Rules and regulations
There are no specific laws attached to courier businesses you need to observe. However, there are insurance issues and you should keep to, and you must observe health and safety legislation and EC standards.
It is good practice to have goods in-transit insurance to take care of your clients’ property. You aren't obliged to do so but as with all insurance it will cost you if something goes wrong. There are specialist brokers that deal in insurance for couriers and light hauliers. For an established company with vans as well as bikes you might pay around £2000 a year for this. Obviously with the reduced carrying capacity of a motorbike or cycle, this would be significantly reduced.
Public and employers’ liability insurance for couriers and courier companies, as well as courier vehicle breakdown cover, is something you should look into unless your fleet is made up entirely of self-employed riders, who are responsible for their own insurance and relevant driving licence for motorbikes. All riders need to have EC standard clothes and helmets. Again you don't have to provide this but any logoed or coloured jackets you want them to wear should conform to the guidelines.
Although the temptation will be to work your riders as hard as possible to maximise your earnings, and the courier industry remains quite unregulated, riders should have a 15 minute break every 2 hours, and can only work a maximum of 10 hours.
The courier code details the main aspects of how to treat your couriers and how they should respond to you. As recommendations for the smooth running of your business they're worth a read.