Being an independent truck driver or starting your own trucking company is more complicated than it may seem. Luckily, Purcell will help you grow your business by walking you through the process of getting your own trucking authority.
It’s very important to comply with state and federal regulations, which is challenging because it’s not easy to understand everything the process entails. That’s why it’s so helpful to hire Purcell, a company that offers some of the best professional compliance services on the market.
Purcell is entirely dedicated to helping trucking companies across the nation stay compliant with the Department of Transportation (DOT) while growing their businesses. DOT compliance is essential to fostering the safe transport of heavy cargo via trucks. Understanding the DOT guidelines and following them to the letter is vital to any trucking company.
What Purcell does is provide a team of specialists that will educate and assist you with DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations as well. Their wide range of services will allow you to keep your business alive. Additionally, they offer business coaching to help companies save money and thrive in the industry.
Why You Should Get Your Own Trucking Authority
Having your own trucking authority is amazing. It provides you with a sense of business and personal freedom, it allows you to maximize your income and have more control of your goals.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of getting your own authority is that you will no longer have to guess if you’re getting paid the right percentage. Many companies out there are not transparent and they pocket a lot more than what they say.
Additionally, you’ll have the freedom of deciding who you want to work for and how much of your time you want to dedicate to your work. However, getting your own authority can be challenging at first. It’s like getting kicked out of your house when you come of age and figuring things out on your own.
Though regulations and structural conditions may make profitability challenging and economic growth is low, you will be able to achieve profitability by finding your niche and learning to navigate compliance. That’s not to say that the effort won’t be worth it, and Purcell will provide much-needed assistance.
How Purcell Helps You Get Your Own Authority in Trucking
Your own trucking authority will give you permission from the United States government to get paid for hauling freight as an independent business. The FMCSA provides the authority by giving you a MC number.
“How do I get my own authority in trucking?” it’s important to know that there are several steps to go through. That’s why the best you can do is hire a professional DOT logistics and compliance company such as Purcell who has been rated as one of the best DOT compliance companies.
In this section, we will go over each and every step to get your own authority which is included in Purcell’s Authority Package*.
- Registration and Filings for Your Trucking Company
The first thing you need to do if you want to start your own trucking company is register your business. Additionally, you need to determine the kind of business entity you want to create.
The most common kind of business entities for trucking companies is Limited Liability Companies and Sole Proprietorships. If you’re going for an LLC, you need to file that with the Secretary of State.
Purcell can help you file your LLC, which is something that needs to be done before you file for your DOT numbers and authority to operate. If you don’t file your business entity with the Secretary of State, your business will be affected later on.
For example, your tax filings may get complicated and you will be unable to protect your personal possessions if you’re faced with a lawsuit. As such, registering your trucking company and performing the proper filings is the first and most important step.
- Purcell will Help You Obtain Your EIN
If you’re filing an LLC, you need to get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Federal Tax ID Number, which is provided by the IRS. With a sole proprietorship, this step is not necessary, but it’s still recommended.
If you don’t have an EIN, you’ll have to operate your business under your social security number, which increases the risk of fraud issues.
Most states in the United States don’t authorize names that are duplicated on filings relating to businesses. This means you absolutely need to get a Tax ID Number after you get your LLC file approved.
- Apply for a USDOT Number
Additionally, you must request a USDOT number, which is something all companies must do. This means you’ll be registered with the United States Department of Transportation. The USDOT number will serve as the ID number for your company. Purcell files this at no cost for your company.
The USDOT number provides all the information related to your trucking company, including the type of vehicle you operate, the kind of cargo you haul, and your safety and compliance record.
It’s important to note that your vehicle miles traveled that are on your Company profile on the FMCSA website needs to be updated every two years or whenever you change or update your trucking company information.
- Get Your MC Number
The next step is getting an MC number, which identifies the kind of trucking business you have and determines the goods you’re authorized to haul. It’s mandatory to have a MC number when you are crossing state lines as an interstate commerce trucking company.
Purcell will assist with the MC filing for your trucking company with the FMCSA. You’ll get your MC number right after you apply for it, but it won’t be active until you complete the FMCSA’s 30-day review period, file a BOC-3, and get the correct insurance. Purcell has spent years developing partnerships with the best trucking insurance companies to ensure you get the best rate.
- The BOC-3
The BOC-3 provides you with interstate operating authority. Purcell will designate a process agent in each state your company will operate.
The process agent will serve any necessary legal paperwork for you. For example, let’s say that your trucking company is based in Texas but someone from Missouri is suing you.
In that case, you must have a lawyer in Missouri who can receive the legal complaint. They will let you and your local lawyer know what’s going on and assist with any legal paperwork that’s necessary for that state. Whenever changes are made to your business’ name, phone number, or address, you’ll have to update your BOC-3.
- Get a Unified Carrier Registration
The Unified Carrier Registration system verifies that you have active insurance in every state where your trucking company operates. You need to register using your USDOT number and MC number.
Essentially, a UCR allows the registration of operating vehicles in the state where your trucking company is active. It requires you to pay an annual fee, which will depend on how large or small your fleet is. Purcell also includes the UCR filing with their Authority Package.
The UCR needs to be renewed yearly and Purcell’s USDOTapp will remind you via text and email of that renewal always keeping you in compliance.
- IRP and IFTA
If your trucking business will be operating inside several jurisdictions, you need to report how many miles have been driven so you can pay taxes on them every year. Setting up your IFTA/IRP, means you need to register your vehicle fleets that operate in each jurisdiction. Purcell has an IFTA/IRP management team that focuses solely on your IFTA
To register your IRP, you’ll need the title information of your truck, as well as its VIN, purchase cost, purchase date, as well as its make, and model. After you register and pay the relevant fee, you will get your apportioned plates.
Having your IRP tags, which are issued by the home state your business operates in, will allow your fleets to operate in all other states and the majority of Canadian provinces. Your IRP plates need to be renewed every year and you’ll have to pay a renewal fee each time.
The IFTA is the agreement between the lower 48 states in the US and provinces in Canada. It makes reporting of taxes relating to drivers’ fuel use who operate in many different jurisdictions a lot easier and straightforward.
Getting an IFTA decal will allow your trucking company to obtain one fuel license. You’ll need to file fuel use tax returns in the state your trucking company is based in. This must be done quarterly.
This fuel use tax file will include a full report of miles traveled within the jurisdictions that participate in the IFTA. It will also detail every fuel purchase you made during that quarter.
For small to medium and even large fleets managing IFTA and IRP is critical to ensure smooth operations. Mistakes cause drivers to get stopped more often costing the company time and money. Hiring Purcell’s professional IFTA/IRP management team to manage your fleets IFTA, IRP and additional state permits is the only way to ensure smooth operations allowing for higher profits in return
- Get Familiar with Heavy Use Tax Regulations
As a trucking business owner, you need to understand the regulations in place for heavy trucks. Trucks that weigh 55,000 pounds or more are subject to federal tax regulations. That means that you must pay taxes to use heavy trucks.
Purcell’s professional IFTA/IRP management team will help you file your 2290 form when you operate trucks that weigh over 55,000 pounds.
- Obtain Your Standard Carrier Alpha Code
This is a code that’s privately controlled in the United States and it’s meant to identify transportation companies. If your trucking company will haul any government, military, intermodal or international loads, you must obtain a SCAC.
- Get the Permits You Need
Last but not least, you need to get the permits you need to get your trucking authority. Both the FMCSA and state authorities require several permits relating to taxes, fuel, dimensions, trips, requirements based on the type of load, and hazardous materials.
If you don’t file for and get the permits you need, you risk having your vehicles impounded. Additionally, it may cause delays in your service, which is bad for business.
- Driver Compliances
You must get a Driver Qualification File, which shows that the operators of commercial vehicles have the proper qualifications to be driving a commercial vehicle. Purcell offers digital driver files that include the Motor Vehicle Report. Digital meaning online, organized, and ready to be emailed to any onsite or offsite auditor. It’s important that you hire the best drivers for your business to thrive, each one of those drivers you will enroll into a Pre-Employment Screening Program and upon making an informed decision and hiring drivers you then will enroll them into a drug testing program.
After hiring the drivers that will be operating the vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license your trucking company and your drivers must be enrolled in the DOT Clearinghouse, which keeps a tab on drivers who have either tested positive or refused to be tested altogether.
Purcell is a C/TPA in the Clearinghouse and has a complete pre-employment screening, drug testing, and randoms program that will keep your company in compliance with the Clearinghouse.
As you can see, getting your own authority in trucking is a process with many different steps. Purcell’s Authority Package provides you with every step you need call 855-278-2525 or set an appointment on their website at www.purcellcompliance.com. They will walk you through the entire process and provide the support and education you need. If you’re ready to get started, fill out their New Authority Application on their website and get on the fast track.
*Compliances for drivers are separate and upon approval a net 30 is available.