Fees and investment
Retailers do not have to pay any franchise fees and Post Office pays for the equipment and its installation, and will train your staff. You’ll need to integrate the Post Office into your retail business, which could involve some changes to your retail layout. Further details of any potential costs will be discussed during the application process.
You get paid a fee for every Post Office transaction – the more you sell the more you earn on postage, home shopping returns, Local Collect (parcel collection), travel money, easy bill payments, e top-ups, banking transactions and much more.
Property and retail
Yes, retail premises are ideal locations for running a Post Office. The premises need to be well maintained, owned or leasehold, have space for a Post Office counter, some storage, a secure area for a safe and disabled access.
Yes, if you are applying for a franchise opportunity, you’ll need to have suitable premises. In cases where the existing postmaster is selling their business and premises, the Post Office can stay where it is. But you’ll still need to apply to become a postmaster, as this is not automatic when you buy a business with a Post Office.
Post Office has many community-run branches and we’d be happy to help you establish a Post Office in your store. We can discuss what is involved when we meet.
The majority of Post Office branches are in convenience stores but we have branches in pharmacies, newsagents and card shops, hairdressers, tea shops, cafes, farm shops, pubs, libraries, and even churches.
Yes, if you let us know, you can advertise your business with the Post Office as long as it’s made clear that the buyer will have to go through our application process to become a postmaster.
Becoming a postmaster
Modern postmasters are successful business owners with a strong community purpose. The most successful people integrate Post Office services into vibrant retail environments and regularly engage with their local community. We provide training and support to enable you to operate a Post Office to the highest standards.
You can contract with us either individually, as part of a partnership, or through a limited company you control. If you contract through a company we might require one or more personal guarantees from the owners or directors of the company. There is more information about the application process here
Yes it is quite common for retailers to operate more than one Post Office and we encourage this.
Postmasters should be fully involved in the management of their Post Office business but you can employ a branch manager to run the business day to day; managers will need to have a high level of Post Office training and the necessary team management skills that we expect of our postmasters.
It will take six months or more, depending on the type of branch, from the beginning of the appointment process to the first opening day. There is more detail on the application process here
The contract will be a fully commercial VAT-based arrangement if you meet the VAT threshold. If you don’t, then VAT won’t apply. You should seek independent advice on your VAT requirements.
Products, services and support
Post Office Ltd has non-compete supplier relationships which will place restrictions on what services you can provide, although some waivers are possible. Click here for more information if you have any questions on this please ask a member of the Post Office team.
It’s a good idea and we recommend that you do plenty of research to check what’s right for you before applying. The National Federation of Subpostmasters runs regional forums that may be a good starting point for getting in touch with an existing postmaster. Or get in touch and we’ll put you in contact with someone near you.
We supply and fit the counter, signage and Post Office EPOS kit with a new dedicated phone line. We’ll train you and your staff, and a business support manager will be on hand for your first six months; ongoing support is readily available online, by phone and during area manager visits, and we offer refresher courses too. We’ll deliver and stock cash. We’ll promote your new Post Office. All we need from you is power and a telephone socket for our bill payment terminal, and fit-out time.
The range of services depends on the type of Post Office; for example a Local Post Office does not sell the more complicated financial products like mortgages and insurance. For some products like National Lottery and car tax the decision will be made by Camelot and the DVLA.