How To Start A Transportation Business With One Van (2023)

If you are interested in becoming your own boss but you don’t know what kind of business to start then you should consider getting into the transportation industry.

You might think that you need a fleet of vehicles in order to start your own transportation business, but this is not the case. It is actually possible to start a transportation business with just one van. 

How To Start A Transportation Business With One Van
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If you want to know how to start a transportation business with just one van then you have come to the right place.

We have put together this guide to tell you everything that you need to know. Keep reading to find out what steps you need to follow. 

Should You Get Into The Transportation Industry?

The transportation industry is very popular with new entrepreneurs because it is easy to get into – you don’t need specific qualifications and there are no hoops to jump through to acquire various licenses. All you need is a drivers license and a vehicle. 

This means that the transportation industry is quite saturated, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to set up a successful business and make a profit.

If you can manage your business effectively and turn a profit, you can re-invest by buying more vehicles and hiring more drivers, creating a larger company that can establish itself within the industry. 

How To Start A Transportation Business With One Van

If you want to start a transportation business with only one van, here are the steps that you will need to follow. 

Market Research

As with any new business venture, the first step is market research. Look into the transportation businesses in the area. Are there any niches that aren’t being catered for?

Is there a gap in the market? If there are no obvious gaps, then are there any areas where there is plenty of business to go around? Which businesses are performing well, and why?

Look for struggling businesses- can you take their spot by offering a better or improved service? 

You need to be realistic about what you can achieve with one van.

Suitable types of transportation could include the transport of E-commerce goods, the transportation of medical goods, home removal or relocation services, and general transport services for students or office workers. 

If you want to get into a more niche area of the transportation market then you may need to consider getting a specialist vehicle, such a refrigerated van for the transportation of food. 

Business Plan

Once you have conducted your market research you can put together your business plan. You will need to budget for all of your initial expenditure, as well as ongoing outgoings.

Come up with a realistic projection for your profit, so you can get a good idea of when you will start to make a profit

Try to think about a long term plan for your business. Will you be investing in more vehicles? Do you intend to get funding from an outside investor?

Business Plan 
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Will you be branching out into other types of transportation to diversify your business, or sticking to one type to dominate that section of the market in your local area? 

It is important for your business plan to be realistic to make sure you can afford it. Otherwise, you could end up getting yourself into debt. 

Business Account

Once you have your business plan together, you can set up your business officially by registering it and opening a business account.

It is very important that you keep track of the accounting so that you can file accurate tax returns and ensure that you are sticking to your budget and your business plan. 


You might already have a van in which case the upfront expenditure to start a transportation business will be low. If you don’t have a van, you will need to buy one.

This will require funding. This could be in the form of savings or an inheritance, a personal loan or an external investor. 

If you are buying a van, make sure you choose something reliable- you don’t want to have lots of additional expenditure trying to keep the van on the road.

You will also need to make sure that it is big enough for your needs, and meets any regulations and requirements for your chosen type of transportation. 

Licenses, Permits And Insurance

One of the reasons why it’s so easy to start a transportation business with a van is that you don’t need a commercial drivers license.

However, you might still need certain licenses and permits to transport certain types of goods. You will need to look into this and figure out which ones you need (although this should have been completed as part of your market research and business plan). 

The regulations can change from state to state, so if you are planning on traveling long distances then you will need to abide by the laws in each state you will pass through.

If you can afford legal advice, it is best to hire a lawyer to assist you to ensure that you are fully covered. 

You will also need to insure your van. You will need business insurance to make sure that the goods you are carrying are covered in the event of an accident.

Different types of goods require different types of insurance, so you need to make sure you take out the right kind of policy. 

You may also need insurance for your business itself. This could cover you for damaged goods, injuries and other issues. This is especially important if you are going to expand your business with further vehicles and drivers. 


You will now be ready to start taking on clients. To grow your customer base you should invest in some marketing including a website, social media accounts and various types of advertisements.

One of the best ways to advertise your business is to get your logo and business information printed on the side of your van. Everywhere you go, you will advertise your business. 


It is possible to start a successful transportation business with just one van if you follow the simple steps that we have set out.

If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy our post on ‘How To Patent An Idea For Free‘.

Andre Flowers
Andre Flowers

Hello, my name is Andre Flowers and I have been a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 24 years. I also carry several certifications, including: Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Credit Repair Specialist.

As a current Mortgage Underwriter with 15 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of money-related issues. Whether that be high levels of debt, not enough credit, or simply a lack of funds - I’ve had clients who fit into these categories.

Here I will share tips, tricks, and experiences on how you can get yourself back in control of your finances.

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