applying for a licence
a guide to the process of owning a mail centre
read through this site thoroughly
We have tried to make this prospectus as informative as possible, without burdening it with unnecessary detail. Please take the time to browse through the pages, read the questions we are most often asked about owning a Mail Centre, and consider the financial implications that apply to this, our flagship territory.
If you have the premises, the character and the skills we require and would like to find out more, please read on.
submit a premises assessment
We need you to tell us about the premises from which you would operate the business; its current postal address (which must be in one of the primary London postcode areas of; N, NW, W, WC, EC, E, SW, or SE), the type of property and ownership status, all of which will help us to assess its suitability for purpose.
Whether you would run the expost south licence from a spare bedroom, converted garage or outbuilding, please take five minutes to complete the simple premises assessment form at the foot of this page.
experience it for yourself!
We'll then invite you to visit our Head Office mail centre in Pembrokeshire for an 'experience day', so that you can see the business working at first hand; and we get to meet you in an informal setting.
Arriving at Philbeach by 7am, you will shadow our original in-house licence until around 10am and observe all mail handling procedures, from log-in to despatch, in real time. You'll also get to meet the management and support team, watch ProPost in action and see the hardware and equipment we supply. At the end of your visit you will take away a copy of the licence contract to read carefully and, if you are not 100% confident in your understanding, have each clause explained to you by an independent legal professional.
Because of the travelling time from London, we strongly suggest that you book into a local B & B the night before, please ask us for a personal recommendation.
cool down and contemplate
After your visit to Philbeach you will almost certainly be excited, enthused, and keen to grasp the opportunity, but taking on this prime expost licence is a huge step for you and a major risk for us, which is why we will ask you not to contact us for seven days.
If you decide to go ahead, you'll be making at least a five year commitment, not just to expost, but to every one of your customers, who will rapidly come to depend upon the address you provide. Imagine the collective inconvenience and cost involved if hundreds of your customers, many of whom will be abroad, are forced to change their postal address with their banks, building societies, insurance companies, the DVLA, HMRC and every one of a dozen or more other correspondents.
You must take time to stop, think, and consider the implications carefully before committing to the next five years.
made the decision?
take legal advice
At the end of your experience day we will have given you a copy of the Licence Agreement to take away with you. We strongly suggest that you take this contract to a legal professional of your choice, and have them explain each of its terms to you.
select a launch date
Because training is carried out in our working mail centre at Philbeach, it's very important to reserve your place as soon as you make the decision to proceed. Even though the residential course is limited to the Licensee ( and partner or additional staff member, if required ), hotel accommodation is at a premium here in Pembrokeshire and we often need to book weeks in advance, especially during the summer months!
contract & deposit
Whether you elect to pay for the Licence in full, or use the Capital Assistance scheme, a non-refundable reservation deposit of £10,000 is payable on signing the contract. This deposit helps to defray our costs in manufacturing your mailsort furniture, create the London Mail Centre portal and compile the rest of the licence package ready for a launch immediately after training. The remaining balance of the set-up fee is payable 30 days prior to launch.
countdown to trading
the schedule leading up to launch
45 days to launch
On receipt of your reservation deposit and signed contract, the south.expost.uk website portal will be built, optimised and manually registered with all of the major search engines. Once the portal is published, it becomes more likely with each passing day that sales enquiries will be received, so we will, wherever possible, pre-sell accounts with deferred activation.
The manufacture of your mailsort furniture will be commenced and the rest of your licence package components and consumables ordered.
30 days to launch
We will liaise with the Highways department of your local council to make any additions that are necessary to your address, such as adding a house 'name' and having this included in the Royal Mail, the council and your local emergency services' databases. Over the following 30 days we will send several letters and packages to the Centre premises in order to familiarise your delivery postmen and women, and courier drivers, with the amended address.
The balance of your Licence fee becomes due.
14 days to launch
All the hardware elements of your licence package, including sundries, consumables, the PC & printers, parcel safe and mailsort furniture will be delivered to your Centre's premises, ready for assembly. The PC is pre-configured to allow us to test your secure connection with ProPost, so you must have a live broadband service in place from the day of delivery.
If you do not feel confident in setting up the PC system, assembling the mailsort frames or installing your parcel safe, you will need to make arrangements in advance with appropriate local tradespeople.
The Social Media campaigns for London will be launched, and your Centre will appear as a selection in the registration form so that active sales of virtual mailbox accounts can commence. It usually takes around two weeks for mail to begin arriving for new accounts and we want you to be processing post as soon as possible, to support and reinforce your residential training.
We have many customers at other regional Mail Centres who have requested a transfer of their accounts to London, as soon as an option becomes available, so there should be no shortage of mail from day one!
7 days to launch
Travel to our Head Office Mail Centre in Pembrokeshire for five days of initial training. For a day by day breakdown of the comprehensive training course, please read the licence package page.
The new London Mail Centre is fully open for business!
The property and address from which a Mail Centre operates is a crucially important factor in our decision to allocate a territory, especially one with as much potential as expost south. Remember that, as a Company, we must commit to supporting your business for at least five years at the premises, so assessing its suitability is the reason why we ask you to provide the following information.