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Start Trucking Business - Trucking Business Plan | Scorico

March 24, 2022
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Getting Started With Your Own Trucking Company in 8 Steps

So you want to start your own trucking company. There is no shortage of demand for trucking companies, so if you play your cards right, you could have a lucrative business. Before you get started, however, there are eight steps that you can take in order to set yourself up for success. 

Put together a business plan.

Your business plan does not need to be an encyclopedia. Just a few pages is fine. Putting together your business plan will help you think through every aspect of your new trucking business. A few of the questions you will want to answer in your trucking business plan include: 

  • What is a good, concise description of your trucking business?
  • What geographic region(s) will your trucking business operate in?
  • Who will your customers be and how will you find them?
  • What types of loads will your trucking business transport?
  • Who will manage your trucking business, and what experience do they have? 
  • How many employees will your trucking business have, and how will you attract and compensate them?
  • What vehicles will make up your trucking fleet?
  • How will you finance your trucking business?

Register your trucking business 

If you are the only owner of the trucking business, do not be foolishly tempted to function as a sole proprietorship without any formal business entity formation. Especially in the trucking business, this is not recommended because this would not shield your personal assets (like your house and your life savings!) from liabilities like employee injuries or mishandled cargo.

A Limited Liability Company is a commonly used structure that does protect personal assets from company liabilities. There are also multiple types of partnership and corporation structures that you may want to consider. Consult a lawyer to better understand what structure will work the best for your trucking business. 

Make a bank account for your trucking business

Setting up a Limited Liability Company is not sufficient for shielding your personal assets from company liabilities. You will also need to make sure to keep business finances completely separate from personal finances. This means that you will need a business bank account which you do not use for personal expenses. 

You should also apply for a business credit card so that you do not need to use your personal credit card. This will also benefit your business by getting a business credit started in your business’s name, so that when you need funds to expand, you will have the strong credit profile that you need.

Get any necessary licenses and permits

The necessary licenses and permits vary by the state in which you are headquartered. Be sure that you get all of the necessary licenses and permits. One special license that you will need as a trucking business is the International Registration Plan. This will be necessary for trucks that are greater than 26,000 pounds that will be crossing different state lines. This way, your truck can operate in all 50 US states and in some parts of Canada as well. 

Get business insurance

This is not a step that you want to risk skipping in the trucking industry. Your trucking business will have a lot of liabilities - employees and other people could get hurt in the course of business, cargo and other property can get damaged, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This could easily mean millions of dollars of risk - and your small business will be best equipped to handle this risk by insuring against it. 

Some of the insurance types that you may need include cargo insurance, public liabilities insurance, general insurance, bobtail, and physical damage insurance. Consult a lawyer familiar with trucking businesses, as well as an insurance broker, to make sure that your bases are covered.

Buy your trucks

For many trucking entrepreneurs, this is the fun part! Here are some things to think about:

  • New or used
  • Buy or lease
  • Brand: Some popular choices are Freightliner, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Volvo, and International 
  • Weight limit
  • Cab style

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