If you’ve been thinking about getting your own trucking authority, there's no time like the present. There’s the “seize the day” angle, of course, but there's another good reason to start now. We’re about to hit the slow season for freight, so you have more time for paperwork.
Plus, getting your motor carrier authority can take a month or more, so by the time you get your DOT number and start your business, you'll be ready for the spring freight season.
Remember: It takes a month if you don’t hit any delays along the way, but it could take longer. For example, if you needed to change your company name, or something comes up in the registration process, the FMCSA could take extra time before approving your authority. That’s why it’s crucial that you do your research before making the leap.
That goes for both regulations AND your business strategies. Insurance, registration fees, equipment, staffing, taxes – all these expenses are your responsibility once you get your own authority. The risks are high, but so are the potential rewards.
Ready to take the plunge? Here are 9 steps to starting your own trucking business.
- Get your commercial driver’s license – Get behind the wheel and get some experience
- Make a business plan – What are you hauling? Who are your customers?
- Choose a business structure – Choices include LLC, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.
- Start-up expenses – Get authority and save money to cover the first few months until you start getting paid
- Plan your operations – Staffing, parking, maintenance, back office - who does what?
- Safety compliance – State and federal regulations
- Insurance - $750,000 minimum liability
- Equipment – What tractor and/or trailer does your business need?
- Grow your business –Find loads
Want to get started as quickly as possible? Give DAT a call at 866-812-3379, and they can take care of the paperwork for you. That way you don’t have to worry about making a mistake that leads to you missing out on the busy season later this year.
This article was originally featured on DAT.com.
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