Step-by-step Procedure for Setting up a Moving Company

Starting a household moving business requires a lot of pre-planning. Apart from registering your business with the authorities, you may need to manage finances, equipment, and moving arbitration programs.

There is a lot that requires your attention and careful planning. In this article, we provide a brief step-by-step guideline on how to set up your moving business.

Business Model

A business model is an essential step in setting up a moving company. You must consider the available finances, availability of resources, the services you will offer, and how to earn a profit.

Cost Analysis

If you are setting up a moving business from scratch, consider the cost of the moving equipment. In addition to this, you need to come up with a rough figure for monthly repair and maintenance. Consider the initial investment required and the day-to-day running cost of the business.

Niche market

Knowing who your customers and clients are is among the first steps in setting up a business. Figure out the niche market you want to serve. Moving companies offer services to different markets. Some moving companies es offer B2B services, while others provide services for households moving. Likewise, there are waste disposal moving companies and others.


Many moving companies also offer packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading services as well. Hence, if you are setting up a moving company, consider the services you want to offer to your clients, alongside trucking facilities.

Obtaining Trucking equipment

Once you have come up with a business model for the moving company, you can begin searching for trucking equipment. In addition to obtaining a fleet of moving vehicles, you may also require dollies, forklifts, packaging material, and other equipment.

You can buy, lease, or rent the equipment. Each option has its pros and cons. Consider the finances, available space, and other factors to buy, lease, or rent trucks.

Licenses and permits

There are various licenses that trucking companies require to operate.

USDOT number

After you have purchased a moving truck for your business, you need to apply for the USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) number and MC (Motor Carrier) number. Moving companies with the following criteria require a USDOT number:

  • Companies that are involved in interstate business
  • Trucks that carry more than 10,000 pounds of freight

The application process for the USDOT number is online through the Unified Registration System. Before registering for these numbers, check if your business is applicable for these numbers or not. For more information, check out the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) official website.

Local registration

For some states in the US, moving companies require local registration for their trucks and moving vehicles. Check the policy of your state Department of Transportation for this.

Driver’s license

The drivers that you hire should have a commercial driver’s license issued by the state. To qualify for a commercial driver’s license, applicants need to pass a written and a driving test.

Business Insurance

Every business faces some form of risk; the same goes for a moving business. There are several reasons why a moving company requires insurance. In case of damage to a client’s property, insurance can help pay for the damages. In addition to this, any injury sustained by your employees on the job can have drastic consequences. So you require insurance to cover the damages and bodily injuries.

Although businesses are not legally required to obtain insurance, having it avoids setbacks during unexpected circumstances. The most basic insurance includes General Liability Insurance, which covers injury to a person, property damage, medical bills, etc.

In addition to this, a moving company requires other forms of insurance. These include commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, and others.

Moving Arbitration

It often happens that a client and a moving company find themselves in a dispute. To resolve a dispute amicably, a moving company should be enrolled in a moving Arbitration Program. An Arbitration involves hiring another party (an arbitrator) to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Through an Arbitration Program, a mover can resolve disputes relating to loss or damage of household goods of a client. Moreover, it can help resolve disputes relating to additional charges after the goods have been delivered. According to Federal Law, interstate moving companies should have an Arbitration Program in place.


With these steps, you can set up your moving company and have it running successfully.