How to Start a Trucking Business in 2021

Are you a prospective trucking owner/ operator looking to run your trucking company? This essential guide covers all essential steps that cover the basics, including the BOC 3 filing cost. Without further ado, have a look and below to know where you can start.

Get a CDL

Irrespective of the type of trucking company you intend to start, you will need a CDL (commercial driver’s license) first. Also, get some experience if you have never driven trucks before. Depending on the trucking company you might want to join, they might be offering their respective training programs. Then there are trucking companies that also pay their future employees for the CDL School. In case you are wondering, many trucking owner-operators initially started as drivers working for other companies.

Get a Good Business Plan

Your business plan should include the potential expenses and revenue you intend to generate from your trucking business. Your expected costs should include your salary and the salary of your drivers. If you are confused, you can always seek professional advice from business advisers who can help you figure out the best plan for your trucking company.

Determine The Kind of Your Trucking Company

Each trucking company has its respective advantages and disadvantages, which also vary with each region/ state. You might want to do extensive research before settling for a specific trucking company. It is also recommended to meet up with a professional accountant and have a layout for what is best for your trucking business.

Some common structures of the trucking business include the following aspects:

  1. Corporation (C-corp/ S-corp)
  2. Partnership/ Sole Partnership
  3. LLC (Limited Liability Corporation)

Get a Better Idea About Your Start-Up Expenses

Before launching your own trucking business, you need to have a realistic idea about your start-up expenses. Roughly stated, the fleet of trucks/ tractors/ trailers will cost you loads of money. Additionally, the initial costs will also involve licensing requirements, registration costs, etc. As a business owner, you will have to look into financing, your credit card score, and eventually secure a credit line. It is highly recommended to have enough money on the side to cover your first half-year of your trucking operation.

Launch Your Business Operations

While determining your business operations, you will have to address the following questions:

  • How will you deal with fleet maintenance and parking issues?
  • From where will you get the loads for your freight hauling?
  • Do you have a back office to deal with the invoices, payroll, accounting, IFTA, and other trucking paperwork?
  • How many employees will you need?

Compliance With Several Trucking Safety Rules

Before you can officially launch your trucking business, your trucking company must comply with the below-given safety rules:

Get a USDOT Number: the USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number is provided and collected to effectively monitor several aspects of your company, such as safety information, crash investigations, accidents, and other inspections.

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax: if your truck weighs above 55,000 pounds, you will have to comply with heavy vehicle use tax rules.

Operating Authority: supposing that your trucking company categorizes as “for-hire carriers,” you need to obtain authority from the DOT (department of transportation) to haul load/ freight across the state lines. The granted DOT authority also determines the types of loads/ freight your trucking company can haul between different states.

IRP (International Registration Plan): depending on the distance traveled within each Canadian province or U.S. state, the international registration plan distributes registration fees. Therefore, ensure to register your fleet/ company on the transportation website of your fleet.

IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement): the IFTA is an established agreement for 48 U.S. states that makes the reporting process of fuel use easier, specifically for carriers who operate in different states. By acting following the IFTA, carriers must file a fuel tax report quarterly to determine their tax. Subsequently, their tax is distributed to the multiple states where the carriers are operating. At the beginning of each New Year, you are also required to apply for a new IFTA decal, which must be on your trucks.

BOC-3 Filing: the BOC-3 filing indicates your trucking company’s process agent, who will be served on your behalf in the case of any legal proceedings. Each state where you operate or establish contracts requires to have a designated process agent. Some trucking companies also offer blanket coverage while designating a respective process agent in each state of the U.S.