Starting a bus company can be an exciting business venture. 

However, it also comes with significant responsibilities and requirements. From registering your company the right way to navigating the legal landscape, there are numerous steps that need careful planning and execution. 

Not to worry though, we’ll guide you through what you need to understand. Keep reading to learn more. 

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Bus Company? 

It’s no secret that buses aren’t cheap. The cost of starting your bus company is likely to start in the 10’s of thousands. Depending on the kind of company you’re looking to set up, the numbers can rise from there. With such a high start-up cost, it’s important to be very meticulous about your financial plan. Better yet, your business plan should be detailed, well prepared and cover as much information as possible. 

The research and planning stage always pays off for diligent company owners, so don’t rush this step and take your time understanding the ins-and-outs of starting your own bus company. 

Do I Need To Register My Bus Company? 

You will need to register your bus company before beginning any official business operations. The process for registering a company is an important one and should be done with care, preferably with the help of a legal expert. Your company’s legal structure and legal protection will be determined heavily by the choices you make during the registration stage, so it’s important to go into this prepared with the right kind of help. 

To start a bus company, you will need to register it with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The application to start a company can be completed online however, there’s some details you will need to know beforehand such as: 

  • How you plan on governing you company 
  • Who the directors of your company are
  • Who the shareholders of your company will be
  • The kind of company you want to register 
  • Administrative details such as company address, contact details and bank account information 

If you’re not familiar with company set up regulations, then it can be easy to miss important details when registering your company. It’s best to have a legal expert help you when registering your company as they can make sure everything gets done right. 

Plus, you will have a number of ongoing legal obligations with ASIC when running your bus company – having a legal expert’s professional advice can help you be well prepared for what’s ahead. 

Do I Need Any Licences And Permits To Start A Bus Company?

Properly registering your bus company isn’t the only thing you need to legally start business operations. To start a bus company, it’s also necessary to attain the proper accreditations. Operating a large vehicle such as a bus isn’t something that’s taken lightly, as negligence on the part of the driver or the company can lead to terrible consequences. Therefore, there will be a few hoops you’ll need to jump through before starting your bus company (in the form of licenses and permits). 

Licences and permits depend largely on state regulations – that’s the first place you should look. For instance, NSW requires all bus operators to have a Public Passenger Service (Bus) Operator Accreditation from Transport for NSW. To see what requirements your state has, you’ll need to do your due diligence. Alternatively, you could chat with a legal expert. They can conduct the research required and provide you with helpful advice on what to do next, so you can be assured your actions are in line with the relevant laws. 

A few other licences and permits you will need to look when starting a bus company  includes: 

  • Heavy vehicle drivers licences 
  • Any kind of public passenger vehicle driver authority
  • Vehicle registration for all buses
  • Safety passes for all vehicles which includes compliances with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) 

Are There Any Other Regulations I Need To Be Aware Of? 

Other than getting the right permits and licences, there are a number of other regulations you will need to follow when starting your bus company. Keep in mind, these regulations will apply even once your company is up and running, as they are continuous throughout the business journey. It’s important to familiarise yourself with the relevant laws to ensure your company’s practices are consistent with them. 

We’ve listed a few regulations you should be on the lookout for below. 

Employment Law

You might hire drivers, administrative staff or cleaning aid to help run your bus company. Building a good team is necessary for your company’s success however, being a good employer is just as important. As an employer, you will owe your staff certain rights such as minimum pay, breaks, leave and other entitlements. Moreover, your employees will require a safe working environment. It’s your duty as an employer to make sure you are taking steps to fulfil all your legal obligations towards your employees. 

Data And Privacy Law

Running your bus company means you’ll likely have access to exclusive information. This could be details regarding your employees, customers, other business you have worked with or private internal company matters. It’s necessary to be proactive and take reasonable measures to protect your data. Moreover, if you’re going to be collecting data, then you will need to make sure you have correctly notified others through legal instruments such as a Privacy Policy

Australian Consumer Law

As the provider of a bus service, it’s also necessary to be up to date on Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL is the primary regulation that determines the relationship between businesses and their consumers. As a bus company it’s important to adhere to ACL rules regarding matters such as pricing, misleading and deceptive conduct, consumer guarantees plus much more. 

What Kind Of Legal Documents Will I Need To Start A Bus Company? 

There’s a number of legal documents that can help keep your bus company legally compliant and protect it by managing the risks. The exact legal documents you will need will depend on your bus company’s exact needs, however we’ve listed a few you could look into getting below: 

Chatting with a legal expert is a good way to understand the legal documents that are best for your bus company, get in touch with ours today

Next Steps 

Starting a bus company can be a great new venture however, it’s crucial to take care of the legal matters as you set up and run your company. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • Detailed business and financial planning is crucial for starting a bus company 
  • Registering your bus company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is essential before commencing operations 
  • Legal assistance is advisable during the registration process to ensure all necessary details are correctly handled 
  • Acquiring necessary licences and permits, such as heavy vehicle drivers licences and public passenger service operator accreditations is mandatory 
  • Compliance with various ongoing regulations, including employment law, data and privacy law, and Australian Consumer Law, is required 
  • Essential legal documents, such as employment contracts and service agreements, can help manage risks and ensure legal compliance; consulting a legal expert can provide tailored advice 

If you would like a consultation on starting a bus company, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or for a free, no-obligations chat.

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