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FAQs: Starting a Trucking BusinessSalem-News.com Business
Small businesses like trucking are the backbone of America.
(SALEM, Ore.) - When a person talks about starting a trucking business, it often means they will be the owner and operator of the company. As the name suggests, this type of business is usually a one-person enterprise.
Getting started in this industry is not easy, but quite manageable if you ask the right questions of those who have been operating a similar business for years.
Like any endeavor, you need to take time to research many aspects of of trucking businesses before getting started. In this article, we will discuss some frequently asked questions that will help prepare you to get involved in today's trucking industry.
What kind of truck do you need?In answering this question, you need to decide first the kind of freight you intend to haul. While most trucking services work with almost anything, others prefer to specialize in certain freights.
In choosing a truck, you either get a trailer or a tractor. Depending on the features of your equipment, you can also better determine what type of freight best suits your equipment.
Taking time to research equipment options is also critical before you start applying for trucking business loans. Since trucks are not cheap, you also need to account for flexibility and the potential to make changes to your business operations in the long run.
What business structure should you choose?There are different business structures you can choose from depending on your needs. The simplest and most straightforward choice for an owner-operator is a sole proprietorship. If you are unfamiliar with the legal terms, you can also consult an expert or a lawyer before preparing any paperwork.
What license and permits do you need to operate?For starters, you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive a truck. Most trucking companies are also required to have a HazMat endorsement as well as credentials to gain access and entry to ports.
You may need special permits if you are going to carry or pull oil tankers, for example. You should check with your local DMV regarding the different endorsements you may need to run your trucking business.
Do you need to have business insurance?The federal government regulates the trucking industry. As such, you will need a business license to operate. Often when you secure a permit, you are also required to have insurance. You may inquire regarding minimum coverage, but it is always best to have more to ensure that you are protecting yourself and your business interests.
Is it better to do everything or lease your truck to a large carrier?Many trucking companies run by owner-operators work with large carriers. This process makes it more convenient to gain access to clients because the carrier manages that end of the business for you. But other owners prefer to do everything from finding the freight jobs to handling invoicing.
That said, it depends on what appeals to you. Consider also your experience in the industry and determine whether it is better to work with a large carrier to get the business up and running. Once you have established your reputation and clientele, you can perhaps go on your own and be completely independent.
Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.
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