Legally Establish Your Company

The vast majority of trucking companies in the United States have six or fewer trucks they operate, according to the American Trucking Association. If you want to become a new owner-operator, starting with just one truck, you’re not alone! Whether you start with one truck, or two or more there are a few important steps you have to follow to legally establish your company.

1. Put Together a Business PlanPut together a business plan for your trucking business

Start with a business plan for your trucking operation. Though it is often overlooked, this is an important step since it will serve as a blueprint for how you establish your trucking company.

Maybe you are not convinced that you need a business plan. Take our quick 9 Question Quiz  to find out if you need a business plan.

A good business plan will help you define and clarify your:

  • Goals/objectives – what are you trying to create for yourself
  •  A value proposition – what do you have to offer that is different from other people.
  •  An analysis of your target market – do you know what your target market specifically wants?
  • A competitor analysis – who is already in the same space you want to enter into? What do they do?
  • A breakdown of how you intend to run your trucking business
  • Funding/budget details
  • Potential obstacles
  • Resources at your disposal

If you would like to work through these steps, we have created a Free Guided Business Plan worksheet that is yours to keep forever. It walks you through all the questions you need to consider as you put together a business plan.

2. Form Your Company

It’s common for a new trucking company to be set up as a limited liability company (LLC). In a nutshell, what this does is separate your business and personal assets and legal liabilities. In other words, if somebody sued your trucking company, they couldn’t come after your own personal assets.

With the formation of a corporation or LLC, steps you’ll need to take include:

  • Appointing a registered agent – an official point of contact
  • Getting an employer identification number (EIN)
  • Using your EIN to open a business bank account

Here is a more in-depth article on forming your LLC from ATBS, a company that provides tax and business solutions for truck drivers.

Our next article in this our series of how to start a trucking company is how to obtain necessary licences and permits.

The Open Road is Calling – Will you answer the call?