Steps To Starting Your Business
You can either choose to be a Broker or a Broker-Agent. You can gain even more experience as a work-from-home agent of an established freight brokerage this gives you time to decide on which one do you want to be. If choosing to become a freight broker, you must the laws and regulations first. Make sure as stated in class to try out different software's/TMS, so that when you start working with the bigger company’s they prefer this.
a: Get a business license in your county once you are ready to start your business. You can usually apply for a business license through your local county clerk's office or your city's department of licensing and inspections.
b: Go through your Secretary of State Office to the Corporation Division and incorporate your business by apply for a LLC or S Corp. or C Corp. (Search to your attorney to determine which is best for you and your situation).
Go register your domain name so that no one else on the internet can have your website name. Do this at the same time you do your corporation. Such as: http://www.hostgator.com. Click on DOMAIN NAME and do a search to make sure no one else has your company name on the internet - Reserve your online name. If you do this no one else on the internet can use your company for a website - only you.
Apply for an E.I.N. Number through I.R.S. - LINK. (Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) Online | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)
Step 5 (Option If Wish To Be A Full Broker - Only)
a: Apply for a freight broker license from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (See Resources). You will need to complete a Motor Property Carrier and Broker Authority application and pay a fee of $300.
b: Obtain a Bond or Bank Trust in the amount of $75,000. If a Bond this depend on your personal credit score and is paid once a year.
c: Choose a Process Agent. These agents will receive documents in the event of legal action against your company. You can designate an agent by submitting a BOC-3 Form to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. I offer a full freight broker package which include all above for $895.00 - Not we are not attorneys, so as you are waiting for this process, it is up to you make sure to learn the laws and regulations of becoming a freight broker.
If deciding to further into being a freight broker, you will need to try different software/TMS as you grow. If an agent for a brokerage firm, they may supply this for you. Also, as a freight broker you will need some form a freight brokerage software as well as programs for handling your accounting and customer information. As advise you may do up a business plan detailing how you will start and run your business on a daily basis. Include your plans for eventually expanding your business as well. Adding details about how you will fund your business may also prove helpful in the event you decide to seek a business loan.
Focus on locating shippers by looking in trade directories, join associations, check with locate Chamber of Commerce, packing co., warehouses, shippers, growers, docks, manufacturers, distributors, grocery store, stores and magazines- on a particular geographical area, type of cargo or type of shipping and this will help you position yourself as an expert within your market and may make marketing your services easier. Also talk to truckers then know where the shippers are.
Identify carriers by looking in trade directories, magazines, truck stops and carrier directories. Seek word-of-mouth referrals as well. Choose carriers that can provide the type of service customers in your niche will need. Build your database of carriers as we stated in class.
Set up a office for your business, you will need general office equipment and supplies, including a computer, printer, telephones, paper, pens and pencils and a fax machine.
Market your business. Join LinkedIn and other social medias and trucking sites online. Use direct mail to send advertisements to potential clients in your niche. Place ads in industry magazines and directories. Try to get as much free referral and ads as possible.
So, we hope this helps. We have been stating for a while that we were going to add more to our website for some time, so hope it useful. Remember as I have stated during class, we have laid the basics of brokering freight whether you want to become an agent at first and/or going on to become a freight broker. We teach the basics, so if you decide to become a freight broker make sure you do your research of all the laws and regulations required by the Federal Government. There is a PDF in the password area on our site where go can read some of them and/or go to the F.M.C.S.A. and ask questions there. We do not give legal advice in any shape or form. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (dot.gov)