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Your Essential Guide to Setting Up a Removal Company

Zenyx Griffiths
Written by Zenyx Griffiths
16th January 2017 (Last updated on Monday 29th April 2019)

Setting up your own business is no easy task but to set up your own Removal Company is a worthy task and one you can make a huge success of. People will always move house, so there is always a need for Removals Companies. There is a tonne of work out there to be had. It’s a competitive industry so get in amongst it!

Compare My Move is the only removals comparison site set up and run by removals men: Marc Benger and Dave Sayce have both run removals and storage companies so you have come to the best place for advice on setting up your own.

Follow our guide on setting up a removals company and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time.

This article will cover the following points

Why Set Up a Removals Company? Start Up Costs It’s So Easy Earn Revenue The Van The Removals Kit Insurance Joining the B.A.R Price And you’re good to go… A little something from us to you …

Why Set Up a Removals Company?

The biggest perk of setting up a removal company is being your own boss. The freedom that comes with choosing when to work and working to boost your income and the success and relevance of your own company bring with it great satisfaction… you’ll soon see.

Start Up Costs

Start Up Costs are usually what hinder those wanting to set up their own business. The costs involved in getting a removals company off the ground are pretty manageable. The initial cost for starting a removals business is somewhat smaller than for most other businesses. We will go a little more into this further into the guide.

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It’s So Easy

All you need to make this happen is a van, insurance and some professional packing materials. You will also need a bit of good old-fashioned elbow grease as it is a physical job, shifting, loading and lifting so you need to have the muscle for setting up a removals firm.

Earn Revenue

As with any new business, there will be some trial and error. Your aim in the first year will be to keep those costs down. If you can get this balance just right then removals have the potential to be quite lucrative with attractive profit margins.

The Van

The van will be the biggest initial expense in setting up your removals firm. You may not be able to afford a brand new van and that’s fine. A brand new van isn’t necessary anyway and there are plenty of great deals to be had on second-hand vans. Put the time in when searching for a van, do your research. Just like when you buy a car, it’s about finding that middle ground between affordability and quality.

The most important thing to bear in mind when choosing a van is that this will be your company’s biggest advert. A tatty, unreliable van won’t reflect well on you or look trustworthy to potential customers. A vital investment early on in the process of setting up your company is signage for your vehicle and you can reap the benefits of free publicity as you drive around with your company name and logo on the van.

The Removals Kit

There are a few essential items for getting started with your removals business. You will need some kit to help lighten the load. A trolley is a must but you can also consider wheelbarrows and lifts to make light work of lifting and moving heavy furniture. You’ll also need straps, blankets and corner stoppers to protect your customer’s items in transit.


A trustworthy and reliable removals business will be appropriately insured. This is a vital part of setting up your company. The most common and the most necessary insurance for a removals company are Public Liability Insurance and Goods in Transit Insurance… You will also need to insure your van of course.

Vehicle Insurance – Like with any other vehicle insurance, it is best to shop around for the best deal and keep the cost of your van insurance down.

Public Liability Insurance – Even the most vigilant removals teams can have accidents. It is important, therefore, to protect your company with Public Liability Insurance incase of damage.  Not only does this keep you covered in the event of breakages, it will also be a good indicator for potential customers of your responsibility and trustworthiness as a business.

Goods in Transit Insurance – Just like Public Liability, Goods in Transit Insurance covers loss or damage of items in your vehicle or sent by a third party. All reputable removals firms cover themselves and look after the interests of their staff and customers with this insurance.

Professional Indemnity Insurance – This insurance will cover you if an accident occurs as a result of something you have said. This isn’t a crucial insurance but can be a good safety net specifically if you are not offering such a hands-on service.

Employers Liability Insurance – If you are starting your business as a team of just one then this won’t apply to you just yet. As soon as you grow enough to take on an extra pair of hands, it will be in your best interest to get Employers Liability Insurance. It will protect you against any claims that your employees make against you if they are hurt at work. 

Joining the B.A.R

It’s recommended to join the British Association of Removers (BAR), which is the only removals code that’s approved by Trading Standards. It’s a mark of quality that reassures customers and makes your business more trustworthy. However, it is only open to removals businesses that have been trading for more than 12 months.

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Once you get started, you’ll begin to get enquiries from interested parties. Offering quotes to potential customers is an art that you’ll hone over weeks, months and years. Quote too high and you’ll risk losing trade to competitors – but quote too low and you’re depriving yourself of precious profit margin. After you’ve totalled up your costs and ascertained how much the job will cost you in fuel and man hours, alongside fixed cumulative yearly costs such as insurance, you’re in a position to portion out your profit.

The beauty of being self-employed is that you can be quite flexible with how much you charge. The more you understand your market and your competitors, the more you’ll be able to maximise your income. That understanding and industry knowledge will come in time.

And you’re good to go…

So there we have it – you’ve got your van and your removals kit, you’re insured and you are ready to serve a steady stream of clients. Good luck!

A little something from us to you …

If you’re looking for more leads for your removals company, Compare My Move can help. Whether for commercial or residential clients, partner with us and we’ll provide removals leads for your business.

Find out more about Compare My Move and sign up today.

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