How To Start A Trucking Business?

How to start a trucking business Complete Checklist

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How To Start A Trucking Business? Complete Checklist

If you’re tired of working for someone else and ready to start your own trucking business, then congratulations! It takes a lot of hard work to get started, but the payoff is well worth it.

Table of Contents

Decide The Structure Of Your Business

The first step in starting your trucking business is determining the structure of your company. There are two primary business structures: 

  • sole proprietorship 
  • limited liability company (LLC). 

A sole proprietorship is a single-owner business with no legal distinction between the owner and the business itself.
An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners who have limited personal liability for debts incurred by the company.

how to start trucking business - silver truck dark background

Trucking Business Plan: A Complete Guide

The business plan is the roadmap for your trucking business. If you have a clear and well-thought out plan, it will provide you with the necessary guidance during your first few years in business. It will help you make decisions quickly and accurately.

A well-written trucking business plan will help secure financing for your new venture and establish credibility with potential partners or investors. In addition, a detailed plan provides guidance on how to successfully run your trucking business over the long term by laying out steps for managing finances, human resources (HR), operations, and marketing.

Writing an effective trucking business plan requires gathering information about:

  1. Yourself;
  2. Competitors and customers;
  3. Analyzing this data;
  4. Identifying opportunities;
  5. Making forecasts;
  6. Making recommendations based on market research findings;
  7. Outlining key strategies;
  8. Developing financial projections;
  9. Creating action plans based on those projections along with implementation details such as timelines or milestones that need attention at each stage of implementation.

Register Your Business

  • Register your business name
  • Register your business with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
  • Register your business with state tax authorities

Get Your Commercial Driver’s License

When starting a trucking business, you need to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). The CDL is the most important thing that you need to drive a truck in the United States.

  • Get your Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • Take the written test for your commercial driver license. Once you pass it and pay for the permit, you will be eligible to take an exam on driving skills and road rules that an examiner has set up for you. You have three chances at each of these tests so try not to fail in all of them!
  • Take a medical exam before taking any driving tests if required by state regulations or the law. This may include vision testing as well as urine drug screening
start a trucking business checklist - obtain permits and insurance

Obtain Business Licenses, Permits, And Insurance

  • Business license.
  • Permits.
  • Insurance.
  • Liability insurance: All business vehicles must be insured to cover potential damages and injuries to third parties in the event of an accident, vehicle theft, etc. 

There are two primary types of liability coverage: Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance and Business Owners Policy (BOP) Insurance. CGL covers bodily injury claims and property damage claims made against you due to your actions or those of your employees within the scope of your business. The BOP covers property damage only, not bodily injury claims. 

It would be best if you also had workers’ compensation insurance for any employees working on behalf of your trucking company or independent contractors who may be hired from time to time.

  • Commercial auto insurance: This type of coverage ensures that if anyone is injured while riding in a commercial vehicle owned by you or leased by you, they will receive compensation up to certain limits specified in each state’s laws on liability issues related specifically to transportation businesses such as yours.
start a trucking business - two trucks facing dark background

Choose The Right Truck

Having a truck is one of the first things you need to do when starting your own business. And there are many factors to consider: type of truck, brand, and engine size. 

Here are some tips for choosing a truck that's right for your business:

1. Choose an appropriate size.

Depending on what type of business you’re starting, there are different types of trucks that may be best suited for your needs. For example, if you’re running a general freight hauling company or doing local delivery services with several stops each day then having a larger capacity vehicle would make sense.  It will allow more room inside their cargo hold while also allowing them more space between each stop (which means less time spent driving around).

However, if they only have one client then having an empty cab could be wasteful since they won’t be able to fit any extra cargo while traveling back home again later on – meaning fewer trips per day overall!

2. Check out reviews before buying anything new!

This applies directly here too: while researching different brands available today might seem like an unnecessary step at first glance since all cars look pretty similar underneath anyways…but just because something seems familiar doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take precautions against unexpected problems down the road either.

Get A DOT Number

A DOT number is a government identifier that identifies you as an entity that is allowed to operate as a trucking business. It’s also sometimes referred to as an MC number, which stands for Motor Carrier Identification Number.

Hire And Train Drivers For Your Trucking Business

Hiring and training drivers for your trucking company is an important step to ensure that the business runs smoothly. 

Here are some things you need to know before hiring and training drivers for your trucking business:

1. Driver safety

Make sure you equip your driver with defensive driving techniques. Being aware of their surroundings and understanding what other drivers are doing around them will help prevent accidents from occurring during their shift.

2. Equipment use

It’s also vital that your driver understands how to operate all of the equipment in case you need them for maintenance or repairs onsite. This includes knowledge about how different systems work together, as well as how to manually adjust any settings when necessary (such as when changing gears).

3. Road rules and regulations

Your drivers should be fully aware of all local laws regarding vehicle operation within state lines before they begin transporting goods anywhere outside of where they live already!

Secure Startup Funding

Startup funding is one of the most crucial elements of starting a trucking business. If you don’t have enough startup capital, you may not be able to get the trucking business off the ground. The good news is that there are many different types of financing options available for small businesses and trucking companies.

Create A System For Managing Finances

In order to manage the finances of a trucking business, you need to have a system in place. This will help you keep track of all expenses and income, as well as make better decisions about how you spend money on your company.

  • What’s your budget?
  • What are your goals?
  • How long do they take to achieve?

Get A Fuel Card For Your Trucking Business

A fuel card is a debit card that you can use to pay for fuel. You can use a fuel card to pay for the fuel at a truck stop, or you can also use the same card to pay for the fuel at any gas station.
A benefit of having your own company’s branded employee charge cards is that you can track who is using their money and why they’re spending it on certain things. If you notice that one person always uses their charge card at coffee shops, then maybe they need some coffee money added to their paycheck!

Building A Website For Your Trucking Company

The first thing you need to do is build a website for your trucking company. Why? Because people are already searching for what your company offers and they’re going to find it online, so having an easily found and navigable website will help get you noticed. 

Your trucking business website should include the following information:

1. Contact information (address, phone number, email address)
2. Company mission statement and history
3. Company background/history of services offered
4. Company philosophy regarding service delivery standards (e.g., training employees based on industry best practices)
5. Social Proof

Marketing Your Trucking Business

  • Social media is an essential part of marketing your trucking business. You can use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to grow your brand awareness and customer base.
  • Content marketing is also a great way to market your trucking business. You can create blogs or videos that will attract potential customers in the long run.
  • Email marketing is another strategy that you should use when it comes to promoting your business on social media platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook, etc. It’s simple yet very effective since people tend to pay attention more whenever they receive an email from someone they know instead of just seeing ads on their favorite website or app all day long!


A trucking business may sound like a daunting task, but it is something you can do. With these steps in mind, you can get your trucking business off the ground and running in no time.
Owning a  trucking business is a great way to make money if you have a strong work ethic. 

You don’t need any experience or education to start one—just passion for driving and ambition for success! Many people are interested in starting their own businesses these days because being self-employed gives them more freedom than working for someone else does. Working on your own terms comes with many benefits: You can be your own boss and make as much money as possible without relying on anyone else’s salary structure or policies regarding raises/bonuses etc…

If this seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is! But the good news is that if you follow these tips and do your research before starting a trucking business, your chances of success will be much higher.


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