Starting your own business is one of the best feelings in the world, but if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into, that feeling can turn into horror pretty soon pretty fast. Applying for a motor carrier authority is the first step towards making a huge decision, such as getting into the trucking business, which is why you must not take it lightly.
There are a lot of technicalities regarding the trucking business that you need to study and research to ensure that you don’t trap yourself into something that you don’t know anything about. In this article, I am going to highlight some of the most important things that you must consider when applying for your motor carrier authority. Having an idea about these things are going to help you set foot on the right path so that you can end up making the profits that you had in mind.
Table of Contents
The very first and the most important thing that you need to plan for when applying for a motor carrier authority is to have an idea of where the money is going to come from. Starting your own business is a huge decision, and if you want to get into something as investment-heavy as the trucking business, you need to have a proper budget. From vehicle registration fees to expenses such as buying trucks and trailers, you are going to need to make sure that you save as much money as possible to make things easier.
Structuring Your Business
The next thing that you are going to have to do is to structure your business in the right way. If it is your first time running a business, you might be lost on whether to go for a limited liability company (LLC), a corporation, or a sole proprietorship. The most common business structure is LLC, as it is the easiest to maintain, and you can protect your personal finances and assets in case your business goes into a loss. On the other hand, if you plan on expanding your business to a large scale, you should probably go for a corporate structure as it will give you more options.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you plan to run, insurance is one of the most basic things that you should be looking into. For a trucking business, insurance is going to cost you between $6000 to $10000 per year, depending on the plan you go for. Moreover, you should also keep in mind that if you have not hired good drivers with a minimum of 2 years of experience and your vehicles are not up to the industry standard, you are going to have a very hard time getting insurance.
Permits and Taxes
One of the hardest and the most complicated things about the trucking business are the permits and taxes involved in it, which is why you need to do proper research. These permits and taxes differ from state to state, so you can’t just get a handbook and find out which permits and how much taxes you have to pay. The best policy is to hire a proper lawyer who has some experience in the field as he will help you file all your taxes and get the needed permits so that you can start your business without any worries.
Calculating Cost per Mile
Last but not least, the biggest reason why most trucking businesses end up at a loss is due to the fact that they simply don’t understand how much it is going to cost to operate per mile. They get into the business thinking they are going to make hundreds of dollars as they get more clients, but they don’t understand that more clients mean more miles to cover, which is going to need more fuel. They end up taking more clients than they can afford and end up paying more money to cover their operating costs. So, a crucial part of your business is to properly calculate the cost per mile and then compare it with your cash flow so that you can find whether you are going to make profits or not.