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Setting up a Road Transport Business in the UK

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Entering the UK market - made simple.


Understanding your legal and commercial needs

International operators often feel that setting up a presence in the UK is a daunting prospect. That doesn’t need to be the case.

By combining your logistics or road transport expertise with our knowledge of the UK market and the regulatory regime, we can lead you through the process of setting up a successful operation. Our experts can guide you through every stage of the process, while you focus on growing your business.

To support you with your venture, our experts have provided a quick walk through of the initial things to consider for a successful launch in the UK market.

Infographic showing following flow: Setting up: Corporate structure, employees, insurance; Operator Licensing: Licensing, finances, vehicles, operating centre/property, transport manager; Managing Compliance: Driver compliance, maintenance, daily defect reporting, EU drivers hours rules

We can guide you through every stage of your new venture; from incorporating your business and providing you with a registered office address for your new company to establishing your policies and training your staff. Our transport specialists will ensure that you’re fully ready to launch a compliant and successful business.

  • Company Incorporation.
  • Registered Office Service /Company Secretary package.
  • Employment, Immigration and Pensions Policies.
  • Applying for your operator’s licence.
  • A compliance package tailored to your business, including Driver Handbook.
  • Legal support with purchase/lease of your operating centre.

To help you launch in the UK, our experts have created this checklist of the initial things to consider for a successful launch.

Setting up

1 Corporate structure

  • Which company will trade in the UK? Will you set up a UK subsidiary or trade through your existing business?
  • What does this mean for your tax arrangements and ownership of assets?
  • Have you you identified your UK advisers e.g. bank, accountants, insurance broker?

2 Employees

  • Have you considered the differing employment rights in the UK?
  • Are you bringing drivers and other staff members from your current locations? Have you considered their immigration/visa route?
  • Have you thought about the pensions rights of your staff?

3 Insurance

  • Do you need specific UK cover for your fleet or does your existing policy extend globally?
Operator Licensing

4 Type of Licence

  • Do you require a restricted operator’s licence or a standard operator’s licence? (Will you be carrying only your own goods or will you be carrying goods for other businesses)?
  • Do you require a National or International Licence? (Will you be carrying goods only in the UK or will you carry out international journeys?)

5 Finances

  • Can you demonstrate the required level of financial resource (financial standing) for the number of vehicles you wish to apply for?

6 Vehicles

  • Will you be purchasing or leasing vehicles?
  • Will you be importing any non-UK vehicles and registering those in the UK?

7 Operating Centre / Property

  • Have you identified a suitable site?
  • Are there any restrictions on the site that would impact upon your ability to operate from there?
  • Does the site meet the requirements of a suitable operating centre?
  • Is there enough parking for all of the vehicles and trailers you wish to operate from the site?

8 Transport Manager

  • Who will be your Transport Manager? Do they hold the appropriate CPC qualification?
  • Do they have a contract of employment?
Managing Compliance

9 Driver Compliance

  • Do you have a Driver Handbook setting out policies and procedures that you expect drivers to follow? Policy topics to include, for example:
    • Driver distractions (e.g. use of mobile phones)
    • Drivers’ hours’ requirements
    • Safe loading requirements
  • Do you have a system for checking driving licences and Driver CPC?
  • Will you deliver ongoing CPC training to drivers?

10 Maintenance

  • Who will carry out maintenance of the vehicles?
  • How often will the vehicles undergo preventative maintenance inspections (PMIs)?

11 Daily Defect Reporting (DDR)

  • Driver Daily defect reporting must take place daily. What will the process be to demonstrate that these checks by drivers are carried out effectively?
  • What will the procedure be for ensuring defects are rectified?

12 EU drivers hours rules and use of the tachograph

  • Will your drivers be subject to EU drivers’ hours’ rules or GB domestic rules?
  • What software will you use to analyse drivers’ hours data?
  • What will the process be for dealing with driver’ hours’ infringements?
Logistics in a box
Download the checklist
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