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Starting a new removal company or Man with a Van Service

Starting a man and van business

If you are thinking of going it alone and setting up a small removal company or man with a van

man and van business starting a small removal company
Start your removal company

service. You will have to make some choices of what road you will need to go down. Regarding your tax status here are some options. Sole trader, partnership or limited company? You have decided that you want to run a removals business. Now decide how you will achieve this – starting a small removal company.

Sole trader man and van

  • Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK become sole traders every year. Many starting in the transport business with removal companies and smaller man and van concerns. Making this the most popular way to start a company. The reason? It’s easy and simple. As soon as you’ve registered with HMRC for Tax and National Insurance, which you should do soon after launch. You have a company you can call your own. The owners of limited companies may have to register their business a Companies House, but not a sole trader.
  • Sole traders can and do employ staff, but most often sole traders are people who are striking out on their own. When setting up in the removals business you may need help with labour. Unless you are targeting the “bags and boxes” market. Lots of young professionals are moving without the larger furniture items and usually rent flats and houses.
  • The business you create as a sole trader will be all yours. All the profits go to you but then so too do all the losses. So get stuck in get your advertising out there and start earning. This is important as you will be personally responsible for any debts that the business may incur. Often people form limited companies to shield their personal assets from any debts the business may make.
  • There are no legal stipulations for a sole trader to draw up accounts (although a basic record of revenue and costs should be a minimum for any company). Sole traders simply have to complete a Self Assessment tax return every year. Something they can do on their own without the help of an accountant. This can be done online at HMRC.
  • A key advantage for sole traders over other types of business. Is that normally they can deduct losses made in the first year from future profits or other income they may have. Obviously you won’t be setting out to make losses but, if it’s a possibility, this could be useful.
  • Look at your market and target your customers whether it is Manchester removals to London. Or even further afield into European destinations. Do not restrict yourself the world is yours to exploit.


The removals sector is very competitive. It’s important to offer a good quality service so that your reputation allows you to charge realistic and competitive rates.

  • If you like the simplicity of the sole trader set-up but you’d rather other people were involved in your business (two heads are often better than one, after all). Then it’s worth considering a partnership.
  • Setting up a partnership is easy (just as it is to set-up a sole trader business). In that you’re a fully compliant trading entity the moment you register for tax with HMRC.
  • There is no legal requirement to draw up accounts. A Self Assessment tax return is all that is needed. If you’re likely to make losses in the first year or so, you can normally deduct them from future profits like a sole trader.
  • As the joint owner of the company you will split any profits with your partner. If there are any losses, you’ll be personally responsible for your share of the debt as well as those of your partners. You can get around this by forming a Limited Liability Partnership. Which although being more complicated to set up than an ordinary partnership, does reduce responsibility for business debts. In the same way as a limited company.
  • Partners often enjoy having someone else around who can help shoulder the workload. But, given that starting a business with someone can be more intense than marrying them. It’s sensible to get a solicitor to draw up a written partnership agreement before you start out. The agreement should deal with how the profits and work are split. Plus what happens if one of you decides to up sticks and leave.

Limited company

  • Sole traders or partnerships might be easy to set up. The fact that they don’t offer protection from a company’s debts makes a limited company a more attractive option for many. As a director of a limited company, and as long as you operate legally, your personal assets won’t be at risk if your company can’t pay back a debt.
  • Business people often choose to set up a limited company because they believe that to do so lends credibility to their endeavours.
  • Setting up a limited company is not difficult and is done by filling out a number of forms. All of which are available from the Companies House site. If you’d rather not do this yourself, there are companies that will set it up for you for a small fee.
  • The accounts for a limited company must follow a form set out in law. They need to be drawn up by an accountant then submitted to Companies House. The fact that you must use an accountant has an upside. They should be able to advise on how you can legitimately extract maximum value from your firm. (by, for example, supplementing your wages with dividends).
  •  It is usual in the removals sector to request prepayment from customers. So most of your income is likely to be bank transfer and cash sales so make sure you record all transactions with receipts.
    Business Link, types of company: © Business Link, 2011. Source
  • HMRC, © HMRC, 2011. Source:
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Hire a Van with a man

Why Hire Van and man?

There are practically as many usages for vans as there are different models and different types of vans . Whether you are moving house, flat or student room moving your goods or just carrying some work gear around. A man and van hire is the perfect solution.

Here are a few ideas to help you find the right type of van for your needs.

Moving House

A small removal company will base its main jobs around Luton vans or LWB long wheel based high top vans. There’s a good purpose for this no other types of vans offers such a great combination of load carrying ability and practicality.

The large box body of a Luton van offers a bigger load capacity. A similar sized long wheel base vans but over long distances will cost more in fuel.

Their extra width and height makes a huge difference when you are trying to load big furniture. Like wardrobes, sofas, beds and mattresses in. Unlike swb (short wheel base) and lwb (long wheel base) vans. There are no wheel arches or doors to prevent you from loading flush to the sides. Which can happen with side loading doors on panel vans.

Luton vans can also come with tail lifts which can be useful with pianos and heavy furniture pieces. Unless you are assured you can lift the whole kit and caboodle at a minimum one metre off the ground. Lutons have taller bodies than panel vans.

Shopping for big furniture or heavy flatpack ikea items?

Occasionally you need to make a large item buy. Too large for a car. You might be able to get it delivered by the shop your buying from. But that is not always likely and can be quite untimely.

A good alternative way is to hire a van and do the delivery manually by yourself. If your not going to use the services of a man and van removal! Which van you should hire rests on on the dimension of your purchase for very long items. Look at a long wheel base or extra long wheel base van these offer load spaces up to 4m long like a Mercedes Sprinter.

For lots of bags and boxes or more regular sized objects, a short wheel base SWB van is probably your best bet. Offering a good combination of payload and space.

If your purchase isn’t that big at all, but you happen to have a very small car. Or you have just not got a car then don’t forget the advantages of a small van such as the mini van. Although they aren’t much bigger than a medium sized car, they have much more space internally and may well be sufficient for your needs.

Need to move gear around?

Whether you need to deliver goods from your business and home. Or transport goods or gear around for your own purposes, hiring a van can be the best solution if you only need it occasionally.

From car sized to nearly lorry sized, new vans are enormously capable and easy to drive. Easier than a car in some cases.  Why not get a van hire quote from one of the many man with a van hire companies today. Save yourself the bother of numerous trips in an weighed down car or man and van transport services?

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How to set up a man and van small removal business

Setting up a man and van business

man and van business

With the recession biting and economic climate looking bleak on the job front. Why not try and set yourself up as a self employed man and van service. Start working for yourself making a living undertaking small removals and local deliveries.

A man and van services offers an alternative service to the public. Making it cheaper to move belongings and furniture instead of them having to hire a van with all the additional costs involved. In the UK at the moment with the price of fuel and labour it can be quiet expensive. It will also save you breaking your back when you could have someone else doing all the lifting and carrying.

Buy a van and get the phone ringing.

The first part of this process is buying a van which can be very tricky. You do not want to buy a banger you will be surprised how easy it can be to waste your money on the wrong vehicle. There are some unscrupulous people out there willing to take your money. Beware when searching for a van that has had the clock turned back and has done a lot more mileage than it appears. This means you will be paying out for expensive repairs. Starting yourself up as self employed is the easy part. What takes a little extra effort and time is turning you and your van into a thriving little removal business.

1. Build the right business, this may sound apparent but you need to target the right clients. Are you going to target the domestic market which is traditional for a man and van or are you going to target office and businesses with courier work. A man and vans market is light removals and furniture jobs as well as deliveries to household addresses. A courier takes parcels and consignments to business addresses. As it stands, both markets are busy and there is more demand for man and van work and also more competition. So be prepared to work hard for your piece of this work.

2. Decide on the right van for you, try to buy a good second hand van outright if possible. This will save you paying out on a loan and having the added pressure of this overhead. The ideal model vehicle used for a man and van servicing the domestic market is a luton box van.

Vans for moving

This can be with or without a tail lift it will make it easier to unload and load if you’re just one man and with a van. If you’re aiming at the courier market a transit style normal van is more practical when doing courier work. Appearances matter more and you will have to buy a newer van which will obviously cost more money. Whichever way you choose to go, getting your van signed up is essential for advertising. Signage on your van will broadcast your service as you drive round and a good spot for parking up is a must.

3. Customers will phone round for quotes. So quote accurately and consistently. Be competitively priced and do not price your self out of the job. Try and offer good value for money and be helpful and flexible. Lots of work will come your way by recommendation if customers are confident in your service. Compared with someone going to the job and just being unpleasant. The service you offer should be a better option than the customer doing it themselves. Most don’t want to hire the van collect and drop off, pay petrol, load and unload the belongings around themselves and the stairs can be a killer.

Getting the word out

4. Advertising yourself get business cards and flyers printed up and positioned in supermarkets and furniture shops notice boards. Pop flyers through letterboxes. Get your self listed on the online man and van websites usually for a small annual fee. You can go tot he expense of having a website like this one man and van net built. This advertising medium is very competitive and you would have to pay to promote your site on the search engines.

5. You can think of lots of ways to generate work but if you give an incredible service once you’ve get work, make sure you do a high-quality job, as there is nothing better than word of mouth and reputation. Be punctual, trustworthy, reliable, professional, and friendly the customers always right remember moving furniture will come better with experience try not to damage or scratch walls use blankets and treat customer’s belongings like your own.

Get registered with HMRC

6. Once you decide on starting your own man and van small removals service you will have to let HMRC know you are becoming self employed. You will have to keep your accounts in order this means keeping receipts and logging incoming and outgoing monies.

7. You will also need satisfactory insurance to cover your clients’ belongings. There is an insurance policy called “goods in transit” which will cover items in your van up to a certain amount. Discuss this with your insurance broker you may have to look into public liability insurance as well.

So if you are dreaming being self employed, sit down and count the costs. Do you have what it takes to make this dream a reality, or will the disadvantages of being your own boss threaten to swallow up that business of yours? You could even expand to Spanish moves. Have the satisfaction of being your own boss and if you stay prepared and determined you should be able to get to the top. When your man and van service is in much demand with full bookings.

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Man with a van hire service

I moved flat recently and contemplated using a removal company. Thinking this was my only option. That I would have to get a quote from the local removals company. But I was wrong, there is another way. I used the local Stockport moving service which ended up being a lot more reasonably priced. Also this saved me a quite a good bit of time too. For some time man and van services have been rivaling the bigger removals companies. Even though they have been around for years. It’s only now that they are a bonafide competition for big companies.

They more repeatedly than not, will equal if not beat the quality of service offered by a of bigger removals company. Just be a little more easy on the pocket too. Hiring a man and van is as straightforward as going on the internet, looking and getting one in your region. Then calling them up or in some cases sending email for a quote. Booking them either online or over the phone it is best.

Book a move online

To book online in my opinion with every thing done by email so there is no mistake with date time and addresses. It takes no time at all and most will have an online form that can be filled in. Asking for all relevant information. The man and van two men if requested will turn up on the day of the move. If a packing service has been booked they will come with bubble wrap and boxes.

Everything will packed up and in the van ready to leave for your new home. Packing up of belongings can be done yourself to keep cost down further. I would very much recommend using a man and van service or small transport company. That can be recommended if possible your move is a small room with just bags and boxes or medium sized one. Save your self time and money by booking a man and van.