How to Start a Removalist Business
Starting a removalist business means you'll be offering a service in constant demand. Find out how to get started in this guide.
People will always move houses, and likewise, businesses often move offices. Whether it’s due to the end of the term of a lease or if the occupant just wants something different, the act of moving itself can be extremely stressful. Subsequently, removalist services are in constant demand as they can ease the stress of moving, and make sure every item gets transferred securely. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can start your own removalist business and join an industry that’s worth billions.
1. Register Your Business
Sole Trader or Partnership
Sole traders only have to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and can also apply for a business name. However, as a sole trader you will personally liable for any business debts and you will be taxed individually. A partnership works in much the same way, except that you will share your profits, tax and debts with your partner. If you intend to commence a partnership, you will also need to apply for a separate Tax File Number (TFN).
A company structure means that your business will be a separate legal entity, although it can be owned by multiple people through issuing shares. This means that you will not be directly responsible for any business debts, and will not be taxed based on your personal income. Further, you will be able to choose your company’s legal name. You will also have to report your company’s finances to ASIC.
2. Hire (or buy) equipment
Moving large quantities of goods requires more than just a car. Most (if not all) removalist businesses have a fleet of trucks or vans they use to transport furniture and other items. However, these types of vehicles can be expensive which is why many businesses also hire them under a hire purchase arrangement.
3. Licence and Standards
It’s important to maintain a high standard of work (although there’s no formal licence requirements for the removals industry). The Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) is the industry body that regulates standards in the moving industry. You can qualify for accreditation with AFRA if you have the right standards of equipment, transport, staff requirements and other factors.
4. Get your documents in order
With a removalist business, you can clear any confusion using terms and conditions. Your terms should cover:
- Liability for any property damage caused
- The method of carriage and your subcontractors
- Payment and refunds
It’s also important to have insurance in place, in case anything happens (such as if there was a motor vehicle accident whilst you were transporting someone else’s goods).
5. Make a Business Plan
A business plan will help you clarify all the factors affecting your business and it’s success. It’s a great idea to write up a plan when you start your business. This will help guide you in building your business.
Running a successful removalist business will require you to not only have the right equipment, but also good planning and communication skills. However, the removalist industry is not slowing down anytime soon and will likely be in demand for many years to come. If you want further advice on starting your business, it may be worth getting in touch with a business lawyer.
Parissa is a recent Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts graduate from the Australian National University. She is completing her Practical Legal Training at Lawpath. Her interests are legal technology, employment law and the accessibility of legal services.