7 Steps to Start a Trucking Company in USA – The trucking industry is a lucrative one for many in the United States, as it provides a much higher potential for earning as well as expansion.
Any trucking company working within a specified structure has much higher chances of success in the United States.
However, if you are someone new to this industry and want to create a name for yourself, it is time to find the right guidance to get the job done.
We are talking not just about knowing the latest trucking technology, but a chance to open your own trucking business even without any experience in the industry.
The 7 Secrets to Starting a Trucking Business in the US
Table of Contents
Before you get all excited about getting the tips, remember that the best of trucking entrepreneurs started with minimal capital and now own multiple fleets.
Enough said, let us now understand how you can start a trucking business in the United States without any hiccups.
1. Acquire a CDL
The priority here is to get your commercial driver’s license, aka the CDL, with some experience on the road. Many trucking companies have a customized training program for new drivers, while some will help you pay the fee for a CDL.
In short, among the many successful trucking industry entrepreneurs, many started as truck drivers themselves.
2. Create a Solid Business Plan
With a business plan, we are talking about your expectations regarding the revenue and expenses required for the initial start of the trucking business.
It would be worth watching the latest trucking news, which will provide you the exact idea about the industry expenses, including your salary.
We recommend you have an experienced business adviser to help you figure out the best plan to make this a reality.
3. Determine the Type of Company Structure
When it comes to choosing a company structure, there are different types of corporate structures, including sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), Corporation, and partnership.
You need to understand that each structure has its pros and cons, which vary with each US state. Moreover, you will need an accountant to find out the best structure for your business model.
4. Consider Start-up Expenses
Purchasing a truck will cost a considerable sum of money, not to forget the licensing and registration costs. It is a great idea to look into financing options, along with having a trusted line of credit.
Make sure to save the right amount of money for taking care of the first six months of operations of the trucking business.
Always know the latest trucking industry news to know the best tips to finance your business during its starting phase.
5. Think About Business Operations
How will you deal with the parking and maintenance facilities? Where would you find the load? Who will ensure smooth business operations, especially with invoices, accounting, payroll, and other paperwork?
Make sure you have the answer to these questions before starting on the journey to becoming a trucking industry entrepreneur.
6. Carry Sufficient Insurance
When we talk about insurance, there are many factors to consider, which include;
- Primary Liability
It provides cover for damage or injury during accidents when you are the one to blame.
The cargo insurance depends on the material, which you are carrying from one place to another. It provides coverage for freight or theft.
- Non-Trucking Use
The non-trucking insurance provides cover for your liability if the truck gets damaged in an accident while you are delivering the goods for someone else.
- Physical Damage
The insurance for physical damage provides cover to the truck when you are not responsible for an accident.
It would be worth staying up-to-date with the latest trucking news to know more about what insurance will suit your business model.
7. Follow All Compliance
Prior to laying down the foundation of your trucking company, it is essential to follow specific safety compliances including;
- USDOT Number
It refers to the number provided by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), which comes in handy when they want to collect and monitor your trucking business’s safety. It is also useful for the authorities in carrying out inspections and any accidental investigations.
- Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
If you are having a truck above the weight category of 55,000 pounds, the company has to pay the heavy vehicle use tax.
- International Registration Plan
The plan provides registration fees for your business, which depends on the distance covered in each of the US states or a Canadian province. For this, you will need to register on the state transportation website.
- Operation Authority
Each of your trucks should have the relevant authority from the USDOT to carry freight across the state lines. The operation authority dictates what type of cargo it is you can take.
- BOC-3 Filing
It will provide the name of your trucking company’s processing agent. They will be the ones contacted in cases of legal proceedings. You would have to designate an agent in every state where you have an office or service contracts.
- International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
The IFTA refers to the agreement among the lower 48 US states and Canadian provinces to ease the reporting of fuel usage by trucking companies in different states.
Your trucking company will file a quarterly fuel tax report, which will assess the right tax amount. In other words, your fleet needs to have an IFTA decal at all times.
Thus, it goes beyond any reasonable doubt that you need to do a lot of research before setting up your own trucking business. You can also check an article on what is an ELD. Although staying aware of the latest developments in the trucking technology does have its perks. Still, the seven steps mentioned above will help your trucking company become the best in the US.