Key Requirements and Documents to Start a Trucking Business

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If you have always wanted to start your own trucking business, then this is the right time to do so. Being one of the highly regulated industries in the US, the total revenue of the trucking industry in the country stands at a whopping $791.7 billion.


To start a trucking business, you need to have a proper business plan, establish your company, have the right equipment and financing, and have all the required documents like the CDL, USDOT, and 2290 Form in place.


What Will You Do As A Trucking Business?


As a trucking business, you will be responsible for transporting goods from one place to another. These goods can be widely categorized into what people consume and need, like perishable items, electronics, mechanical parts, supplies, and raw materials, among others. It would be best if you decided on a niche before starting with your trucking business, as the transportation process vastly differs depending on the product.


You can implement different business models in this industry. You can start a one-person business and drive a single truck by yourself. You could subcontract other drivers, or you could establish your business, have your own fleet of trucks and hire drivers as employees.


Once you have the niche, business model, and region nailed down, you can go about the process of starting your trucking business.


Essential Requirements to Start A Trucking Business


Business Plan


Creating a detailed business plan is critical to starting any successful business. Ensure you include minute details such as operational costs, administrative activities, responsibilities, start-up costs, finance and loan details, and revenue projections, among others.




Once you have decided on the business model, you need to establish your business legally. You could set your company as a corporation, a Limited Liability Company, or even a sole proprietorship. Incorporate your business with care as the type of entity you establish determines your company’s liability and other tax aspects.


Registered Agent


When establishing your business, you will need a registered agent, available at a physical address, to communicate with the state. Depending on the state in which you are forming your business, this might be a mandatory requirement.


Obtain An EIN


Employee Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that uniquely identifies your business and will be used for tax filing purposes. If you are hiring employees for your business, you must obtain an EIN.


Documents Required to Start a Trucking Business


Once you legally establish your business and obtain EIN, here are some critical documents you will require in the process:


Commercial Drivers License


As per federal law, drivers driving commercial vehicles must obtain a CDL from the state’s driving agency.


USDOT Number


USDOT numbers are issued by the FMCSA and are used by the US Department of Transportation to collate details about the trucks run by the company. The number is unique to the company and is used during safety audits and inspections and any investigations. All commercial vehicles that operate interstate will need the USDOT Number.


International Registration Plan


If your trucks are going to run in multiple states, then you need an IRP to operate it. IRP registration can be done in the state where the company is based in.


Tax Documents


Heavy Vehicle Use tax (HVUT) has to be paid for trucks weighing more than 55,000 pounds (75,000 pounds for agricultural vehicles). Using the proper online channels, you can safely e-file the 2290 Form and receive updated schedules within minutes. Using templates, you can e-file for multiple vehicles simultaneously and reduce the time and effort required.



Final Thoughts


Own your dream of starting a business in the trucking industry. Establish your company by following the steps mentioned above and stay compliant with the state by filing tax forms like the 2290 Form. Once all the documents are in place, get insurance for your business and start driving towards financial freedom.

Featured Photo by Meridy Scott from Pixabay