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Can I Start a Trucking Company Without Having a CDL?

trucking industry business consultant

Trucking is one of the most important industries in the United States. According to data provided by the American Trucking Association (ATA) nearly three-quarters of our country’s total freight is moved by large trucks. A recent report put the total size of the American commercial trucking industry at $1.1 trillion—and it is expected to grow further in the coming years. 

There are a lot of options for entrepreneurs looking to enter the trucking industry. You may be wondering: Do I need a CDL to start a trucking business? The short answer is ‘no’—but you will need to hire a licensed driver. Here, our Atlanta truck industry consultant explains the most important things you should know about starting a trucking company without your own CDL. 

How to Start a Trucking Company Without A CDL

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a specialized type of driving permit needed to operate a commercial vehicle, including a large truck. CDLs are issued at the state level. If you form a trucking business, anyone you hire to drive must have a valid CDL. Without a CDL, a person does not have the authority to operate a large commercial truck.

That being said, the business owner is not required to have a CDL under Georgia state law or United States federal law. In other words, you have the right to form, operate, and grow a trucking business whether or not you personally hold a commercial driver’s license. You just will not be able to operate your own trucks. 

Five Key Considerations If You are Starting a Truck Company Without a CDL

Building and growing a new business is never easy. Trucking is a competitive industry. No matter your current circumstances, it is crucial that you create the proper structure for your new company. If you are starting a trucking company without driving the vehicle, you will face a few additional challenges—the most important being that you will need to hire one or more truck drivers. Here are five key things to consider when forming a new truck company without a CDL in Georgia: 

1. Start-Up Costs and Business Financing:

Whether you have a CDL or you are planning to hire someone else to drive your truck, forming a new business always begins with getting the start-up costs and financing issues in order. There are several ways to finance the initial costs of launching a trucking business, including through savings, a third party investment, and a loan. If you have any questions about business financing and forming a new truck company, an experienced consultant can help. 

2. Registering a Company and Obtaining Permits:

There is a lot of paperwork involved in starting a new business, especially if you are forming a commercial trucking company. Assuming you plan on operating a truck in interstate commerce—which most firms do—your company will be regulated at both the state level and the federal level. You are going to need to complete and submit a wide array of different forms, including the applications for an EIN number, a DUNS number, and an MC/DOT Number. You will also need to complete your FMCSA filing and Boc-3 filing. Be sure you have all of the required permits before launching your trucking business. You do not want to leave yourself exposed to potential legal liability

3. Obtaining Insurance Coverage:

One of the most important things that trucking industry business owners have to think about is obtaining adequate insurance coverage. If you hold a CDL and drive your own truck, then you are getting insurance for yourself. If you do not hold a CDL and someone else is driving the truck, you will need to make sure that your business has the proper insurance that it needs. Not only are there state and federal insurance requirements for commercial trucks, but accidents remain an ever-present risk. You need to know that your truck is fully insured. 

4. Hiring an Employee or a Subcontractor:

You do not need a CDL to start a trucking company, but you need a CDL to drive the truck. If you do not hold a CDL, then you are going to have to find another party to drive your vehicle—potentially multiple drivers if you plan on obtaining two or more trucks. In general, truck company owners have two basic options for finding drivers. First, you can hire an employee to work for your company as a driver. Second, you can work with a driver who is an independent contractor—essentially subcontracting the task out to a trucker who is self-employed or otherwise operates their own business.

5. Marketing & Advertising Your Trucking Business:

To start a successful trucking company without a CDL, you need to find clients. Marketing and advertising is important for all businesses, including those in the trucking industry. Once you have the proper business plan and business infrastructure in place, you should develop a strategy to ensure that potential clients are aware of your company’s services. 

You have a vision in mind. Now it is time to execute. If you are preparing to form a new truck company in Georgia, do not hesitate to reach out to our trucking consultants for help. With extensive experience working with business owners and entrepreneurs, we are more than ready to help you put the right infrastructure in place for your business. Our team offers a wide range of customizable consulting packages for trucking industry clients. 

Contact Our Georgia Truck Industry Consultants Today 

At Suivant Consulting, our Atlanta trucking consultants have the skills, knowledge, and expertise that you can rely on. We help our clients identify problems and find solutions. If you have any questions about starting a truck company without a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), our business consultants are more than ready to help. 

Give us a call at 770-874-9951 or send us a message online for a confidential consultation. With a main office in Atlanta, we provide business consulting services throughout the region.

Published on by Suivant Consulting