plan and the right kind of support, you sure can launch your business successfully.

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