If you are an international logistics business or fleet operator looking to set up in the UK, DWF can support you through the whole process. To make things simple we’ve brought all the advice you need together in one place.
Locate your logistics in the UK
3 key steps
01. Setting up in the UK
02. Applying for an operator licence
03. Managing compliance
Setting up in the UK
Webinar sign up
You will need to consider whether to set up a UK subsidiary or trade through an existing business. In order to establish a company in the UK, you will need to have a registered office address. DWF can form your company and our Registered Office service means that that the process of establishing in the UK is made simple.
Establishing your business in the UK
DWF has extensive experience of working with logistics businesses and our track record in property law means that we can:
Securing the right property and setting up your operating centre
Help you identify and assess suitable sites (leasing land from an existing operator if necessary)
Identify any restrictions on proposed sites that might impact on your ability to operate vehicles
Advise on the legal aspects of purchasing or leasing land
Employment law and employment rights differ significantly from other countries, so you need to consider your employees before locating in the UK. In the UK, all employers must provide a workplace pension scheme. This is called ‘automatic enrollment’. Employers must pay a percentage of employee earnings into their workplace pension scheme, unless their employees have specifically opted out of the scheme.
Setting up your workforce
Applying for an operator licence
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. accountant, insurance broker?
Do you need specific UK insurance for your fleet or does your existing policy extend globally?
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?
DWF’s asset finance team can advise you on the critical decisions on establishing your UK fleet. You will need to consider whether to purchase or lease vehicles and whether you will you be importing any non-UK vehicles and registering those in the UK.
Setting up your fleet
If the Traffic Commissioner is not satisfied that the applicant will be a compliant operator, they can call a legal hearing to decide the application. The Traffic Commissioner refused 532 licence applications last year. This can be avoided with a well prepared application.
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Application process (months)
Including 21 day statutory notice period
Document returned incomplete?
New license applications refused
Applying for an operator licence in the UK can be challenging. An increasing number of licences are being refused and inaccurately completed applications are often delayed by up to six months.
We can work with you to ensure that your application is completed accurately and submitted with supporting evidence on how you will fulfill the requirements of a compliant operator. With DWF’s support, we typically expect licences to be granted within six weeks without the need for a Public Inquiry.
for the first vehicle
8 x £4,450 =
You will need to demonstrate that you have the required level of financial resources in place before you can begin operating. The required level of finance relates directly to the number of vehicles you wish to apply for and the funds must be held in a UK bank account in the name of the license applicant. In 2021, companies must have £8,000 for the first vehicle and £4,450 for every vehicle thereafter.
Getting your finance in place
A successful licence application must include a named Transport Manager i.e. an individual who holds the responsibility for the management of compliance with transport and operator licensing laws.
DWF can help you to assess your transport manager requirements. We can also help you source a Transport Manager and advise you on the terms of their employment contract.
Getting the right transport manager in place
Who will be your nominated Transport Manager?
Do they hold the appropriate CPC qualification for the role?
Do they have a contract of employment?
Hear from our experts
Sign up for our webinar
2-4 4-8 8-12 12-20 20-30 30-Full Time Full Time
Starting number of Transport Manager hours required per week
Number of vehicles
Once your logistics company is in operation, ongoing compliance with relevant policies and legislation is essential.
At the outset, you will need to demonstrate to the traffic commissioner your compliance across three main areas and the process of managing these is stricter than in many other European countries.
DWF can advise you on managing compliance. We can:
– Work with you to establish your transport compliance systems, draft your policies, procedures and your driver compliance handbook
– Provide training to your drivers and Transport Manager
– Audit the success of those systems and report to you on areas of risk
If you would like to learn more about setting up a logistics business or fleet operator in the UK, get more advice from the experts by joining our webinar.
& tachograph usage
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?
How will you deliver ongoing CPC training to drivers?
Who will carry out maintenance of the vehicles?
How often will the vehicles undergo preventative maintenance inspections (PMIs)?
Driver 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?
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?
9 vehicles: £8,000 + £35,600 = £43,600
Hear from our experts
Sign up for our webinar
Contact our Road Transport and