Errand businesses are popular start-up businesses because of the low start-up costs. You can get started in an errand business using your home as a base, which saves leasing office space. You can use your personal phone until business warrants installing a business phone; however, you must obtain your business licenses for your errand business. The authorities may shut down your business so make sure you have the appropriate licensing before you open your doors for your new errand business.
Errand businesses require certain general licenses, such as a general business license to operate a business in your city, county or state. Errand businesses may also need special licenses depending on the type of errands you will perform. For example, if you plan to transport people you need a special license for this operation. Apply for a bond to insure the products you will deliver.
Errand businesses need a general business license to do business in the particular city, county or state. These licenses vary from location to location, so call your local chamber of commerce to see what general business license you need (see Resources). They will be able to give you the cost and direct you to any other general licenses you may need. You need a valid driver’s license and an insured, licensed vehicle to perform your errand services. You may need a special permit to park in restricted areas. You may need a peddler’s license in some localities, especially if your errands include selling any products. You may need a license from the state to collect sales tax if your errand business sells products.
A chauffeur’s license is a special license that an errand business needs to transport people. Requirements vary depending on the state, so contact the department of motor vehicles (DMV) (see Resources) for your state for current qualifications. Special permits to park in loading zones and other unauthorized places usually give an errand service 15 minutes to complete the errand. The facility using the errand service issues these special permits.
Obtaining the necessary licenses for your errand business benefits you with increased patronage. Your customers trust you when you are licensed, bonded and insured. You may also use this verbiage on any advertising piece you may produce in order to attract new customers.
Make sure you have the licenses you need from your first day of operation. Even if the local authority does not shut down your errand business, you may incur a fine for doing business without a license.
Liz Jones is a freelance writer with extensive experience in a variety of areas, including digital imaging and the food industry. Jones has been writing professionally for three years. She attended the Pennsylvania State University where she majored in Astro Physics.