If you're looking to start your own trucking business, you've come to the right place. With the shipping and delivery industry booming, now is a great time to get started. We've put together this checklist to help you succeed in starting your own trucking business. A solid business plan is essential for any company.
The Small Business Association (SBA) recommends that your business plan be projected for 3 to 5 years. You should also detail your plan to increase revenues and include a funding request if you're applying for investors or funding. Drivers over the age of 21 can apply for a commercial driver's license (CDL). They need proof of identity, U.
S. residency, and a valid social security number. Drivers must also pass vision and knowledge tests, as well as a pre-trip inspection and a road and driving skills test with their vehicles. After passing these tests, drivers pay the applicable fees and receive their CDL.
The next step in starting a new transportation business is to complete your transportation authority. Transportation companies must have operating authority when they work as rental carriers across state borders for vehicles over 10,000 gross pesos (GVW). You'll also need to choose a process agent, who can legally represent you when filing court documents for your company. This is a legal requirement of the FMCSA, so don't skip this important step.
When starting a trucking business, you'll need to file your taxes with the IRS. It is essential to form the type of transportation business structure you want to establish - it can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Their type varies, so talk to a tax accountant. Some business owners declare sole ownership because it's the cheapest and easiest way to file taxes, but if someone or company sues you as an owner or owner-operator, they can sue you personally instead of if you have a corporation.
In that case, they would sue your company and not you, protecting your personal assets. Apply for a small business bank account and credit card. It's important to keep personal funds separate from company funds to plan for taxes and help establish a good business credit score in case you need a future business loan or financing. You can start building your business credit right away by using your business account to apply for a business license, permits, and insurance when starting your transportation company. When you start a new trucking business, you may need to get business loans or look for investors to pay the initial costs. If you're applying for a loan or looking for investors, make sure you've completed all of the above steps.
Consult with large and small banks and credit unions for funding - it's easier to get a loan at credit unions since larger banks want to see two years of operating history. You can also consult truck lenders online and if you need to go to lenders, investors, or partners to finance your trucking business, the first thing many of them will want to see is your business plan. Commercial truck financing terms vary depending on your credit. When buying your trucks, there are different types of leasing options available. Subscribing to a loading table is the best way to keep your trucks full and on the road - they can help you connect with carriers, brokers and find loads. Use custom functions for weight, height, quantity and vehicle type. Know the distance to your next pickup and calculate fuel consumption.
Use decision tools to help you trade better with brokers (potential trading partners). Discover key criteria such as how many other truckers are looking for work. Once you get funding, hire the best tax lawyer and accountant you can afford to manage your accounting - use Intuit QuickBooks or other accounting software. You may want to consider factoring invoices to get paid more quickly and reduce administrative paperwork such as billing and collections.
Some transportation companies choose to outsource some of the management, accounting, sales and marketing strategies or wait until the workload requires an in-house team. When you are a business owner it is your responsibility to maintain compliance with applicable laws and regulations - this means filing quarterly tax returns, maintaining CDL renewals, and being aware of state requirements and national trucking industry regulations. In addition, brokers want to hire and work with carriers who have their regulations updated in order to reduce liability - overseeing compliance and keeping up with regulations will be key in winning business as a truck driver. When you start a successful trucking business it can be a great way to earn a living - however as a new operator it can be difficult navigating all of the steps required in order to get started.
We hope this checklist has been helpful in getting started on your journey!.