Starting a delivery business in Texas, new to everything.

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Steve Kovach, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Steve Kovach

    Steve Kovach
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    So my wife and I are looking to start a delivery business. We would deliver anything from cigarettes, groceries, carryout from restaurants...basically anything you can think of. We are planning to work from home and maybe eventually rent a shop out as an HQ. We plan to hire friends as delivery drivers if and when needed...we aren't sure how to set up employee payment. I'm going to address 1 matter at a time, below:


    Employee payment:

    Since we, including employees, would all be working from home I can't imagine hourly wages working, all I can imagine working is having each employee being paid a percentage of each delivery fee along with tips. So say...the delivery fee for having a few items from a local convenience store picked up and delivered would be 6 dollars (prices not yet set), the employee would earn about 2/3rds of the delivery fee, so 4 dollars plus tip (the 1/3rd would go to the owners). Would this be the most efficient way to pay them? The population of this city is around 95,000 and as each employee would be operating from home we aren't sure if we should split the deliveries up by region, giving each delivery to whoever is closest to said destination or if we should split each delivery up by turn taking. Any advice would be great!


    How to fill out EIN for this type of business?

    I briefly looked over the online EIN application on IRS.gov...I wasn't sure if I should register the business as a partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporation..etc. I also wasn't sure what type of business this would be classified as? Will making a mistake on this application cause any problems in the future?


    Most efficient path towards less taxes?

    Will we pay more tax money if I register this business in a partnership with my wife or if I register it with myself as the sole proprietor? Will the tax costs change if I upgrade from a DBA to an LLC or some other form of a corporation?


    Should I start off DBA then go LLC or stay DBA/LLC from the get go?

    I read somewhere that if I've got a small business just starting out then I'd want to start off with an LLC, I've also read that if I don't have many assets (which I don't) that I could just keep my business as DBA. What would you do? Are there any merits to each business model that I should pay special attention to? The only merit to incorporating that I'm aware of is that it removes liability from the owners. I'm not sure how stock shares work or when/if they would matter.


    Electronic contracts?

    As any customer could easily place orders asking for a ton of expensive things and bail out before refunding us of the costs for their items, I was wondering if we could have some kind of electronic contract on our website/facebook page? For instance, i'd like to ensure that if we purchase and deliver an item for a client that he will be responsible for returning the item/s him/herself (I mean, you can't just make someone dish out time and money for you and change your mind and make them take responsibility for your irresponsibility.). I'd also like to be able to bill a customer if they choose to purchase something with cash and then are unable to pay because they never had the money.


    Electronic contract over email or facebook?

    I've found that you can set up a shop on facebook. For starts, if possible, I'd like for customers to request our service on a facebook business page. It would be more easily accessed and more easily advertised through likes and sharing of it's usage...etc. If I can use this, do you think it would be possible to hold customers liable to a service agreement over facebook?


    Employee car insurance?

    What will I need to do about this?


    Advertisement?

    I plan on printing out some business cards and flyers. Given this city's population of 95,000, how many flyers would be enough for starting out? We plan to hang them on doors, put them up for viewing in public areas..etc As we currently only have 1 car and both already work as pizza delivery drivers we will need to quit our jobs before starting this business...I want to make sure I can get things running as quick as possible, or at the very least, be profitable enough to survive on. Advice on advertising would be great! Thanks :)


    Will I need any certificates or licenses?


    Last, I'd like to know your thoughts on this business idea? I figure, if someone will pay a restaurant to deliver food to them, why wouldn't they do the same for anything else?
     
  2. Steve Kovach

    Steve Kovach
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    Bump. Sorry :/
     
  3. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum Steve and sorry you haven't had replies as quick as we would like.

    In relation to employees, do you really need them when starting the business? Would it be possible for you and your wife to do all the deliveries, until the business reaches a certain size? This would be very helpful for keeping your initial costs down?

    As regards taxes and business registration, that is quite a complex area. I'd recommend that you speak to an accountant to get their advice specific to your own personal circumstances. Please do let us know if you would like any suggestions on how to find a good accountant.

    Who would pay you for your services, would the business pay you or would the customer who receives the delivery pay you directly?
     
  4. Steve Kovach

    Steve Kovach
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    Thanks for the reply Fergal.

    I'm not sure at all how well this business would start out, if at all. I guess I'm looking to flesh out this business as much as possible to feel confident in it before I get it running. The reason I'd like to know so much about working with employees is I don't know how well we are going to do upon starting, what if I find myself getting 20 calls an hour in the first day?

    At some of the intersections in my city there will be large, black, mobile advertising billboards (for rent), I figured I could build some large signs to place at intersections and with hundreds of people seeing such a convenient service advertised by the hour I'd expect to get a lot of business. There are a lot of lazy people out there with a ton of money that I feel would rather have some dude run his errands and whatnots for him at a low price so they can stay cozy at home.

    I'm not certain how our payment would work. I'd like to have a website or facebook business page wherein the customer could just agree to some contract by clicking ok and order by debit or credit or pay upon delivery with cash. The contract they'd agree to on the website would require them to own up to their purchase, to keep us from being liable for the items we purchase for our customers. Or maybe we could have recording equiptment for those who would rather just call us..I suppose we could just store each phonecall on a computer for however long to backup our actions and ensure their liability in case of legal matters.

    Hell, if you could think up a more profitable idea that requires little labor to run and minimal costs to start up (I can't just go out and buy a delivery van with what I've got) I'll love to give it some thought. I just want to stop working my life away and have more time with the family.

    Thanks
     
  5. Charlesutton

    Charlesutton
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    Make a business plan to create a road map for your company’s end goals. Work with your local SBA on the plan and their services are free. I will provide free data management advice if you post a question to my Facebook page, too. Best of luck, entrepreneur.
     

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