The digital age has brought about a degree of industrial diversification and new job creation opportunities like never before. However, even in this era of digitalisation, certain tasks, such as getting packages from one place to another and many others like it, still require human effort. Singapore is a vast business hub with diverse industries trading goods and services with one another. The courier service serves as a major connection between these diverse sectors of the Singapore economy.
What Is A Courier Business All About
A courier business involves the delivery of packages, messages, and even food from one place to another. Courier services play the role of go-betweens in supply chains, as they transport or ship documents or products from provider to user. An individual, a group, or the government can all be running a courier business of their own.
Types Of Courier Services
When you think in terms of courier services, several things have to be considered. One such factor is the area you hope to service. To this end, courier services can be classified into three distinct types:
Local Courier Service
A local courier service offers its services within a certain city or country. The delivery services of a local courier business are limited to the city in which they are located. This means that even when the business has branches or affiliates in other cities, it will only transport or ship packages within the city it is located.
Global Courier Service
Global courier services operate on a much larger scale than local courier services. Such a courier company transports packages and documents across borders from one country to another. Global courier businesses usually have branches in other countries to make the process easier.
Time-Sensitive Courier Services
Time-sensitive courier services are time-based and usually used for fast deliveries. They are often referred to as same-day deliveries or next-day deliveries. Time-sensitive courier services are usually local since delivery has to be confined to the same region. However, when international services are required and can be provided, they’re often more expensive.
What To Consider When Starting A Courier Business
A passion for venturing into the courier business can only take you as far as your understanding of the business and financial capabilities can go. Like any business, you’ll need to arm yourself with certain information before diving, head first, into the business waters. Here are some factors to consider when starting a courier business:
A courier service would require lots of storage space, both for the delivery fleet and for packages that are waiting to be delivered. Before starting a courier business, you must ensure you have sufficient space for storing your delivery packages. Sufficient space helps to ensure the safety of the packages and reduce the chances of them getting damaged.
Starting any business requires capital and running costs. Before venturing into the world of logistics and courier services, make a detailed business plan that includes your expected costs. Understand the difference between assets and liabilities, capital and running costs. Be intentional about knowing the actual costs of starting and operating a courier business.
The Type Of Courier Service
As addressed above, the type of courier service to be operated is also an important factor to consider when starting a courier business. This is because the type of courier service you wish to run would determine the type of delivery vehicles to be purchased and how much space would be required.
Requirements For Starting A Courier Business In Singapore
Certain requirements must be met to start and run a courier service in Singapore. Most businesses in Singapore do not require special licenses for them to start running. However, courier and postal services in Singapore are regulated by the Postal Service Act.
All courier business approvals must be obtained from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). You must submit a three-year business plan to get licenses and approvals from IMDA. The licenses required for running a courier business in Singapore include the following:
- Postal Service Operator License
- Express Letter Services License
Other requirements for running a courier business in Singapore are:
- All vehicles must be registered with the Singapore Land Transport Authority.
- Licenses for advertisements and billboards must be obtained from the Building and Construction Authority.
- Your business must be registered with Singapore Customs if services would be offered outside of Singapore.
- Foreign employees must obtain work visas or pass from the Ministry of Manpower.
- Documents like articles and memorandum of association, information on shareholders and directors, and company name and address registration must be provided during registration.
Starting A Courier Business In Singapore
With the fundamentals out of the way, the next major step is starting the business. When in doubt, you can seek the services of professionals to clarify the specific stages so you can avoid breaking any of the laws in Singapore. You can follow these steps to start a courier business in Singapore.
Determine The Type Of Courier Service You Want To Run
The first step to starting a courier business is to decide what type of courier service you want to offer. This includes the extent of your services, the type of goods you want to deliver, and the delivery time frame. It is advised that you study the different services and determine which would be most profitable in Singapore.
Decide On The Structure Of Your Business
Before proceeding to start a courier business in Singapore, it is advised to decide on the structure of your business. This will ensure you register your courier business appropriately, be it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company.
Register Your Business
The next step is to register your business. Registering your courier business in Singapore is similar to registering other businesses in the country. The registration process is straightforward and can be completed online with the following steps.
- Choose a name for your business as stipulated by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
- Register an address for your business in Singapore.
- Prepare and submit the required documents.
- Submit your application.
- Register for taxes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
- Open a bank account for your business.
- Purchase Operational Vehicles And Equipment To Run The Business
An important capital asset for a courier business is the delivery vehicle. Once your business is registered and ready to run, you will have to purchase the vehicles and equipment needed to run your business. A courier service cannot operate without the means of transporting packages from one point to another. Hence, purchasing the equipment is a very important step.
Get Insurance For Your Business
Running a courier business comes with its own risks because you are liable for the goods entrusted to you. Getting insurance for your business, especially as a new courier business, would help you manage losses, helping keep your business running if any accident leads to the loss of goods.
Figure Out Your Rates And Prices
There are several factors to consider when determining the delivery rates for your services. This will include the distance covered and the cost of running and maintaining your delivery vehicles. These factors should be properly considered to ensure your courier business does not run at a loss.
As the Singapore business environment continues to grow and diversify, people are looking for new ways to start a business and earn money. Starting a courier business in Singapore is an easy process that is sure to yield profits if done properly. With the right guidance from this article, you are well on your way to becoming a business owner.
While you can incorporate your business on your own, engaging a company incorporation agency can ensure the process is seamless. They would manage the process as well as advise you at every step so that you stay compliant always.