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How to Get a Business License for a Courier Service

Are you wondering how to get a license for a courier business? If YES, here are 5 steps to get a business license for a courier service. Indeed starting and running a successful courier business can offer many benefits. It is also possible to start this business on a part-time basis.

If you think you know your local area well, then you may have what it takes to succeed in this career. A courier service is a business that ensures the movement and shipping of packages and important documents to their intended destinations.

According to reliable industry reports, the courier and local delivery service in the United States industry witnessed a 4.7 percent growth from 2015 to 2020. Note that this takes into consideration both bigger courier companies and smaller local delivery companies. The steady rise in consumer spending, corporate profit, and a massive number of businesses in operation within these periods have propelled enormous growth in this industry.

Note that courier businesses may work with a vast number of businesses, but they have specific service areas that they understand very well. Pharmacies, veterinarians, realtors, lawyers, and many other businesses steadily leverage couriers for convenience and speed. They also don’t operate within normal business hours; a good number of them may deliver at night, too.

Do not also forget that your courier business will need to get certain business licenses and permits. Coupled with courier-specific licenses, there may be general business registrations for these businesses as well. It is imperative you obtain a license for your courier service even before you start offering your services to clients.

However, try not to confuse a business license with your business registration. Note that the registration is what establishes your operation as an official company with the state. But a business license is a piece of paper that provides you with the legal backing to perform a specific service or offer a certain product to the masses. Most times, a business license is mandatory for businesses in the United States.

Steps to Get a Business License for a Courier Service

To get a business license for a courier service, you have to first identify requirements that apply to your courier business in all the relevant jurisdictions. These steps will put you through the process.

  1. Register Your Name

Please note that the first thing to do is to register your Business title=”business name” data-wpil-keyword-link=”linked”>business name. If you are a sole proprietor doing business under your own name, then you might not need to register your name. But if you are doing business under a business name, it is imperative you register your name and business with the secretary of your state.

  1. Form Your Legal Entity

While still in the process of registering your business name, you will also have to choose a legal entity that suits your business needs. If you intend to do business as an LLC or corporation, then you are expected to form your business entity. This requires filing an application and paying a fee to the secretary of state.

Note that a good number of businesses prefer to form their business in the states where they are located, however, you may decide to form in another. Howbeit, remember to talk to your tax and legal advisors if you are considering forming in a different state.

  1. Search Licensing Requirements

Note that a courier service may need both a business license and a driving license, but it depends on your business location and the clients you intend to service. Nonetheless, it is advisable you seek confirmation whether both are needed, as being unlicensed may leave you prone to heavy fines and business closure.

Contact the business license bureau of your local municipal government office. Be sure to ask questions about the needed forms and fees to start a courier business in the area. Also, ask if there are other additional requirements and also request the forms be sent to you. Carefully complete the forms and also genuinely answer all questions in the form. Also, go through the form again for completeness before you sign and date it.

  1. Submit The Forms And Pay The Fees

After carefully completing the forms, visit the licensing bureau and submit them. Hand the form to the clerk with a check for the fee. Collect your receipt, and expect your business license to be mailed within 10 business days. After you are finished with the local licensing requirements, ensure to visit your state’s website. Have it in mind that most states will have a licensing portal similar to that of your local area to guide you through the process.

Most times, you can easily apply for the licenses you require directly online or download them to print and mail in. However, always remember that licensing applications require information such as your business name and address, business type, ownership, and tax identification numbers. Also, note that you will be expected to submit a fee along with your applications.

  1. Complete Tax Registrations

If you registered your courier business as a sole proprietor, then you may find the only registrations needed for your courier business are tax registrations. This you can comfortably do online for your tax accounts or download the application to print and mail to the tax authority.

Coupled with state and local income tax registrations, you may have to apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) specifically for tax purposes. Have it in mind that it is free and doesn’t take time to complete, and you obtain your number immediately. However, ensure to visit the genuine IRS portal to get an EIN.

In the United States, businesses are expected to obtain an EIN to administer payroll taxes, but even if you are a sole proprietor with no employees, it is recommended that you apply for one so you don’t have to use your Social Security number for business identification purposes. Tax software can help you manage all of your small business taxes more easily and accurately.


If you are looking to start and run a successful courier business, then ensure you are focusing on the right location and target market. Note that you don’t have to start up full-time immediately. The courier business industry allows you to test the waters on a part-time basis while still staying employed somewhere else. As you get started, continue to envision the future possibilities for your company and ways you can grow.