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5 Things to Know Before Starting Your Own Trucking Company

Everyone wants to be their own boss. At National Truck League, we speak to many drivers who are interested in starting their own trucking company. Choose your hours, choose your loads and control your profits. Sounds great, right? Here are 5 things to know before you start your own trucking company

1. You must set up a CVOR Level 2.

Every company in Ontario which operates a vehicle weighing more than 4,500 kg must have an active CVOR Level 2.
You must complete and submit the application and pay a fee to the Ministry of Transportation. There is a written test which you must complete and pass prior to receiving your CVOR 2 certificate.

2. You should have prior owner-operator experience.

We recommend a minimum of 1 year owner-operator experience prior to starting your own company. Vehicle maintenance and records are extremely important. Insurance companies require proof of prior owner-operator experience to provide quotes.

3. Consider your overhead expenses.

Many necessary roles in a trucking company should have a dedicated employee to handle. Filing quarterly reports for your International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA’s) can be complicated, consider hiring an expert to assist you. Handling dispatch and safety while also driving is quite difficult, do not spread yourself too thin!

4. Protect yourself, get incorporated.

Registering your company in Ontario offers you another layer of protection against litigation. Most companies register under an Ontario Limited number or Canada limited number, but include “doing business as” or “operating as” to include their operating name. Government Incorporation fees in Ontario are between $350 and $400.

5. Call an Insurance broker who specializes in trucking!

Trucking insurance is a unique and technical product. Not every insurance broker has experience or understanding of the industry.
Make sure you fully understand the quote which you are being offered. Ask about cargo liability, commercial general liability and make sure the limits are adequate for your operation. If you don’t have the proper coverage, shippers won’t give you loads.
Be honest. You are only hurting yourself if you misrepresent yourself to your broker. Remember, insurance brokers work for you, not the insurance companies!

The above list is a simple overview. There are many other aspects of the business to consider when starting your own trucking company. There are passionate and committed owner-operators who are starting trucking companies every day in this province.

You can be your own boss, but consider the requirements when you are considering the profits.