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Trucking Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Trucking Company Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your trucking business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their trucking companies.

Trucking Business Plan Example

Below is a sample trucking business plan template to help you write a trucking business plan for your own company.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

On The Road Trucking (OTRT) is a new trucking company located in Dallas, Texas. The company was founded by Michael Williams, a trucking and logistics professional who has over 20 years of management experience in trucking and logistics. Michael is confident in his ability to effectively negotiate contracts, oversee drivers and employees, and minimize costs as he ventures out to start his own trucking company. Michael plans on recruiting a team of highly qualified drivers, sales representatives, client relationship managers, and dispatchers to carry out the day-to-day operations of the company.  

On The Road Trucking will provide a comprehensive array of trucking and logistics services for any business or individual in need of freight distribution. OTRT will use the latest technology to ensure that every shipment is distributed efficiently and handled with the best of care. On The Road Trucking will be the ultimate choice in the Dallas, Texas area for customized trucking services.

Product Offering

The following are the services that On The Road Trucking will provide:

  • Dedicated fleet services
  • Flatbed transportation services
  • Local distribution services
  • Logistics services
  • Warehousing services

Customer Focus

On The Road Trucking will target all businesses and individuals in need of freight services. OTRT will begin by targeting small business owners in need of distribution services and individuals in need of shipping services who may not be able to get service from a larger trucking company because their shipment size is too small. No matter the client, On The Road Trucking will deliver a customer-centric experience where they will customize each shipment to match the customer’s specific requirements. 

Management Team

On The Road Trucking will be owned and operated by Michael Williams. He has recruited another experienced trucking professional and former CPA, Steve Brown to be the CFO of the new company and manage the financial oversight of the accounting department. 

Michael Williams is a graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He has been working at a local trucking company for over two decades as a Transportation Manager, and is well-versed in all aspects of the trucking industry. Micheal’s organizational skills and customer-first approach have garnered his reputation for being a cost-effective logistics manager with high standards for customer service. 

Steve Brown has been the accounting manager for a local trucking company for over ten years. Prior to his experience in trucking, Steve worked as a CPA in a local tax firm. Michael relies strongly on Steve’s attention to detail, diligence, and focus on cost-saving solutions.

Success Factors

On The Road Trucking will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Proactive, helpful, and highly qualified team of sales representatives and dispatchers that are able to effectively navigate the journey of both customers and drivers. 
  • Customized service that allows for a small business or an individual to have their requirements accommodated. On The Road Trucking takes care of everything from truck inspections and maintenance to scheduling drivers, loading/unloading, and short-and-long range distribution. 
  • On The Road Trucking offers the best pricing for customized and small shipments compared to the competition.

Financial Highlights

On The Road Trucking is seeking $300,000 in debt financing to launch its trucking business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the warehouse and purchasing the trucks. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Warehouse build-out: $50,000
  • Trucks, equipment, and supplies:  $20,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities):  $180,000
  • Marketing costs: $30,000
  • Working capital:  $20,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for On The Road Trucking.

successful trucking company financial highlights

Company Overview

Who is on the road trucking .

On The Road Trucking is a newly established trucking company in Dallas, Texas. On The Road Trucking will be the most reliable, secure, and efficient choice for small business owners and individuals in Dallas and the surrounding communities. OTRT will provide a personalized approach to trucking services for anyone in need of freight transportation. Their full-service approach includes comprehensive truck driver oversight, short-distance distribution, small shipments, and customized service.   

  On The Road Trucking’s team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in trucking and logistics operations. OTRT removes all headaches that come with dealing with trucking companies and ensures all issues are taken care off expeditiously while delivering the best customer service.

On The Road Trucking History

OTRT is owned and operated by Michael Williams, a long-time trucking and logistics professional who has a Business Management degree. He worked at a local trucking company for over two decades where he served as Lead Transportation Manager for the last five years, and is well-versed in all aspects of the trucking and transportation industry. Micheal used his industry expertise to reach out to potential customers who may need small-size distribution services that are not offered by larger trucking businesses and letting them know about the services OTRT will offer. 

Since incorporation, On The Road Trucking has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered On The Road Trucking, LLC to transact business in the state of Texas. 
  • Identified the target location for the warehouse. 
  • Contacted numerous small businesses to let them know about the services that will be offered. 
  • Began recruiting drivers, sales representatives, and dispatchers. 

On The Road Trucking Services

The following will be the services On The Road Trucking will provide:

Industry Analysis

As the primary source of land freight distribution in the United States, the trucking industry is a $730B industry. 

There are approximately 900,000 available truck drivers across the country. The demand for drivers is much higher than the supply, which means there is a lot of opportunity for new companies to recruit people to become truck drivers by offering them better incentives than currently being offered by larger trucking companies. Additionally, a new trend in trucking is the increasing popularity of shorter or local hauls compared to long-distance. This poses an opportunity for companies to cater to the customers demanding short-distance hauls. 

Some challenges for trucking industry operators include rising fuel costs and an increased use of online booking and monitoring technology, which can leave traditional companies behind if they are using outdated systems. New entrants can benefit from using the latest technology from the outset, providing drivers with incentives to work with them, and implementing cost-effective solutions to reduce their fuel costs. 

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

On The Road Trucking will target anyone in need of trucking services in Dallas, Texas and surrounding areas. Primarily, the company will target small businesses and individuals that may need local distribution or have small size hauls.  Below is a snapshot of this market.

Number of businesses
Total for all sectors205,592
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting27
Utilities73
Construction15,098
Manufacturing5,040
Wholesale trade15,005
Retail trade30,582
Transportation and warehousing5,462
Information5,041
Finance and insurance6,659
Real estate and rental and leasing19,308
Professional, scientific, and technical services27,555
Management of companies and enterprises1,044
Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services8,083
Educational services3,698
Health care and social assistance20,461
Arts, entertainment, and recreation6,196
Accommodation and food services22,132
Other services (except public administration)15,593
Industries not classified233

Customer Segmentation

OTRT will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Small business owners
  • Small manufacturing companies
  • Individuals in need of freight transportation services

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

On The Road Trucking will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A company description of each competitor is below.  

Texas Truck Services

Texas Truck Services provides trucking services, logistics services, freight distribution, and warehousing services. Located in Dallas, Texas Truck Services offers local service to the Dallas area. Texas Truck Services’s team of experienced professionals assures the hauls are run smoothly, freeing the customer from worry over whether their shipments will arrive on time and in good condition.   

US Trucking & Logistics

US Trucking & Logistics is a Dallas-based trucking and logistics company that provides freight distribution services for small businesses across Texas. The management team is composed of former truck drivers and business management professionals who are familiar with the trucking industry in Texas. US Trucking & Logistics uses electric vehicles to reduce its fuel costs, which allows the company to pass these savings on to its customers.   

Best Trucking

Best Trucking is a trusted Dallas-based trucking company that provides superior trucking and logistics service to customers in Dallas and the surrounding areas. Best Trucking provides shipping, receiving, packaging, and disposal services. The Best Trucking team of logistics experts ensures that each shipment is delivered with the highest security standards and that the entire freight process is smooth and seamless for its customers.   

Competitive Advantage

On The Road Trucking will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly qualified team of trucking and logistics experts with extensive experience in the field. 
  • Use of the latest trucking and logistics technology to ensure each haul is handled with the best of care and delivered efficiently. 
  • On The Road Trucking offers local distribution and takes small hauls that may be denied by larger trucking companies. 

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

On The Road Trucking will offer the following unique value propositions to its clientele:

  • Highly-qualified team of skilled employees that is able to provide a comprehensive set of trucking services (shipping, receiving, monitoring, short-distance, small hauls).
  • Customized approach to freight distribution, leveraging technology and flexibility to provide the highest quality of service to its customers. 

Promotions Strategy 

The promotions strategy for On The Road Trucking is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals Michael Williams has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to his clients. Once Michael advised them he was leaving to open his own trucking business, they committed to follow him to his new company and help spread the word of On The Road Trucking.

Professional Associations and Networking On The Road Trucking will become a member of Texas Trucking Association (TTA), and American Trucking Association (ATA). They will focus their networking efforts on expanding their client network.

Print Advertising On The Road Trucking will invest in professionally designed print ads to include in industry publications.

Website/SEO Marketing On The Road Trucking will utilize their in-house marketing director that designed their print ads to also design their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all their services. The website will also list their contact information and provide information for people looking to become drivers. The marketing director will also manage the company’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “Dallas trucking company” or “trucking near me”, On The Road Trucking will be listed at the top of the search results.  

The pricing of On The Road Trucking will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their services. 

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for On The Road Trucking.

Operation Functions:

  • Michael Williams will be the Co-Owner and President of the company. He will oversee all staff and manage client relations. Michael has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Steve Brown – Co-Owner and CFO who will be responsible for overseeing the accounts payable, accounts receivable, and managing the accounting department. 
  • Beth Davis – Staff Accountant will provide all client accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting. She will report directly to Steve Brown. 
  • Tim Garcia – Marketing Manager who will provide all marketing, advertising, and PR for OTRT.
  • John Anderson – Safety Manager who will provide oversight on all maintenance and safety inspections of the vehicles and drivers. 

Milestones:

On The Road Trucking will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

7/1/2022 – Finalize lease on warehouse

7/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the management team

8/1/2022 – Finalize contracts for sales representatives, dispatchers, and initial drivers

9/15/2022 – Begin networking at industry events 

10/22/2022 – Begin moving into On The Road Trucking warehouse and securing trucks

11/1/2022 – On The Road Trucking opens for business

Michael Williams is a graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He has been working at a local trucking company for over two decades, most recently as a Transportation Manager, and is well-versed in all aspects of the trucking industry. Micheal’s organizational skills and customer-first approach have garnered his reputation for being a cost-effective logistics manager with high standards for customer service. 

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for On The Road Trucking are the trucking fees they will charge to the customers for their services. Most trucking companies charge a per-mile rate. Average per-mile rates vary, but are typically between $2.30-3.30. 

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a trucking operation. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, fuel and maintenance for the trucks, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Trucks in Fleet: 10
  • Average Fees per Truck per Month: $20,000
  • Warehouse Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement.

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
Revenues
Total Revenues$360,000$793,728$875,006$964,606$1,063,382
Expenses & Costs
Cost of goods sold$64,800$142,871$157,501$173,629$191,409
Lease$50,000$51,250$52,531$53,845$55,191
Marketing$10,000$8,000$8,000$8,000$8,000
Salaries$157,015$214,030$235,968$247,766$260,155
Initial expenditure$10,000$0$0$0$0
Total Expenses & Costs$291,815$416,151$454,000$483,240$514,754
EBITDA$68,185 $377,577 $421,005 $481,366 $548,628
Depreciation$27,160$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
EBIT$41,025 $350,417 $393,845$454,206$521,468
Interest$23,462$20,529 $17,596 $14,664 $11,731
PRETAX INCOME$17,563 $329,888 $376,249 $439,543 $509,737
Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Use of Net Operating Loss$0$0$0$0$0
Taxable Income$17,563$329,888$376,249$439,543$509,737
Income Tax Expense$6,147$115,461$131,687$153,840$178,408
NET INCOME$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703 $331,329

Balance Sheet

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
ASSETS
Cash$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550$1,149,286
Accounts receivable$0$0$0$0$0
Inventory$30,000$33,072$36,459$40,192$44,308
Total Current Assets$184,257$381,832$609,654$878,742$1,193,594
Fixed assets$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950$180,950
Depreciation$27,160$54,320$81,480$108,640 $135,800
Net fixed assets$153,790 $126,630 $99,470 $72,310 $45,150
TOTAL ASSETS$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744
LIABILITIES & EQUITY
Debt$315,831$270,713$225,594$180,475 $135,356
Accounts payable$10,800$11,906$13,125$14,469 $15,951
Total Liability$326,631 $282,618 $238,719 $194,944 $151,307
Share Capital$0$0$0$0$0
Retained earnings$11,416 $225,843 $470,405 $756,108$1,087,437
Total Equity$11,416$225,843$470,405$756,108$1,087,437
TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY$338,047$508,462$709,124$951,052$1,238,744

Cash Flow Statement

FY 1FY 2FY 3FY 4FY 5
CASH FLOW FROM OPERATIONS
Net Income (Loss)$11,416 $214,427 $244,562 $285,703$331,329
Change in working capital($19,200)($1,966)($2,167)($2,389)($2,634)
Depreciation$27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160 $27,160
Net Cash Flow from Operations$19,376 $239,621 $269,554 $310,473 $355,855
CASH FLOW FROM INVESTMENTS
Investment($180,950)$0$0$0$0
Net Cash Flow from Investments($180,950)$0$0$0$0
CASH FLOW FROM FINANCING
Cash from equity$0$0$0$0$0
Cash from debt$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow from Financing$315,831 ($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)($45,119)
Net Cash Flow$154,257$194,502 $224,436 $265,355$310,736
Cash at Beginning of Period$0$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550
Cash at End of Period$154,257$348,760$573,195$838,550$1,149,286

Trucking Business Plan FAQs

What is a trucking business plan.

A trucking business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your trucking business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your trucking business plan using our Trucking Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Trucking Companies?

There are a number of different kinds of trucking companies, some examples include: For- Hire Truckload Carriers, Less Than Truckload Carriers, Hotshot Truckers, Household Movers and Inter-Modal trucking.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Trucking Business Plan?

Trucking companies are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding. This is true for a business plan for a trucking company and a transportation business plan.

What are the Steps To Start a Trucking Business?

Starting a trucking business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster. 

1. Develop A Trucking Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed trucking business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. Starting a trucking company business plan should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your trucking business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your trucking business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Trucking Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your trucking business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your trucking business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Trucking Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your trucking business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your trucking business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful trucking business:

  • How to Start a Trucking Business

Where Can I Get a Trucking Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free trucking business plan template PDF here . This is a sample trucking business plan template you can use in PDF format.

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How to Start a Hauling Business

Blog Home ❯ Loader Resources ❯ How to Start a Hauling Business

Starting a hauling business

If you already own a truck, starting a hauling business is possible to do with almost no money upfront. If you’re willing to put yourself and your vehicle through some heavy lifting, making a profit by starting a hauling business is also easier than you’d think!

Local hauling businesses are in high demand and with the right tools, your hauling business can get instant access to paid jobs instead of having to hunt them down.

If you’re ready to choose your own hours and paycheck, keep reading our guide on how to start your hauling business and for effective ways you can drive demand in your area.

Your Complete Starting a Hauling Business Plan:

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Invest in the Right Truck or Van

Get the right equipment, evaluate your growth strategy, register your hauling business, consider being an independent contractor, research state licensing requirements, purchase liability and commercial insurance, market your hauling services.

  • Start Your Hauling Business as a PRO Loader
  • Frequently Asked Questions

The most important piece to your hauling business is the truck. You can start pocketing money faster by leasing a used truck instead of purchasing a brand new one.

If you already own one, is it capable of carrying 2,000 pounds? While you can use half-ton vehicles to transport large items like furniture, you cannot safely haul more than a few items.

One-ton vehicles like box trucks can easily make you more money since they’re capable of hauling much more, and therefore will be a greater return on investment .

Also, take into consideration the cost of insurance, reliability, power, and fuel efficiency. Hauling businesses require a lot of time on the road so a well-rounded and fuel-efficient vehicle will help lower your costs.

While one-ton pickup trucks are beefed up and can pull a massive amount of weight, they have terrible fuel economy and are expensive so they’re not the best choice for a long-lasting hauling business.

Cargo vans are a good choice as they can haul up to 3,500 pounds and have around 404 cubic feet. Minidump trucks are the easiest to unload once you are finished for the day. These are best for large cleanout projects including residential and commercial jobs.

However, if you want to regularly take on large local hauling, delivery, or moving jobs , your best investment is a box truck. See below for box truck sizes and their hauling capacity :

  • 12-foot truck : Haul up to 3,100 pounds and 450 cubic feet.
  • 16-foot truck : Haul up to 4,300 pounds and 800 cubic feet.
  • 22-foot truck : Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,200 cubic feet.
  • 26-foot truck : Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,700 cubic feet.

Does your truck fit our vehicle requirements? FIND OUT ❯

While your truck is your main piece of equipment, in order to get jobs done efficiently and without hurting yourself, you should also purchase things like dollies and bungee cords.

This equipment will help you prevent damage to the items you are hauling and therefore many future headaches and legal disputes.

If you’re hauling things like refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances, you will want to purchase an appliance dolly. You’ll also need basic tools for disassembly jobs if you’re helping remove bulky furniture items that may not fit through doors.

Other types of hauling equipment you may want to get are the following:

  • Bungee cords
  • Ratchet straps
  • Moving blankets

Thinking about growing in your city and getting not just one truck but two? It’s good to consider this early in the game since, for every new truck you invest in, you open up an additional revenue stream for your hauling business.

🏦 You can apply for small business loans or grants to help you purchase trucks, tools, hauling equipment, and cover other costs of starting the business such as getting the business license.

Keep in mind however that the more your truck(s) costs, the more hours you’re going to need to put in just to stay on top of payments before making any profit. Make sure you’re servicing an area where there’s enough demand to supply your investments.

Junk Removal Dump Trailer

If you don’t want to purchase a new truck right now but need more cubic feet, you can also make a smaller investment and attach a trailer to your current vehicle.

Check out the following trailers that you can use to expand your cubic feet :

  • Dump Trailer
  • Utility Trailer
  • Enclosed Trailer

If you are starting a company where you have your own branding, website, social media, marketing team, etc. then you will want to register your hauling business at this point.

A business license, put simply, is essentially a tax receipt given by your city. If you’re going in with partners, look into registering as an LLC. Laws vary by state, so check out local resources such as the chamber of commerce, city clerk, zoning and planning department, or other local offices to assist with registering your hauling business.

💼 The nationwide average to purchase a junk removal business license is between $50 – $400 .

As an independent contractor you are considered self-employed and will then be paying self-employment taxes. You can still be hired by another company or person to do a job, but how you go about completing it is determined by you .

Starting a business as an independent hauler gives you earlier and easier access to jobs in your area because you can offer your services through gigs listed on websites like Craigslist or make more money by signing up to be a Loader for free access to junk hauling jobs in your area with logistics companies like LoadUp.

In some cities, independent contractors can operate their business by paying a low fee to the city they’re servicing. However, other cities may not require a business license and instead ask you to obtain a permit to conduct business.

Unlike W2 employees, you don’t have an employer withholding taxes from your paycheck and you will instead need to pay the IRS money at the end of the year.

cobb county waste management transfer station

If you plan on operating locally within the same state, look into your local requirements for operating an intrastate commercial vehicle and for your type of hauling service.

Depending on what you plan on hauling, the size of your vehicle, and your state regulations, you may need to obtain a commercial drivers’ license.

Also familiarize yourself with your state requirements for the items you plan on handling. If you plan on working in the junk removal industry and maybe hauling hazardous waste, you need to be aware of proper disposal processes in your county.

🤔 Wondering how to start a junk removal business specifically? Check out our detailed guide !

Next, you’re going to need to get commercial insurance to protect your vehicle, along with liability insurance to protect your business. Investing in insurance policies for your hauling business gives you peace of mind and opens more doors as it builds trust with customers.

Independent contractors working with apps like the LoadUp Driver app are often given the option to be assisted with liability insurance for jobs referred through that platform.

🏷️ The average cost for $1 million general liability coverage is between $450 – $1000 per year.

If you’re planning to work completely independently then you should get in touch with a commercial insurance broker to choose the best insurance option for starting your own independent hauling business.

Now that you’re all set to provide hauling services, you need to build your customer base!

With long-established, competing hauling services like 1-800-GOT-JUNK, College Hunks, and, yes, even LoadUp, you’ll want to make really smart business decisions at the beginning .

You can start the affordable route and just spread the word with friends, family, and referrals but eventually you’ll want to invest some money in marketing and advertising.

However, the most cost-effective to get your hauling company’s profits growing from the get-go is by joining a gig-referral app like the LoadUp Driver app as an independent hauler .

While most hauling gigs are lead-based, meaning you still need to seal the deal before making money from your time and effort, the Loader app only provides paid-for jobs .

Don’t Waste Time On Hauling Leads

The way it works is when a customer books with us, we give you 60% of the profits for every job your hauling business completes. When jobs are booked online or over the phone, they go into the app with the payout listed, and you can accept as many jobs as you want and even assign them to team members.

As a Loader, you are still your own independent business but are simply completing jobs in your area that were booked through our system and are up for grabs on our Driver app. We’ll never tell you how to do your job, where or when you work, or how many jobs to take.

🤑 Wondering how much money you can make as a Loader? Find your potential earnings here!

Being a Loader is a no-contract, no-money-down opportunity for you to accept more, higher-paying jobs and make a better living with your own hauling business.

If you have just one truck, starting out as a Loader can get you your sailor’s legs.

And, if you’re more interested in being a multi-truck hauling business and have your sights set on being a nationwide hauling service, our Loader App can get you there.

Start Your Hauling Business Using Our Marketing

Junk removal and disposal trucks

The Loader Program offers serious haulers help with marketing and job generation without taking a single ounce of ownership of your business.

We simply take care of the marketing for our Loaders so you can focus on completing jobs professionally and steadily grow your hauling business instead of wasting time with dead-end leads, marketing mishaps, upset customers, or late invoices.

Benefits of the Loader Program:

  • VIP dispatch support
  • High payouts per job
  • Increased business opportunities
  • Boosted advertising in your zip codes

As a Loader you will get access to our jobs, and a guaranteed increase in the earning and growth potential of your hauling business .

We’re confident that once you see the increasing advantages of providing hauling services in your area through our app, you’ll find the drive to expand your own hauling business into a nationwide fleet.

Ready to start your own hauling business? SIGN UP ❯

Frequently asked questions

If you are starting from scratch and need to buy a brand new or used truck to start your hauling business, the start-up costs can be between 25k to 90k . Check out the different costs and the investment risks when it comes to starting a hauling business in junk removal here .

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About Alexa

Alexa Amador is a writer, graphic designer, and murder-mystery junkie. She graduated from KSU in metro Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in English and has been working as a Digital Marketing Specialist for LoadUp Technologies since 2019. When she isn't writing helpful articles about ways to declutter our lives and homes, she's likely enjoying a glass of wine, reading, gaming or going for walks with her huskimo.

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Financial Model, Business Plan and Dashboard Templates - FinModelsLab

How To Write a Business Plan for Hauling Business in 9 Steps: Checklist

By alex ryzhkov, resources on hauling.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Model
  • Marketing Plan
  • Bundle Business Plan & Fin Model

Welcome to our blog post on how to write a business plan for a hauling business! With the transport and logistics industry rapidly growing, it's essential to have a solid business plan in place to stand out from the competition and capture your target market. According to the latest statistics, the global transportation services market is projected to reach $7.6 trillion by 2025, showcasing the immense potential for success in this industry.

Now, let's dive into the nine steps you need to follow to create your business plan for a hauling business.

  • Identify your target market
  • Conduct market research
  • Define your business model
  • Determine your pricing and pricing strategy
  • Assess your financial resources and needs
  • Create a comprehensive marketing plan
  • Evaluate potential competition
  • Develop a solid business structure and legal framework
  • Outline your operational logistics

By following these steps, you can ensure that your hauling business is well-prepared for success in this industry. Let's get started!

Identify Your Target Market

Identifying your target market is an essential step in developing a successful business plan for your hauling business. By understanding who your ideal customers are, you can tailor your services, marketing efforts, and pricing strategies to meet their specific needs, ultimately increasing your chances of success in the competitive hauling industry.

When identifying your target market, consider factors such as demographics, location, and industry-specific requirements. Here are some key steps to help you pinpoint your target market:

  • Research: Conduct thorough market research to gather information about potential customers in your area or the regions you plan to serve. Look for patterns and trends that can help you identify specific groups of people or industries that require hauling services.
  • Segmentation: Segment your target market based on key characteristics such as age, income, occupation, and industry. This will help you create more focused marketing campaigns and tailor your services to meet the specific needs and preferences of each segment.
  • Consider Local Factors: Take into account the specific needs and preferences of your local community. For example, if you're operating in a small town, your target market may consist of local residents who require assistance with furniture transport or debris removal from their homes or businesses.
  • Identify Niche Markets: Explore potential niche markets within the hauling industry that are underserved or have specific demands. This could include specialized services like vehicle towing for classic car collectors or hauling services for construction companies.
  • Collect customer feedback to gain insights into their specific needs and preferences.
  • Engage with local businesses and industry associations to understand their hauling requirements.
  • Monitor competitors' target markets to identify gaps and opportunities for your business.

By identifying your target market, you can focus your efforts and resources on attracting and serving the customers who are most likely to choose your hauling business. This knowledge will guide your decision-making process throughout the rest of your business plan.

Hauling Business Financial Model Get Template

Conduct Market Research

Market research is crucial for any business, especially when starting a hauling business. It helps you understand your target market, identify potential customers, and assess the demand for your services. Here are some important steps to conduct effective market research:

  • Identify your target market: Determine the specific demographic and geographic characteristics of your ideal customers. This will help you tailor your services to meet their needs and preferences.
  • Research industry trends: Stay updated on the latest developments and trends in the hauling industry. This includes understanding the demand for specific types of hauling services, emerging technologies, and regulatory changes that may impact your business.
  • Analyze competitors: Study your competitors to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you differentiate your business and develop strategies to attract and retain customers.
  • Assess customer needs: Conduct surveys or interviews with potential customers to understand their requirements and preferences when it comes to hauling services. This will enable you to offer customized solutions that set you apart from your competitors.
  • Consider partnering opportunities: Explore potential partnerships with complementary businesses or industries. For instance, collaborating with furniture stores or repair shops can help you tap into a ready customer base and increase your business revenue.
  • Use online resources such as industry reports, trade associations, and government websites to gather relevant market data.
  • Attend industry events and conferences to network with professionals and gain insights into industry trends.
  • Consider conducting focus groups or online surveys to gather feedback and insights directly from potential customers.
  • Regularly review and update your market research to stay in tune with evolving customer needs and industry dynamics.

By conducting thorough market research, you will gain valuable insights that will help you make informed decisions about your hauling business. This understanding of the market will not only help you develop a successful business plan but also guide your marketing strategies and operational decisions. Remember, staying ahead of the competition and meeting customer expectations starts with a solid foundation of market research.

Define Your Business Model

In order to establish a successful hauling business, it is crucial to define your business model. This will serve as the foundation for your operations, helping you determine how you will generate revenue and deliver value to your clients.

First and foremost, you need to decide on the type of hauling services you will offer. Will you focus solely on transportation services, such as towing and hauling, or will you also provide junk removal services? Alternatively, you could offer a combination of both, catering to a broader range of client needs.

Once you have identified the services you will offer, you need to determine your target market. Will you specialize in residential clients, commercial clients, or both? Understanding your target market will enable you to tailor your services and marketing efforts accordingly.

  • Consider conducting market research to gain insights into the specific needs and preferences of your target market.
  • Identify any gaps in the market that you can fill with your business model.
  • Take note of any emerging trends or opportunities that you can leverage to differentiate your hauling business.

Next, you should determine your pricing and pricing strategy. Will you charge clients based on the weight or size of the items being transported, or will you have a flat fee structure? Additionally, you may consider offering different pricing tiers or packages to cater to different client budgets and needs.

  • Research your competitors' pricing to ensure your rates are competitive yet profitable.
  • Consider offering incentives or discounts for recurring clients or larger projects.
  • Factor in any additional costs, such as fuel or labor, when setting your prices.

Moreover, you need to assess your financial resources and needs. Determine the startup costs involved in establishing your hauling business, including the purchase or lease of vehicles and equipment. Additionally, consider ongoing expenses such as maintenance, insurance, and marketing.

  • Explore different financing options, such as loans or investors, to secure the necessary funds for your business.
  • Create a detailed financial plan to track your expenses and revenue projections.
  • Ensure you have a contingency plan in place in case of unexpected expenses or fluctuating demand.

Lastly, consider the overall structure and legal framework of your business. Determine whether you will operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). Additionally, familiarize yourself with necessary permits, licenses, and regulations related to the hauling industry.

  • Consult with a legal professional or business advisor to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations.
  • Consider obtaining insurance coverage to protect your business from potential liabilities or damages.
  • Establish clear policies and procedures to streamline your operations and ensure efficient service delivery.

By defining your business model, you will have a clear roadmap for success in the hauling industry. Take the time to carefully consider each aspect of your business and make informed decisions that align with your goals and target market. This will set the stage for a thriving hauling business that delivers exceptional value to its clients.

Determine Your Pricing And Pricing Strategy

Setting the right prices for your hauling business is crucial for long-term success. It is important to consider various factors when determining your pricing and pricing strategy.

1. Calculate your costs: Start by tracking all the expenses associated with running your hauling business. This includes fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, insurance, permits, and any other operating expenses. Calculate the total costs to ensure that your prices cover these expenses and still leave room for profit.

2. Consider market rates: Research the current market rates for hauling services in your area. This will give you an idea of the average prices that your competitors are charging. While you don't have to match their rates exactly, it's important to stay competitive within the industry.

3. Define your value proposition: Determine the unique value that your hauling business brings to your customers. Highlight any special features, exceptional customer service, or additional benefits that set you apart from your competitors. Use this value proposition to justify higher prices if you are offering a premium service.

4. Assess customer willingness to pay: Understand your target market and their expectations. Consider conducting surveys or talking to potential customers to gauge what they are willing to pay for the services you offer. This will help you set prices that align with their perceived value.

Tips for determining your pricing and pricing strategy:

  • Consider offering tiered pricing options, such as different levels of service at varying price points. This allows customers to choose the option that best fits their needs and budget.
  • Factor in seasonal demands and adjust your pricing accordingly. For example, you may want to offer discounts during slower periods to attract more customers.
  • Regularly review and adjust your prices to stay competitive and account for any changes in your operating costs.
  • Consider offering package deals or loyalty programs to incentivize repeat business and build long-term customer relationships.

Remember, pricing is not set in stone and can always be adjusted based on market conditions and customer feedback. Continuously monitor your pricing strategy and make necessary adjustments to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction.

Assess Your Financial Resources And Needs

When starting a hauling business, it is crucial to assess your financial resources and needs in order to determine the feasibility and sustainability of your venture. This step will help you understand the financial aspects of your business and plan accordingly.

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Determine your startup costs: Start by identifying the expenses involved in launching your hauling business. This may include equipment purchases or leases, vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, insurance, licensing fees, marketing expenses, and any other upfront costs.
  • Estimate your operating expenses: Calculate the ongoing costs of running your business, such as employee wages, vehicle maintenance and repairs, fuel expenses, insurance premiums, office space rental, marketing and advertising costs, and any other recurring expenses.
  • Evaluate your revenue potential: Conduct a thorough market analysis to determine the demand for hauling services in your target market. This will help you estimate your potential revenue and forecast your earnings based on the prices you plan to charge and the volume of business you expect to generate.

Tips for Assessing Your Financial Resources And Needs:

  • Consider seeking professional advice from an accountant or financial advisor who specializes in small businesses. They can help you create a realistic financial plan and provide valuable insights into managing your finances effectively.
  • Research financing options and explore potential sources of funding, such as business loans, grants, or investors. Having a strong understanding of your financial needs will make it easier to secure the necessary funding for your hauling business.
  • Remember to regularly review and update your financial projections as your business grows and circumstances change. This will help you make informed decisions and stay on top of your financial health.

Assessing your financial resources and needs is a critical step in developing a comprehensive business plan for your hauling business. By understanding the financial aspects of your venture, you can make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and position your business for long-term success.

Create A Comprehensive Marketing Plan

In order to successfully promote and grow your hauling business, it is essential to create a comprehensive marketing plan. This plan will outline the strategies and tactics you will use to reach your target market and ensure that your business is visible and appealing to potential customers.

First and foremost, it is important to clearly identify your target market . Understand who your ideal customers are – whether they are homeowners, businesses, or both – and determine how to effectively reach and engage them.

Next, you need to conduct market research to gain a deeper understanding of your target market's needs and preferences. This will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts to address their specific pain points and offer solutions to their problems.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target market, you can define your business model and establish your unique selling proposition. Highlight what sets your hauling business apart from competitors and how your services can better meet the needs of potential customers.

When determining your pricing and pricing strategy, consider the value you provide to your customers and how that compares to your competitors. This will help you determine your pricing in a way that is both competitive and profitable for your business.

An essential part of your marketing plan is to assess your financial resources and needs. Consider how much you are willing to invest in marketing efforts and allocate your budget accordingly. This will allow you to prioritize and implement strategies that will provide the highest return on investment.

Create a comprehensive marketing plan by outlining the specific tactics and channels you will use to reach your target market. This may include online advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, and traditional advertising methods.

Additionally, it is important to evaluate potential competition and analyze their marketing strategies. Understand what they are doing well and identify any gaps or opportunities that you can capitalize on. This will help you differentiate your business and develop effective marketing messages.

Develop a solid business structure and legal framework to ensure that your marketing efforts are compliant with regulations and guidelines. This includes obtaining any necessary licenses or permits and adhering to advertising and privacy laws.

Finally, outline the operational logistics of your marketing plan. Determine how you will track and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and continually optimize your strategies based on data and analytics.

  • Utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to showcase your hauling services and engage with potential customers.
  • Create compelling content, such as blog posts and videos, that educates and informs your target market about the benefits of your services.
  • Consider partnering with local businesses or organizations to cross-promote your hauling services and expand your reach.
  • Offer special promotions or discounts to attract new customers and encourage repeat business.
  • Regularly monitor and analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Evaluate Potential Competition

When starting a hauling business, it is crucial to evaluate potential competition in your target market. Understanding your competitors will help you identify gaps in the market, differentiate your business, and develop strategies to stay ahead. Follow these steps to effectively evaluate potential competition:

  • Research Existing Hauling Businesses: Begin by researching existing hauling businesses in your area or the areas you plan to operate in. Take note of their services, pricing, target market, and any unique selling points.
  • Analyze Competitor Strengths and Weaknesses: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Identify what they do well and areas where they may be lacking. This analysis will help you identify opportunities to differentiate your business and offer unique value to customers.
  • Study Customer Reviews and Feedback: Read customer reviews and feedback for your competitors. This will give you insights into their customers' experiences and satisfaction levels. Look for common complaints or areas where customers feel the current market is lacking.
  • Identify Competitive Advantages: Determine how your hauling business can stand out from the competition. Highlight your unique selling propositions, such as specialized equipment, exceptional customer service, or faster response times.
  • Research Pricing Strategies: Analyze the pricing strategies of your competitors. Compare their rates and identify any potential pricing gaps or opportunities for competitive pricing.
  • Identify Market Gaps: Look for gaps in the market that your competitors are not addressing. This could be a niche market or underserved customer segment where your hauling business can excel.
  • Attend industry trade shows and conferences to network with competitors and gather additional insights.
  • Utilize online tools and resources to gather information about your competitors' online presence and customer reviews.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and innovations to identify potential future competitors.
  • Regularly monitor and evaluate the competition to adjust your strategy and stay ahead in the market.

By thoroughly evaluating potential competition, you can position your hauling business for success. With a clear understanding of what sets you apart from your competitors, you can better attract and retain customers, build a strong brand reputation, and achieve sustainable growth in the hauling industry.

Develop A Solid Business Structure And Legal Framework

In order to establish a successful hauling business, it is crucial to develop a solid business structure and legal framework. This will provide a strong foundation for your operations and ensure that you are compliant with the necessary laws and regulations.

One of the first steps in this process is to determine the legal structure of your hauling business. Common options include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully consider which one is the best fit for your specific circumstances.

  • Consult with a lawyer or a business advisor to fully understand the legal requirements and implications of each structure.
  • Consider the level of personal liability protection and the tax implications associated with each structure.
  • Choose a structure that aligns with your long-term goals and plans for growth.

Once you have selected a legal structure, you will need to register your business with the appropriate government authorities. This typically involves obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, registering your business name, and applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to hire employees.

In addition to the legal aspects, it is important to establish a solid business structure that defines the organizational hierarchy and outlines the roles and responsibilities of key personnel. This includes identifying the management team, such as the owner or CEO, and any additional positions that may be necessary for the efficient operation of your hauling business.

Furthermore, you should also establish clear policies and procedures to ensure compliance with safety regulations, quality standards, and ethical practices. This can include creating guidelines for driver training, vehicle maintenance, and customer service protocols.

Lastly, it is important to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage to protect your hauling business from potential liabilities. This can include commercial auto insurance, general liability insurance, and worker's compensation insurance, depending on the specific risks associated with your operations.

By developing a solid business structure and legal framework, you can establish a strong foundation for your hauling business, ensuring compliance with the necessary regulations and setting the stage for long-term success.

Outline Your Operational Logistics

Once you have identified your target market, conducted market research, defined your business model, determined your pricing strategy, assessed your financial resources and needs, created a comprehensive marketing plan, evaluated potential competition, and developed a solid business structure and legal framework, it's time to outline your operational logistics.

This step involves mapping out the day-to-day operations of your hauling business. It includes determining the processes and procedures that will ensure efficient and smooth transportation services for your clients.

1. Fleet and equipment: Identify the type and number of vehicles and equipment required to meet your clients' needs. Consider factors such as size, capacity, and condition of the vehicles and equipment.

2. Dispatching system: Implement a reliable dispatching system to efficiently manage job assignments, track vehicle locations, and communicate with your drivers. This system will enable you to optimize routes and respond promptly to client requests.

3. Personnel: Determine the staff requirements for your hauling business. This may include hiring drivers, dispatchers, and administrative personnel. Ensure that you have a thorough hiring process in place to recruit skilled and trustworthy individuals.

4. Safety protocols: Prioritize safety by establishing comprehensive safety protocols for your hauling business. This includes regular vehicle maintenance, driver training and certification, as well as compliance with industry regulations and safety guidelines.

5. Storage and warehousing: If your hauling business offers storage and warehousing services, outline the procedures for managing inventory, tracking items, and ensuring security. This may involve investing in a secure storage facility and implementing an inventory management system.

  • Regularly review and update your operational logistics to adapt to changing industry trends and client demands.
  • Establish clear communication channels with your clients, ensuring they can easily reach you for inquiries or service requests.
  • Consider investing in technology solutions, such as GPS tracking systems, to enhance operational efficiency and provide real-time updates to clients.
  • Maintain a comprehensive record-keeping system to track job details, client information, and financial transactions.

By outlining your operational logistics, you'll have a clear roadmap for running your hauling business smoothly and efficiently. This step is crucial in ensuring that your transportation services are reliable, timely, and meet the needs of your clients.

In conclusion, writing a business plan is essential for the success of your hauling business. By following the nine steps outlined in this checklist, you can ensure that you have a clear understanding of your target market, competition, pricing strategies, and operational logistics. Conducting thorough market research and creating a comprehensive marketing plan will help you attract clients and establish a strong brand presence.

Additionally, assessing your financial resources and needs will enable you to adequately plan for expenses and investments. Developing a solid business structure and legal framework will provide you with the necessary protection and ensure compliance with regulations.

Overall, a well-crafted business plan for your hauling business will serve as a roadmap for achieving your goals and building a successful enterprise. With careful planning and execution, you can establish a reputable hauling business that meets the transportation and junk removal needs of clients in your chosen market.

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How to Start a Trucking Company

Brian O'Connor

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

When most people think about booming industries in the U.S., trucking might not be the first one that comes to mind. But one drive on an interstate should tell you all you need to know about the demand for trucking and haulage companies.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business of your own and love driving and logistics, a trucking company may just be the right fit. Just over 70% of all U.S. freight moves through trucks, which means that there’s always a demand for trucks —and, more importantly, trucking companies.

If you want to know how to start a trucking company, there are plenty of factors to consider, including hiring employees, choosing your business entity, and securing financing.

We’ll break down what you need to know about how to start a trucking company from start to finish and help you make the right decisions to get your trucking business in high gear.

hauling service business plan

How to start a trucking company in 5 steps

If you’re still with us so far, odds are you’re ready to take the plunge into starting your own trucking company. Now that you’re convinced, let’s get into how to start a trucking company by looking at the critical tasks you’ll need to accomplish before you get on the road and join a great big convoy.

Step 1: Write a business plan

It might not seem like you’d need to write a business plan for a trucking company, given that the underlying operating premises are somewhat straightforward. Writing a business plan, however, helps you focus on the core parts of your company. A good business plan lays out the reason for your company’s founding, the capital required to get started, financial projections that display costs versus anticipated profits, and other strategy details.

Writing a trucking company business plan keeps you focused on building your company according to a blueprint, which is especially helpful as you get into the dirty work of getting started and may not have time to refocus on your overarching strategy. Just as importantly, you’ll also need a business plan as part of just about any small business loan application. You’ll be glad you created a plan before you start applying for funding, as the process will be smoother. To help you get started, check out our free business plan template.

Step 2: Register your business

Once you’ve written a rock-solid business plan, the next step you’ll want to take to start a trucking company is to register your business with any local or state governments that require it.

Choose a business entity

You’ll want to take a look at the different kinds of business entities available to you before submitting your paperwork. Each business entity offers various personal liability protections, taxation methods, ownership structures, and other technical differences. If you’re starting a one-person, self-owned trucking company, look into limited liability companies (LLC) to protect your personal assets. If you’re establishing your company with a business partner, you will also want to consider the different kinds of LLCs designed for partnerships (limited liability partnership) and corporations. There are other business entities out there as well worth considering, but it’s best to start with these two categories and determine from there whether or not you need to go with something different.

The process of incorporating your business is relatively straightforward, even if it’s a little paperwork-heavy. Typically all it takes is some supporting documentation about the company’s principals and founders, tax identification information, a general business agreement, and a few other materials about your soon-to-be company (which largely differ depending on the state you’re registering in).

Choose a business name

Alongside registering your business, be sure to choose a unique business name. Your business name will the first impression for potential clients, so make sure it communicates your brand, specialty, and personality.

Also, be sure that your business name is not taken. Once you have a boil down your options to a few names, do a quick secretary of state and U.S. Patent and Trademark search to ensure the name you're considering are available for use.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Step 3: Obtain business licenses, permits, and insurance

Next, make sure your trucking company is operating legally. To do so, you'll want to look into business licenses, permits, and insurance.

Business licenses and permits

Trucking companies face unique challenges and liabilities, which makes it crucial that you line up all the required licenses and insurance policies as required by your state of operation.

Most, if not all, states will require you to get a business license if you intend to headquarter your business within its boundaries. You’ll need to get these policies and licenses set up before your first shipment hits the road.

Another license you must secure is an International Registration Plan. This is required if your truck is 26,000 pounds and crossing state lines. This allows you to operate your truck in all states and some Canadian provinces.

As regulations vary by state, consult with your state’s guidelines to find out exactly what you need to stay on the right side of local regulations.

Business insurance

Some types of business insurance you’ll likely need to obtain include public liability insurance, cargo insurance, bobtail, and physical damage insurance. If you’re unsure about whether you're fully compliant with your business requirements, it’s always a good idea to consult with a startup lawyer that's worked with other trucking companies. Their expertise ensures you're taking all the legally required steps before starting your trucking business.

Step 4: Choose the right truck

Your commercial truck will be one of your most significant investments when learning how to start a trucking company—it’s essential that you choose the right one for your business. When selecting your truck, you’ll want to consider some of the factors:

Comfort level

Your preferred cab style

Weather resistance

Whether they have multiple dealerships across the U.S.

Weight limit

New vs. used

Whether you’re operating locally or long distances

As with any vehicle you purchase, you should do a test drive. But if you want to narrow down your brands, you’ll find that Kenworth, Freightliner, and Peterbilt trucks can accommodate most of your trucking needs:

Buy vs. lease

This buy vs. lease debate depends on your buying power as a small business owner. And there are several advantages and disadvantages that accommodate each route. When you buy a truck outright, your payment is completed—no need to make monthly payments. You can also use the built-in equity to trade in your truck in the future. Of course, this also means a larger down payment—usually 10% to 25%—depending on whether you buy new or used.

When you lease, you don’t own your truck. You must make regular payments and cannot use the equity to buy a new truck. Also, you must abide by specific regulations, including maintaining its condition and mileage restrictions. But leasing offers some advantages—mainly, the lessor will often cover your maintenance expenses.

Whether you choose to buy outright or lease, you will still likely need to find some way to finance your purchase.

Step 5: Secure startup funding

As we mentioned above, buying a commercial truck is no small expense. Thus, you'll likely need to secure startup funding to get your trucking business off the ground. Besides the below funding options, also consider opening a business bank account and credit card.

How much does it cost to start a trucking company?

Trucking can be lucrative, no doubt. It’s also guaranteed to require a fair amount of business capital to start a trucking company—a commercial truck costs around $80,000, after all. Then, of course, there’s the capital that goes into keeping your fleet operating at peak performance. In addition to purchasing your truck, you’ll also want to factor into your business budget:

Registration and documentations

Business permits and licenses

Truck maintenance fees

Trucking accounting software

These expenses can tally up. According to the Small Business Administration, trucking and transport companies took out an average loan of $106,000. So, if you want to learn how to start a trucking company with no money, you won’t get very far. You will likely need to seek additional funding to make your business plan a reality.

The good news is that there are a ton of business loan options available to trucking businesses:

You’ll find that SBA loans are increasingly popular due to their low interest rates, high loan totals, and generous repayment terms. Moreover, the SBA guarantees up to 85% of the loan’s total if the borrower can’t make repayments.

These loans are great to kickstart your trucking company but are notoriously hard to get. You need a long and established credit history, a good credit score, and a high tolerance for paperwork. If you think you can make the cut, check this full list of SBA loan types.

Commercial truck financing

If you don’t qualify for an SBA loan, equipment financing loans are a great alternative and also offer borrower-friendly repayment terms. Under this umbrella, you’ll also find commercial truck financing for buying or leasing new or used trucks or repairing or upgrading a truck you already own.

The way this type of loan works is you will approach the lender with a quote for exactly how much your equipment (in this case, most likely a truck) will cost. If approved, the lender then provides you with the appropriate sum of money, which you’ll repay (plus interest) over a fixed amount of time.

Keep in mind that the truck serves as collateral, should you fail to repay your loans. Because of this “safety net,” lenders are more likely to approve you for commercial truck financing.

Small business term loans

Another option to help start your trucking company is a business term loan. A lender provides a certain sum of money to the borrower to be repaid during a set amount of time. The interest rate associated with the loan may stay fixed throughout its duration or may vary based on economic factors.

While short-term business loans are easier to get than SBA loans—chiefly because they have lower credit requirements and easier applications—they typically hold higher interest rates, lower loan tallies, and must be repaid much more quickly.

» MORE: Best trucking business loans

ZenBusiness

Start Your Dream Business

4 reasons to start a trucking company

Here are the top four reasons why learning how to start a trucking company could be your next business venture:

1. There’s a major shortage of drivers

The trucking industry is forecasted to need 100,000 drivers in the near future, and companies are desperate to find drivers to fill the void. When you want to figure out how to start a trucking company, this will likely provide you with a tactical advantage, considering that you’ll be helping to fill a need for more trucks and drivers.

2. There’s a need for innovation in the industry

Nearly any industry welcomes innovation—including the trucking industry. Increasing efficiency within your fleet and establishing less fuel-intensive routes and logistics helps you improve your value to your customers. This gives you a competitive advantage, positioning your business for long-term success.

3. It's recession-proof

Trucking is the backbone of the country’s economy. As a trucking business owner, you’ll play a pivotal role in getting goods to stores and warehouses. Also, the trucking industry is largely recession-resistant —there is always a need for trucking companies to obtain products and materials across the country.

4. It’s easy to start small (and scale)

You won’t have to invest as much into your trucking company before it turns a profit, and you can better expand your business as demand—and your profit margin—grows. Eventually, you can learn how to start a trucking company without driving by hiring additional employees and drivers.

The bottom line

Learning how to start a trucking company can sound complicated. In reality, it’s not dissimilar to the steps involved in starting a small business of any other stripe. Your equipment costs may be a bit higher, and the hunt for talent a bit more competitive, but the underlying principles involved in starting a trucking business are still the same. With the right business plan, licensure, and financing in place, you too can get the wheels rolling on your trucking business.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

On a similar note...

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How To Write a Winning Trucking Business Plan + Template

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for trucking businesses who want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.

A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.

This article provides an overview of the key elements that every trucking business owner should include in their business plan.

Download the Ultimate Trucking Business Plan Template

What is a Trucking Business Plan?

A trucking business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.

Why Write a Trucking Business Plan?

A trucking business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.

Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.

Writing an Effective Trucking Business Plan

The following are the key components of a successful trucking business plan:

Executive Summary

The executive summary of a trucking business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.

  • Start with a one-line description of your trucking company
  • Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.

Company Description

This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.

If you are just starting your trucking business, you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your trucking firm, mention this.

You will also include information about your chosen trucking business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.

Industry Analysis

The industry or market analysis is an important component of a trucking business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market. 

Questions to answer include:

  • What part of the trucking industry are you targeting?
  • How big is the market?
  • What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?

You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.

Customer Analysis

This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.

For example, a trucking business’ customers may include:

  • Retailers who need goods delivered to their stores
  • Manufacturers who need raw materials shipped to them
  • Big box stores that require inventory to be delivered to multiple locations

You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.

Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or trucking services with the right marketing.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.

For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.

Marketing Plan

This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.

  • Product/Service : Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
  • Price : Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
  • Place : Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
  • Promotion : How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, launch a direct mail campaign. Or you may promote your trucking business via public relations and pitch your story to reporters.

Operations Plan

This part of your trucking business plan should include the following information:

  • How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
  • What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?

The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.

Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for a trucking business include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include hiring key personnel, acquiring necessary licenses and permits, and establishing partnerships with vendors.

Management Team

List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to your specific trucking industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.

Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.

Financial Plan

Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix). 

This includes the following three financial statements:

Income Statement

Your income statement should include:

  • Revenue : how much revenue you generate.
  • Cost of Goods Sold : These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
  • Net Income (or loss) : Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss

Sample Income Statement for a Startup Trucking Company

Revenues $ 336,090 $ 450,940 $ 605,000 $ 811,730 $ 1,089,100
$ 336,090 $ 450,940 $ 605,000 $ 811,730 $ 1,089,100
Direct Cost
Direct Costs $ 67,210 $ 90,190 $ 121,000 $ 162,340 $ 217,820
$ 67,210 $ 90,190 $ 121,000 $ 162,340 $ 217,820
$ 268,880 $ 360,750 $ 484,000 $ 649,390 $ 871,280
Salaries $ 96,000 $ 99,840 $ 105,371 $ 110,639 $ 116,171
Marketing Expenses $ 61,200 $ 64,400 $ 67,600 $ 71,000 $ 74,600
Rent/Utility Expenses $ 36,400 $ 37,500 $ 38,700 $ 39,800 $ 41,000
Other Expenses $ 9,200 $ 9,200 $ 9,200 $ 9,400 $ 9,500
$ 202,800 $ 210,940 $ 220,871 $ 230,839 $ 241,271
EBITDA $ 66,080 $ 149,810 $ 263,129 $ 418,551 $ 630,009
Depreciation $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 4,200
EBIT $ 60,880 $ 144,610 $ 257,929 $ 413,351 $ 625,809
Interest Expense $ 7,600 $ 7,600 $ 7,600 $ 7,600 $ 7,600
$ 53,280 $ 137,010 $ 250,329 $ 405,751 $ 618,209
Taxable Income $ 53,280 $ 137,010 $ 250,329 $ 405,751 $ 618,209
Income Tax Expense $ 18,700 $ 47,900 $ 87,600 $ 142,000 $ 216,400
$ 34,580 $ 89,110 $ 162,729 $ 263,751 $ 401,809
10% 20% 27% 32% 37%

Balance Sheet

Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:

  • Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
  • Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
  • Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.

Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup Trucking Company

Cash $ 105,342 $ 188,252 $ 340,881 $ 597,431 $ 869,278
Other Current Assets $ 41,600 $ 55,800 $ 74,800 $ 90,200 $ 121,000
Total Current Assets $ 146,942 $ 244,052 $ 415,681 $ 687,631 $ 990,278
Fixed Assets $ 25,000 $ 25,000 $ 25,000 $ 25,000 $ 25,000
Accum Depreciation $ 5,200 $ 10,400 $ 15,600 $ 20,800 $ 25,000
Net fixed assets $ 19,800 $ 14,600 $ 9,400 $ 4,200 $ 0
$ 166,742 $ 258,652 $ 425,081 $ 691,831 $ 990,278
Current Liabilities $ 23,300 $ 26,100 $ 29,800 $ 32,800 $ 38,300
Debt outstanding $ 108,862 $ 108,862 $ 108,862 $ 108,862 $ 0
$ 132,162 $ 134,962 $ 138,662 $ 141,662 $ 38,300
Share Capital $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
Retained earnings $ 34,580 $ 123,690 $ 286,419 $ 550,170 $ 951,978
$ 34,580 $ 123,690 $ 286,419 $ 550,170 $ 951,978
$ 166,742 $ 258,652 $ 425,081 $ 691,831 $ 990,278

Cash Flow Statement

Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:

  • Cash Flow From Operations
  • Cash Flow From Investments
  • Cash Flow From Financing

Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup trucking business.

Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup Trucking Company

Net Income (Loss) $ 34,580 $ 89,110 $ 162,729 $ 263,751 $ 401,809
Change in Working Capital $ (18,300) $ (11,400) $ (15,300) $ (12,400) $ (25,300)
Plus Depreciation $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 5,200 $ 4,200
Net Cash Flow from Operations $ 21,480 $ 82,910 $ 152,629 $ 256,551 $ 380,709
Fixed Assets $ (25,000) $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
Net Cash Flow from Investments $ (25,000) $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
Cash from Equity $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
Cash from Debt financing $ 108,862 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ (108,862)
Net Cash Flow from Financing $ 108,862 $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 $ (108,862)
Net Cash Flow $ 105,342 $ 82,910 $ 152,629 $ 256,551 $ 271,847
Cash at Beginning of Period $ 0 $ 105,342 $ 188,252 $ 340,881 $ 597,431
Cash at End of Period $ 105,342 $ 188,252 $ 340,881 $ 597,431 $ 869,278

You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:

  • Your complete financial projections
  • A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
  • Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.

Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your trucking company. It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it.

Now that you know what you should include in a trucking business plan, it’s time to get started on your own. Use the tips and examples provided in this article as a guide, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from an experienced business advisor or mentor. With a well-crafted business plan in hand, you’ll be ready to hit  the ground running and build the trucking company of your dreams.  

Finish Your Trucking Business Plan in 1 Day!

Wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your trucking business plan?

With our Ultimate Trucking Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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Trucking Business Plan Template

  • Trucking Business Plan

Are you considering starting or growing a trucking business? If so, you need a business plan and you’re in the right place to learn how to complete it!

Whether you’re looking to secure funding and/or make more strategically-sound decisions about your trucking operations and growth, this guide will help you.

Below you’ll learn what to include in your plan and how to most efficiently complete it. So, fasten your seatbelt and let’s show you how to finish your plan and grow your trucking business!

How to Write a Trucking Business Plan

Below are links to each section of your trucking company business plan template:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Marketing Plan
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Financial Plan

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Trucking Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete a business plan for my own trucking company.

Growthink's Ultimate Trucking Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete a business plan for a trucking company. Our template i ncludes all the key sections necessary to write a business plan including the executive summary, company description, management team, industry analysis, operations plan, financial plan, and more!

Where can I download a trucking company business plan PDF?

Our trucking business plan PDF template is a free resource to help you get started on your own business plan. You can download the trucking company business plan example pdf here. This is a template you can use in PDF format for any type of trucking or transportation business.

What is a trucking business plan?

A trucking business plan provides a snapshot of your trucking company as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your short term and long term goals, the company’s mission statement, operational plan and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes a market analysis to support your business plans, sales strategy and show your potential target market size. It should also include research to support your plan, as well an operations plan, financial plan and a marketing plan.

A trucking business plan template makes it easy to write this crucial business document.

Is a trucking business profitable?

Although trucking companies vary in their rates of return, the trucking industry as a whole is generally quite profitable when compared to other types of business ventures.

The amount of money you can make is largely dependent on your trucking industry niche, client base, freight services provided, implemented business strategies, and other factors. However, the average trucking business owner earns approximately $56K in annual revenue, though many others have reported earning more than $100K per year after expenses.

Why do I need a business plan for a trucking company?

If you’re looking to start a trucking business or grow your existing trucking business you need a solid business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your trucking business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes. 

How do I start a trucking business plan?

To start planning your business in the transportation industry, begin by determining the scope of your business plan . Will you need one to raise capital, or will you seek financing for truck purchases? Are you looking for new investments that are outside the scope of your current cash flow projections? Make sure to research all of these issues before proceeding with writing your plan.

Once you determine the scope of your own trucking business, you will begin to conduct thorough market research and competitive analysis. You should know which region you plan to work in (in the case of trucking companies focusing on a specific geographical region) and whether you want to focus on a particular type of freight (e.g., heavy hauling vs. general commodities). Gather as much information as you can, including competitor profiles and market research reports. This should help you determine your competitive edge, the profile of your target customers and a realistic price range for your trucking services or transporting goods. All of this information will be included in your business plan and will help convince potential investors if you are seeking funding.

What are the 7 steps to creating a successful trucking business?

The 7 steps to making a successful trucking company are:

  • Conduct thorough research and analysis.
  • Gather as much information as you can, including competitor profiles, industry trends, government regulations and market analysis reports.
  • Determine your competitive advantage, ideal target customer profile, and a pricing strategy.
  • Meet with an accountant or financial planner with trucking business knowledge to determine what legal structure and business model is best for you.
  • Establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation in addition to co-ops if desired.
  • Choose the trucking company name carefully and secure all necessary trademarks to prevent others from legally using them in your field of business.

Use a trucking business plan template to write a successful trucking business plan or work with a business plan expert to write a trucking business plan that's tailored for your particular needs and financial goals.

How much money should I have to start a trucking company?

Starting a local trucking company can cost as little as $10,000 for an individual owner-operator who leases their truck, and as much as $1 million or more for someone looking to have a fleet of trucks.

The biggest startup cost is typically the purchase or lease of trucks: The cost of a truck varies based on the make, model, and condition. On average, you might spend between $80,000 to $150,000 per truck to purchase new trucks. The average cost to lease a truck ranges from approximately $1,000 to $2,500 per month, but you’ll also need a down payment of several thousand dollars.

There are a wide range of other operating costs associated with running your trucking business that you’ll incur. You generally want to have enough capital to pay for 3 months of these costs when you start. Specific costs include the following:

Fuel: The annual fuel cost per truck can range from $30,000 to $70,000, depending on fuel efficiency and distance traveled.

Maintenance and repairs: Budget for routine maintenance costs and unexpected repairs. This can cost approximately $15,000 to $25,000 per truck annually.

Commercial truck insurance: The cost of insurance depends on factors like the type of cargo you carry and your driving history. On average, expect to pay around $9,000 to $12,000 per truck per year.

Operating authority (MC number): The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) charges a fee for obtaining an MC number, which can cost around $300.

State permits and licenses: Costs can vary by state but typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Driver wages: The salary for truck drivers varies based on experience and location. Expect to pay an average of $40,000 to $70,000 per qualified driver annually.

Office space and equipment: Costs for an office space, computers, and other administrative essentials can vary widely depending on location but might average around $10,000 to $40,000 per year.

Compliance software and services: Investing in compliance software or services to ensure your company adheres to safety regulations can cost around $5,000 to $10,000 annually.

Marketing costs and advertising expenses: Depending on your marketing strategies , budget for promotional activities, which can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands per year.

How long should my trucking company business plan be?

It's best to try to keep your business plan between 15 and 30 pages including your financial statements (which belong in the appendix), but there are no firm rules. Length is determined by how thorough you need to be. If you're just looking for funding for new equipment, for instance, your plan may only require 15 pages of material, but you will still need a financial model. On the other hand, if you're looking for outside investment or planning on expanding into new markets, it may require a more comprehensive business plan to more thoroughly explain the opportunity and why you’re qualified to be successful.

Will I have to attach expenses and budgets to my trucking company business plan?

Yes, these documents are included in the Appendix section of the business plan! Although this makes it very important that you do extensive research and budget thoroughly, it's also one reason why people hire professional writers: they're experts at finding and justifying expenditures and keep companies from going overboard with unrealistic expectations. Growthink's Ultimate Trucking Business Plan Template includes realistic financial projections making it easier for you to start writing the business plan for your trucking company.

What is the best business structure for a trucking company?

In the trucking industry, there are several business structures to choose from, including sole proprietorships, limited liability corporations (LLCs), and S Corporations. You should discuss your options with an accountant or financial planner depending on the state you plan to do business in.

Most of the time, trucking companies start as sole proprietorships, which are the simplest and most inexpensive to maintain. You may also establish LLCs or corporations in addition to co-ops.

What are the most important elements in a trucking company business plan?

A strong marketing strategy is one of the most critical aspects of any trucking company business plan. You should be prepared to reach your target market through all channels, including social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, print ads, load boards, professional networking groups for retirees or veteran members. Likewise, having a strong network of quality suppliers can help you better serve existing customers while also attracting new ones. Also consider memberships to American Trucking Associations.

What are the sources of funding for a trucking business?

With regards to funding, financing options for a trucking business include bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank business loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financial projections are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan, complete with a cash flow statement, income statements, loss statement and balance sheets. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can run a successful business. 

The second most common form of funding for a trucking business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a trucking business.

How do I find financing for my trucking company?

There are several sources of financing available specifically for established trucking businesses including commercial loans, small business administration (SBA) loans, and credit cards.  Many financial institutions can provide a loan of some type to help you get started. All of these can help cover the cost of purchasing new trucks along with other equipment.

Having realistic financial forecasts, backed by research will help secure financing.

TRUCKING BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE

  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan
  • 10. Appendix
  • Trucking Business Plan Summary

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Use This Simple Business Plan Template

hauling service business plan

How To Start a Haulage Business

hauling service business plan

Starting a haulage business can be a lucrative career. If you already own a truck or tractor-trailer, you are well on the way to starting a new business. With a haulage business, you can haul any type of equipment to nearby locations, including construction equipment, heavy machinery, or local loads. 

It is a simple truck driver business you can start in days. Owning a business comes with the advantages of a flexible schedule to set your own hours – and be home with your family when it’s important. 

Truck leases for as low as $625 a week with Roehl

hauling service business plan

What Is a Haulage Business?

A haulage business is used to transport any type of goods via road or rail. This can include everything from clothing to vegetables to heavy equipment. Haulage can be between any two endpoints, including between suppliers and large consumer outlets, factories, warehouses, or depots.

How Does a Haulage Business Work? 

A haulage business works by hauling any type of goods. Most professionals will choose one or two niches where they can become known locally, such as heavy equipment, or moving loads of goods. 

7 Steps for Getting Your Haulage Company Started

If you’re ready to start working for yourself, there are just a few simple steps. Here’s what you need to start a hauling business:

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan will include the guiding principles of the business, including the mission and vision. A few elements to include in the business plan are:

  • Target customers
  • Current market opportunities
  • Projected pricing
  • An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)

The business plan can include simple projections of income and expenses with various expected volumes of business. 

Step 2: Identify Your Niche

A niche is important for a haulage company as with time, you will become the go-to person for that niche. Building a reputation for exceptional service in one or a limited number of areas is better than several areas. This will help to differentiate you from competitors. Possible niches could include:

  • Livestock 
  • Waste disposal
  • Parcel delivery
  • Vehicle transport
  • Construction transport
  • Heavy machinery transport
  • Garden supplies transport

Step 3: Decide on the Size and Type of Fleet You Want To Build

It is wise to start small and build your business from there. That can mean starting with a single pickup truck or a single tractor-trailer. A smaller fleet means lower overhead costs. With time, you can increase vehicles and hire drivers.  

You will also want to decide on whether you’re using petrol vehicles, diesel, or more eco-friendly vehicles. The size and type of fleet will also be determined by business goals and services offered. It’s possible to build a fleet with a variety of vehicles, but it is usually better to start with one type of truck. 

Step 4: Choose a Location

As with real estate, business location can make a difference in load opportunities and future success. You will need an operational base for storage as well as vehicle maintenance. 

Factors to consider include:

  • Proximity to major road routes
  • Proximity to major centers of commerce or cities
  • Real estate cost
  • Number of local competitors
  • Areas of opportunity in your desired niche

Step 5: Work Out Your Associated Costs 

Knowing your upfront costs is crucial to starting and running a successful business. Taking into account costs such as any regular costs as well as one-time upfront costs. These include:

  • Staff wages
  • Vehicle purchase costs
  • Estimated maintenance
  • Rent or mortgage costs
  • Vehicle cleaning

When starting a business, having a firm understanding of expenses is essential. The more thorough and detailed projected costs are, the fewer surprises you’ll get down the road. 

Step 6: Be Aware of Your Legal Obligations

Thoroughly research legal obligations and consult a local lawyer to prevent unexpected problems down the line. You should be aware of any legal obligation you need to abide by specific to the industry and your state to legally operate. 

It’s important to check local obligations in all states you plan to operate.  As a basis, you’ll need:

  • Vehicle insurance is mandatory 
  • Public liability insurance 
  • Professional indemnity insurance 

Step 7: Obtain a Funding Source

You will likely need funding to start your haulage company. The largest single investment in a haulage business is in purchasing vehicles . Do some research on where you can get financing and weigh your options.

Possible funding sources include:

  • Small business loans from banks or credit unions
  • Private investment
  • Personal savings
  • Payment plans or rent-to-buy purchase plans

In addition to purchasing trucks, there can be options to lease a truck to get started until you can secure a funding source to buy one or more vehicles. 

Putting It All Together

Starting a haulage company takes some time and planning, but has the potential to build long-term wealth. Many of the largest trucking companies in the country started as small haulage businesses. As large shippers raise haulage fees , there are openings for small businesses to capture a market share. If you’re a self-starter and want to fill a niche in haulage, following the seven steps here will launch your new career as a trucking business owner. 

A road haulage business can be lucrative because truck owners can use the equipment they already have to haul machinery or any other type of load. If you build up a fleet with multiple drivers, a haulage business can be lucrative.

How much cash you need will depend on current circumstances and business goals. If you have a regular pickup truck, you can start a small haulage business. If you want to acquire one or more tractor-trailers there are options to both buy or rent vehicles to get started.

You can start your own trucking business with no money by securing a small business loan. It may also be possible to rent a tractor-trailer or to start a business with the truck you currently own.

We are excited to announce the launch of move.freightwaves.com , a revolutionary resource designed to transform how consumers choose auto-shipping companies. Check it out today!

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Hot shot guide: 5 best small loads for pickup trucks, how hot shot load boards can kickstart your business, how to start a trucking company with no money, best trucking companies that offer paid cdl training.

FreightWaves Ratings reference a list of approved sources for use of research to support editorial research and drafting. These include the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S Department of Transportation, Better Business Bureau®, International Fuel Tax Association, Inc, Federal Highway Administration, additional Federal, State, and Local government websites, internal data compiling, original research, and commentary from industry experts.

hauling service business plan

Designed to give experienced drivers or previous lease purchase/owner operators with limited financial resources a pathway into truck ownership.

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Trucking Business Plan Ultimate Guide + Free Example

hauling service business plan

July 6, 2023

Adam Hoeksema

If you are looking to start a trucking company and need financing, you are likely to be asked to provide a business plan by your potential lender or investor.  If you plan to start as a one-person trucking company this may really seem like overkill, do you really need a full business plan if you simply plan to buy a truck and drive it yourself?  

The reality is that whether it is overkill or not, if your lender requires a business plan, perhaps because it is an SBA loan requirement, then you just have to get it done.  My hope with this blog post is to cover the following questions:

What should a trucking business plan include?

Trucking business plan outline, what kind of trucking business should i get into, where can i find customers for my trucking business, spot freight vs. dedicated routes.

  • Should I lease or buy my semi-truck?
  • How to create financial projections for a trucking business?
  • Trucking example business plan
  • Trucking business plan FAQs

With that in mind as the path forward, let’s dive in. 

A trucking business plan should include a market analysis, list of services offered, marketing and sales strategy, operations plan, financial projections, organization and management and risk analysis section. You can see our detailed outline below. 

I. Introduction:

II. Market Analysis:

III. Services Offered:

IV. Marketing and Sales Strategy:

V. Operations Plan

Acquisition and Management of Trucks

Hiring and Training of Drivers

Dispatch and Logistics

Regulatory Requirements and Compliance Measures

VI. Financial Projections

Startup Costs, Funding Sources, and Future Financing Needs:

Financial Summary

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit

Key Financial Ratios

Income Statement

Balance Sheet

Cash Flow Statement

VII. Organization and Management

Organizational Structure

Roles and Responsibilities of Key Stakeholders

Legal and Compliance Requirements

VIII. Risk Analysis

Potential Risks

Contingency Plans

IX. Conclusion

Your business plan will differ based on the type of trucking business you plan to get into.  There are several different types of trucking businesses, each with different business and financial models.  For example, we have developed financial models for the following types of trucking businesses: 

  • General Freight Trucking
  • Moving Truck

Each type of trucking business will have different pros and cons, different startup costs, different work schedules, and ultimately different earning power.  

Finding customers for your trucking business involves proactive networking, marketing, and understanding where your potential clients might be. Here are several strategies to attract more customers:

Networking Events: Attend industry-related networking events, seminars, and trade shows. They can be a great way to meet potential customers as well as partners.

Online Directories and Load Boards: Online freight and load boards can be useful. Some popular options include Truckstop.com, DAT Load Board, and Freightos. Customers needing freight services often use these platforms to find providers.

Use a Freight Broker: Freight brokers act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. They can bring you new business, but they will take a commission.

Social Media & Online Marketing: Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be useful to connect with potential clients. You can also use Google Ads and SEO to increase your online visibility to potential customers who are looking for trucking services.

Local Businesses: Reach out to local businesses that might need your services. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies with distribution needs are all potential customers.

Develop a Website: If you don't already have one, create a professional website outlining your services, rates, and contact information. Having a digital presence can greatly enhance your business visibility.

Referrals: Encourage your current clients to refer your trucking business to other potential customers. You can incentivize this process by offering a referral discount or another type of reward.

Cold Calling and Emailing: Identify potential clients, prepare a solid sales pitch, and reach out directly via phone or email.

Partnerships: Consider creating partnerships with other businesses that complement your trucking services. For instance, a partnership with a storage or warehouse company can be beneficial.

Each approach to running a trucking business has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the main pros and cons of having a dedicated route versus picking up loads on load boards:

Dedicated Routes

Consistent Work: With a dedicated route, you have a reliable and predictable schedule. You'll know in advance where you're going, when you need to be there, and what you're hauling.

Predictable Revenue: Having a consistent schedule also means you'll have consistent revenue. You'll know what you're earning each week or month, making it easier to plan your business finances

Established Relationships: Over time, you'll build relationships with the businesses along your route. These relationships can lead to more business and better working conditions.

Reduced Wear and Tear: With a dedicated route, you're often driving the same roads and conditions, which can help reduce wear and tear on your equipment.

Less Flexibility: With a dedicated route, your schedule is mostly fixed. You may have less time for other business opportunities or personal matters.

Risk of Dependency: If your dedicated client's business goes down or they decide to change providers, it can significantly impact your income.

Potential for Lower Pay: Depending on the agreement, dedicated routes can sometimes pay less per mile than what you could get from a high-demand load on a load board.

Load Boards

Flexibility: Load boards offer the flexibility to choose your loads and routes. You can decide when to work, where to go, and what to haul.

Potential for Higher Pay: Some loads, especially urgent or last-minute ones, can pay very well. If you're in the right place at the right time, you can earn more than you might on a dedicated route.

Variety: Using load boards provides a variety of work. You're not limited to the same route or cargo, which can make your work more interesting.

Inconsistent Work and Pay: Load boards can be unpredictable. Some days, you might find lots of high-paying loads; other days, there might be very little work available.

Competition: Load boards are open to all truckers, which means you're competing with everyone else for the best loads.

Lack of Personal Relationships: Load boards often don't give you the opportunity to build strong relationships with shippers, which might affect the quality of your working conditions and business opportunities.

Broker Fees: Many load boards work through brokers, who take a commission on the load. This can reduce your overall earnings.

It's worth noting that many trucking businesses use a combination of dedicated routes and load boards to balance out the pros and cons of each approach. This hybrid model can provide both consistency and flexibility.

Should I lease or buy my semi-truck? 

Choosing whether to buy or lease a semi-truck for your trucking business is a significant decision that can have long-term impacts on your business's financial health and flexibility. Here are some pros and cons of each option:

Buying a Semi-Truck

Ownership: Once you've paid off the truck, it's yours. You can modify it to suit your needs and sell it when you want to upgrade or exit the business.

No Mileage Restrictions: Unlike with leasing, there are no penalties for high mileage when you own your truck.

Possible Cost Savings: Depending on the terms of the purchase and the life of the truck, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to buy a truck outright.

High Upfront Costs: Buying a semi-truck requires a significant initial investment, which might be challenging for some businesses, particularly start-ups.

Maintenance and Repair Costs: As the owner, you're responsible for all maintenance and repair costs. These costs can be unpredictable and expensive.

Depreciation: Trucks depreciate over time. When you decide to sell, you might not recoup much of your initial investment, particularly if the truck has high mileage or is in less than excellent condition.

Leasing a Semi-Truck

Lower Initial Costs: Leasing a truck usually requires a smaller initial investment compared to buying.

Flexibility: Leasing can offer more flexibility. You can upgrade to newer models more frequently, and you're not tied down to a long-term commitment if your business needs change.

Less Maintenance Responsibility: Depending on your lease agreement, some or all maintenance and repairs might be covered by the leasing company, reducing unexpected costs and downtime.

No Equity: When you lease, you're essentially renting. You're not building equity in the truck, and at the end of the lease, you don't own anything.

Mileage Restrictions: Leasing contracts often have mileage limits. If you exceed these limits, you could end up paying significant penalties.

Lack of Customization: When you lease, there may be restrictions on how much you can modify or customize the truck.

Potential for Higher Long-Term Costs: Over the long term, the total cost of leasing can end up being more than the cost of buying a truck outright.

When deciding between buying or leasing, it's important to consider the specific needs and financial situation of your business. You should factor in your cash flow, the amount of driving you expect to do, the importance of owning your truck, and the impact of potential repairs and maintenance. Consulting with a financial advisor can be very beneficial in making this decision.

How to Create Financial Projections for a Trucking Business Plan

Just like in any industry, the trucking business has its unique factors that impact financial projections, such as fuel costs, maintenance expenses, and client contracts. Utilizing a trucking financial projection template can simplify the process and enhance your confidence. Creating accurate financial projections goes beyond showcasing your trucking company's ability to cover expenses; it's about illustrating the financial roadmap that leads to profitability and the realization of your transportation goals. To develop precise projections, consider the following key steps:

  • Estimate startup costs for your trucking business, including vehicle acquisition or leasing, insurance, licenses, and permits
  • Forecast revenue based on projected client contracts, rates per mile, and anticipated volume of shipments.
  • Project variable driving costs like fuel, vehicle maintenance, repair expenses, as well as driver pay
  • Estimate operating expenses like insurance premiums, permits and licenses renewal fees, tolls, salaried employees, and administrative costs.
  • Calculate the capital needed to open and operate your trucking business, covering initial expenses and providing working capital for sustained operations.

While financial projections are a critical component of your trucking business plan, seek guidance from experienced professionals in the industry to refine your projections. Adapt your plan based on real-world insights, leverage industry resources, and stay informed about market trends and regulatory changes to ensure your financial projections align with your goals and set the stage for a successful trucking venture.

Example Trucking Business Plan

Below you will find the text of our example trucking business plan. You can also download a Google Doc version of this trucking business plan template here , which allows you to modify it and personalize it to your own needs. You can also follow along in this video walkthrough, designed to help you customize the business plan to suit your specific trucking business model.

Table of Contents

I. executive summary.

The name of our bar and grill is "Cheers & Grub". Cheers & Grub is a casual dining establishment that specializes in American-style cuisine with a focus on juicy burgers, delicious wings, and refreshing beers on tap. Our target market is young professionals and families in the downtown area who are looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy good food and drinks.

We aim to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering a unique and enjoyable dining experience. Our menu will feature a variety of classic American dishes, made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. Our bar will offer a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, as well as a variety of specialty cocktails. We will also host weekly events such as trivia nights and live music performances, to keep our customers engaged and entertained.

Our projected startup costs are $500,000, which includes the cost of leasehold improvements, equipment, and operating capital. Our projected first-year sales are $1.2 million, with a net profit margin of 7%. We anticipate steady growth in sales and profits over the next five years.

II. Business Concept

Cheers & Grub is a casual dining establishment that offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, combined with great food and drinks. Our menu will feature classic American dishes, such as burgers, wings, sandwiches, and salads, made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. Our bar will offer a variety of domestic and craft beers, as well as a selection of specialty cocktails.

The ambiance of our establishment will be modern and comfortable, with a touch of vintage charm. We will feature a spacious dining area, a full-service bar, and a cozy lounge area for customers to relax and enjoy live music performances. Our target market is young professionals and families in the downtown area who are looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy good food and drinks.

III. Market Analysis

The restaurant industry has been growing steadily in recent years, with an estimated market size of $899 billion in 2020. The demand for casual dining establishments like Cheers & Grub is particularly high, as consumers seek out convenient and affordable options for their dining needs. Our target market consists of young professionals and families in the downtown area who are looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy good food and drinks.

In terms of competition, there are several established bar and grill establishments in the downtown area. However, we believe that we can differentiate ourselves by offering a unique and enjoyable dining experience, made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. Our bar will also offer a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, as well as a variety of specialty cocktails, to appeal to a wider range of customers.

IV. Competition Analysis

The main competition in the downtown area consists of established bar and grill establishments, such as "The Local" and "Grill Master". The Local is known for its casual atmosphere and selection of domestic beers, while Grill Master is known for its specialty cocktails and live music performances.

We believe that we can differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering a unique and enjoyable dining experience. Our menu will feature a variety of classic American dishes, made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, and our bar will offer a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, as well as a variety of specialty cocktails. In addition, we will host weekly events such as trivia nights and live music performances, to keep our customers engaged and entertained.

V. Marketing Strategy

Our marketing strategy will focus on reaching our target market through a variety of channels, including online advertising, social media, and local promotions. We will also leverage our unique selling points, such as our fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, our selection of domestic and craft beers, and our weekly events, to attract and retain customers.

Online Advertising: We will utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to reach our target audience. This will include paid advertising, such as sponsored posts and ads, as well as organic content, such as pictures and videos of our menu items and events.

Social Media: We will create a strong presence on social media by regularly posting pictures, videos, and updates about our menu items, events, and promotions. This will help to engage our followers and build a loyal customer base.

Local Promotions: We will participate in local events and promotions, such as food festivals and charity events, to increase visibility and build brand awareness. We will also offer special deals and promotions, such as happy hour discounts and loyalty programs, to incentivize customers to visit Cheers & Grub.

VI. Menu and Kitchen Operations

Our menu will feature a variety of classic American dishes, made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients. This includes juicy burgers, delicious wings, sandwiches, and salads. Our bar will offer a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, as well as a variety of specialty cocktails.

In terms of kitchen operations, we will have a fully-equipped kitchen. Our kitchen staff will be trained in food safety protocols, and we will have strict sanitation procedures in place to ensure the safety and quality of our food.

VII. Service and Hospitality

At Cheers & Grub, we will strive to provide exceptional service and hospitality to our customers. Our staff will be trained in customer service and will be equipped with the necessary skills to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

Our dining area will feature table service, while our bar will offer full-service bar service, including the preparation of specialty cocktails. We will also have a lounge area for customers to relax and enjoy live music performances.

VIII. Financial Plan

Our projected startup costs are $350,000, which includes the cost of leasehold improvements, equipment, and operating capital. Our projected first-year sales are $1 million, with a net profit margin of 26%. We anticipate steady growth in sales and profits over the next five years, with a focus on expanding our menu offerings and hosting more events to attract and retain customers.

All of the unique financial projections you see below were generated using ProjectionHub’s Trucking financial projection template . Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template. 

Startup Costs:

hauling service business plan

Projected Financial Summary:

hauling service business plan

Annual Sales, Gross Profit and Net Profit:

hauling service business plan

Key Financial Ratios:

hauling service business plan

Watch how to create financial projections for your very own bar and grill:

hauling service business plan

Income Statement:

hauling service business plan

Balance Sheet:

hauling service business plan

Cash Flow Statement:

hauling service business plan

IX. Organizational Structure

Cheers & Grub will be owned and operated by [Name], an experienced restaurateur with a passion for good food and drinks. [Name] will also serve as the manager, responsible for day-to-day operations, including menu development, kitchen operations, and staffing.

In terms of staffing, we will have a team of highly-skilled and trained employees, including a head chef, kitchen staff, servers, and bartenders. We will also have a human resources manager to handle employee relations and benefits.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, Cheers & Grub is a casual dining establishment that offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, combined with great food and drinks. With a focus on fresh and locally-sourced ingredients, a wide selection of domestic and craft beers, and weekly events, we believe that we have the necessary elements to succeed in the competitive restaurant industry. Our financial projections are positive, and we are confident in our ability to achieve steady growth and profitability in the coming years.

Trucking Business Plan FAQs

How do i start a trucking business.

To start a trucking business, you'll need to obtain the appropriate commercial driver's license (CDL), register your business, secure necessary permits and licenses, acquire or lease trucks, establish relationships with clients or freight brokers, and ensure compliance with safety regulations.

How can I find freight and clients for my trucking business?

To find freight and clients, consider partnering with freight brokers or load boards, networking within the industry, attending trade shows or logistics events, leveraging online freight marketplaces, and building relationships with shippers or manufacturers.

What types of insurance do I need for my trucking business?

Insurance coverage for a trucking business may include primary liability insurance, cargo insurance, physical damage insurance for your vehicles, and general liability insurance. Consult with an insurance professional to determine the specific coverage you need.

How can I optimize fuel efficiency in my trucking operations?

To optimize fuel efficiency, consider maintaining regular truck maintenance, training drivers on fuel-efficient driving techniques, investing in aerodynamic equipment for trucks, monitoring tire pressure, using GPS technology to plan efficient routes, and adopting technologies that help optimize fuel usage.

What are the compliance requirements for the trucking industry?

Compliance requirements for the trucking industry include adhering to hours-of-service regulations, maintaining accurate records and logs, conducting regular vehicle inspections, following weight and size restrictions, and complying with licensing and registration requirements.

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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How to Write a Trucking Business Plan

Article

Unless you have rich relatives willing to finance your trucking business with no questions asked, it’s in your best interest to write a business plan to aid you when approaching lenders, investors or partners to maximize your chance of getting funding assistance. A comprehensive, detailed and properly structured trucking business plan can help you get the financing you need to purchase trucks, truck equipment and other necessities. But more importantly, it also provides a critical road map of practical and logistical steps you’ll take when starting a trucking business.

What to Include in a Trucking Business Plan

A trucking business plan should contain much of the same information as any other type of business plan, regardless of the product or service the business provides. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a good business plan “guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business … [including] how to structure, run and grow your new business.” For truckers, the business plan should include industry-specific information that displays a thorough knowledge of what it takes to be competitive and profitable, according to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), a Missouri-based organization that advocates for the rights of professional truck drivers. The first thing you’ll want to do before sitting down to write your business plan is figure out what potential lenders, financiers or investors need to know to ensure your funding requirements are met. You will need to include some customized information in your business plan that is specific to your company’s individual needs. However, just about all business plans should include the following, according to the SBA:

Executive Summary

Company description, market analysis, sales and marketing, funding request, financial projections.

The details in each section will differ depending on whether you want to be an independent owner-operator or company owner with a fleet of trucks. There will also be variations based on the type of freight you’ll be hauling and where your trucks will be travelling. As a general rule, though, each section should contain detailed and accurate information that lets potential investors or partners know you’ve done your due diligence on the trucking industry and have a clear understanding of what it takes to be successful.

Steps to Take Before Writing a Business Plan for Your Trucking Company

As you begin the process of obtaining financing, it’s a good idea to do as much legwork as possible ahead of time so you'll be ready to hit the ground running when your financing comes through. Linda Finch, a compliance specialist with the OOIDA, recommends taking the following steps:

  • Register your business as either a sole proprietorship with a DBA, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a corporation.
  • Obtain an Employee ID Number (EIN).
  • Register your business with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get a federal DOT number. You’ll need to provide information on where you’ll be operating, how many trucks you plan to have and the types of trucks, whether you’ll haul hazardous materials, your vehicle weight, the type of cargo and whether you’ll be a freight forwarder.
  • Apply for a Motor Carrier (MC) number. This can be done online via the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • File a BOC-3 with the FMCSA. This form “gives motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders a legal presence in any state where they do business,” according to the RTSFinancial website.
  • Obtain truck insurance. Finch recommends $750,000 in primary liability insurance, $100,000 in cargo insurance and $1 million in liability insurance. Primary liability covers damages to people or property caused by your truck or trucks.
  • Get your apportioned plates and set up an International Registration Plan, or IRP. According to the IRP website, this is a an agreement between the states, District of Columbia and Canadian provinces that recognizes the registration of commercial motor vehicles registered by other jurisdictions. It provides for “payment of apportioned licensing fees based on the total distance operated in all member jurisdictions.”
  • Set up an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) account, which is another agreement between the U.S. and Canada that simplifies fuel use taxes by interstate carriers, according to the California.gov website.
  • Get a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR). This requires carriers and other businesses involved in interstate commerce to pay annual fees based on fleet size to supplement funding for state highway motor carrier registration and safety programs, according to UCR.gov.

Information to Gather for Your Trucking Business Plan

The OOIDA also recommends that truckers educate themselves on industry and financial basics before putting their business plans together. To that end, the OOIDA offers business education training seminars designed to help those who are starting a trucking business. The seminars cover everything from obtaining financing and developing the right financial plan to ensuring that all the right boxes are checked in terms of permits, licensing, taxes and compliance. When developing your business plan, the OOIDA offers the following guidelines:

  • Determine what your operating assets are in comparison to your liabilities.
  • Learn about managing costs to realistically project your financial success.
  • Determine your cost of operations, including the fixed and variable costs.
  • Determine how much cash flow you will need in order to succeed.
  • Develop realistic operating procedures that reflect the freight you will be hauling and the demographics of where the freight originates and where it is delivered.
  • Research the different rates required by different freight lanes, and why they differ.
  • Learn where to get freight and when to use or avoid load boards. Load boards, also known as freight marketplaces, are online load and truck freight boards used by owner-operators to find their own loads.
  • Educate yourself on spot market versus contract rates. Aborn & Co., a Massachusetts-based provider of managed freight solutions, describes a spot rate as “a one-time single-use rate quote that is valid for a short period of time and is issued to a shipper at or near the time of their shipment.” A contract rate is “a fixed price that is valid for a predetermined period of time and is negotiated with a shipper in advance of any freight moves.”
  • Research the advantages and disadvantages of adding fuel surcharges to your pricing.

It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the basics of accounting, regardless of whether you plan to handle this function yourself or contract it out to a third party. Courses are offered online and at community colleges that can help you learn about balance sheets, profit-loss statements and how to calculate total assets and total liabilities.

When you’re ready to start writing your business plan, using a template or outline like the one below will ensure your business plan is properly structured and organized. Read: 4 Signs It’s Time to Get a Business Line of Credit

Trucking Business Plan Template

To expedite the trucking business plan process, utilize a basic business plan template and customize it to your needs. Regardless of your industry, all business plans should cover the same key sections. Here are key sections to include when writing a business plan for a trucking company:

This section should provide a short overview of your company and its plans for the future. Include details on your company mission, financial information and performance and growth plans. Ideally, the executive summary will be no more than one or two pages. Because it’s the first thing someone will read, you need to make a strong impression here. Keep the wording crisp, compelling, precise and to the point. If you don’t catch the reader’s attention and make a strong case for why you’re starting a business and why it will succeed, your business plan might get pushed aside before anyone has a chance to read the rest of it. Related: How to Start Your Own Trucking Company in 10 Steps

The next section of your trucking business plan is the company description. This is where you write about the background of your business and your connection to the trucking industry. You can go into a little more detail here about the company mission, how your business will differ from the rest of the playing field and who’ll make up your client base. Use this section to outline the advantages you have over competitors. For example, you might have expertise in a particular type of freight or market, or a strong network of logistics companies, shippers and freight brokers. Provide details on your experience in the business, including everything from starting out as a truck loader to managing a fleet of truckers. This is also where you’ll provide key facts about your trucking business, such as the owners and management team (if applicable), the year of incorporation, where you’ll operate and the states your business is registered in. You will also provide details on employees (if any), their roles and responsibilities and your plans to hire more as your business grows.

In this section, you’ll outline the services you plan to offer, how you’ll go about executing them and how they will meet market demand. If you are licensed to haul hazardous materials, for example, explain how this is a competitive advantage and what kinds of customers will require your services. Provide information on where you’ll be operating and how that will impact your services. A trucker in the Southeast, for example, would probably haul more construction materials than one in the Northeast. Similarly, a trucker in the prairie states would probably have more seasonal business tied to farming. The services section should also include details about your pricing structure, the types of freight you plan to haul and the industries you’ll serve. Read This: 10 Business Plan Tips for Your Startup

In many respects, the market analysis portion is the most important section of your trucking business plan because it’s where you can wow lenders and investors with your market knowledge. The goal here is to provide the kind of data that shows you’re well-versed in industry trends, market demand, what works well and doesn’t work well in winning new business and the techniques you’ll use to gain an edge over rivals. Your market analysis should include the following information:

  • Industry Description and Outlook: Provide data on the size of the trucking industry in both dollars and carriers. Include the number of competitors, the biggest players, the biggest shippers and the annual revenue the industry generates. Also, provide data on how the industry is expected to grow and evolve over the next five to 10 years.
  • Target Market: This is where you’ll narrow down the data to your specific niche market (e.g. tankers, refrigerated loads, flatbeds, etc.). Use this space to provide information on the market size in dollars, the number of competitors, the biggest shippers and carriers and the market outlook over the next five to 10 years. Explain how you plan to stand out from the crowd in terms of services, expertise, price and reliability.

Also, provide data on how much market share you expect to carve out during a specified time period and how you plan to grab it. Be specific here. Instead of saying, “We plan to gain share by providing exceptional service,” explain what makes your service exceptional, how it differs from the competition and why customers will migrate to your company.

  • Pricing and Margins: Provide details on how you intend to price your services, how those stack up against competitors and what kinds of margins you’ll need to operate on to be profitable.
  • Competitor Analysis: Potential lenders and investors will want to know that you have a deep knowledge of the carriers and owner-operators you’ll be competing against. Provide detailed information on competitors, who their main customers are, what they do well, where their weaknesses lie and how you plan to exploit those weaknesses.
  • Regulatory Environment: The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government (and some state governments) in terms of the number of hours you can drive in a day and a week, the types of material you can haul and where you can haul them, your vehicle’s fuel emissions and the types of permits and licenses required to operate. Explain the regulations you’ll need to operate under and how you plan to comply with them.

You can touch on operational risks here as well, particularly as they pertain to how pending legislation or regulations could impact your business.

Reaching the right people at the right time and in the right way will be a key element of your trucking business’ success. So will convincing prospects to do business with you once you’ve established a relationship. The sales and marketing section of your business plan is where you outline strategies to find potential customers and sell them on your services.

  • Marketing Strategy: Use this section to explain what you’ll do to build and grow your client base. Provide details on how you’ll market your business, whether through traditional advertising on industry websites, through social media, by purchasing phone and email lists, by visiting trade shows or some combination of the above or other means. Be specific about the types of clients your marketing will focus on and where they’re located. Also, provide details about the budget you plan to set aside for marketing.
  • Sales Strategy: This section will mainly focus on the type of sales operation you plan to set up. If you plan to hire your own sales force, provide details on how many sales agents you expect to have on staff, what their pay structure will look like and what kind of weekly or monthly sale quotas you’ll implement. If you plan to use an outside third party to handle sales, identify companies you might use, why they’re successful and how much you’ll budget. Also, provide details on the process of finding and calling on prospects.

This section provides details on the financing requirements you’ll need to get your trucking business off the ground and keep it operating at full strength in the future. Be very specific in terms of the amount of money needed over the next several years and how it will be used. For example, you might use it to purchase a truck and truck equipment, pay salaries and bills and grow your client base. Also, specify whether you will require debt or equity, for how long and at what terms.

This is where you’ll disclose your company’s financial details and its ability to meet its fiscal targets. Include basic financial documents such as the balance sheet, profit-loss statement, cash flow statement and sales forecast. You can also include a break-even analysis explaining what you need to sell, either monthly or annually, to cover your costs of doing business. Provide an outlook of how the business is expected to perform over the next five years.

How to Get Financing for Your Trucking Business

Now that you have a trucking business plan in place, where do you go for financing? Banks and other traditional lending institutions are an obvious option, but they often won’t finance brand new businesses. Similarly, the Small Business Administration requires three years of business tax returns, which means startups have limited financing options. One option, however, is Seek Business Capital, which specializes in helping startups and early-stage business obtain the funding they need to get their businesses up and running regardless of time in business. To get pre-qualified for trucking business financing or to just learn more about your options, check out the ultimate guide to truck financing . More From Seek

  • 10 Tips for Female Entrepreneurs From Women Who Founded Companies
  • Cities With the Most Female Entrepreneurs
  • What Startups Should Know About Equipment Financing

Business Loan Resources

  • Startup Business Loans
  • Small Business Loans
  • Equipment Loans
  • Truck Financing Options

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Timely Trucking

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Timely Trucking is a new medium- and long-haul dry van trucking business based on Portland, Oregon and founded by veteran entrepreneur Jim Kerrigan. Timely Trucking will serve businesses in the Pacific Northwest (eventually expanding to include Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) with freight hauling and logistics management services. The business will develop a reputation for its on-time and accurate service as well as sophisticated Web and software functionality, allowing clients to align their business with Timely Trucking’s services and scheduling automatically. The business will be managed by Jim Kerrigan, CEO, and a Chief Operating Officer.

Timely Trucking can be launched for about $700,000, largely with the investment of Jim Kerrigan, and with some investment by investing partners. The business will be launched with three 18-wheeler trucks and will expand its operations to utilize eight 18-wheelers by the end of its third year, using auto loans to finance this expansion. Gross margins will be around 60%, allowing for significant profit by the end of the third year as the business scales up.

Beyond three years, the business will seek to expand to additional bases of operation in the Northwest and to add trucks with refrigerated and temperature-controlled trailers. The business will be positioned for sale to a national freight-hauling service seeking to expand to, or add operations in, the Northwest.

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Timely Trucking intends to serve businesses in the Northwest United States (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) with truck-based distribution services.

Over the first three years of operations, Timely Trucking will seek to meet the following objectives:

  • Establish bases in Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Cheyenne, Boise, and Billings
  • Purchase 8 18-wheeler trucks with dry van trailers
  • Hire 10 full-time truck drivers
  • Achieve strong annual revenue  based on 1.2 million miles of hauling in the third year

Timely Trucking will simplify distribution of goods for Northwestern businesses, becoming their partner in operating efficiently and reliably. Timely Trucking will use management of logistics, on-time, accurate deliveries from destination to destination in the Northwest, and partnerships with distribution centers and warehousing businesses to achieve its goals.

Keys to Success

The keys to success in the trucking business are:

  • Robust communication systems between drivers, bases, and clients
  • Setting delivery schedules that can be met (i.e. setting the right expectations)
  • Hiring and retaining reliable, safe drivers
  • Understanding what clients are trying to achieve, and helping them find the right distribution solution to create long-term relationships

Company Summary company overview ) is an overview of the most important points about your company—your history, management team, location, mission statement and legal structure.">

Timely Trucking, a startup truck company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, will provide trucking and logistics management solutions for business clients in the Northwestern states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Beginning with operations in Washington and Oregon, the business will haul freight from suppliers to manufacturers to distributors and retailers, operating in partnership with distribution centers, warehouses, and wholesalers.

Company Ownership

Timely Trucking was founded by Jim Kerrigan, a previous owner of a warehousing business which he successfully exited from after fifteen years of management. Timely Trucking has been established as a sole proprietorship during its pre-launch phase, but will be reclassified as a limited liability company to take on partners. Kerrigan will share ownership with outside investors, giving 20% of shares to investors.

Start-up Summary

The start-up expenses include some of the basic set-up costs for the Timely Trucking office – stationery (business cards and letterhead), rent for the office and a large adjacent parking lot for two month’s rent and one month’s security at $4,000 per month, and computer equipment. Marketing expenses include brochures and website development (see website plan for more details). Other expenses include legal consultation fees to ensure that all precautions are taken to limit the risk of the business and to establish templates for client and partner agreements, insurance premiums for the first year of operation to cover liability associated with the service, the office, and the trucks, and licenses and permits for the business. These include Fuel Tax Reporting, USDOT numbers, 2290’s, IRP tags, MC numbers, and IFTA decals.

Cash required will be used to fund the months of operation before cash flow break even is achieved and to allow for adequate cash reserves to reduce the risk of running low on cash if targets are not met. Other current assets include office supplies, software for accounting, scheduling, and resource management and light equipment. Long-term assets include three new 18-wheelers, estimated at $150,000 each (approximately $120,000 for the cab and $30,000 for the trailer). The business will purchase new in order to better ensure that deliveries are made on time and that the usual risks of aging equipment are avoided.  $75,000 is budgeted for three fork lifts estimated at $25,000 each, one per truck. An additional $25,000 is budgeted for long-term assets including repair equipment and tools which it is cost-effective to own in-house, satellite-tracking equipment for each truck, and office furniture.

While some trucking businesses hire owner-operators of trucks, Timely Trucking will maintain greater control over the service it offers by owning the trucks, ensuring that it always lives up to its name.

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Start-up
Requirements
Start-up Expenses
Legal $5,000
Stationery $3,000
Insurance $10,000
Rent $12,000
Computer $3,000
Licenses and Permits $5,000
Website Development $20,000
Brochures $5,000
Total Start-up Expenses $63,000
Start-up Assets
Cash Required $90,000
Other Current Assets $20,000
Long-term Assets $550,000
Total Assets $660,000
Total Requirements $723,000

Timely Trucking will offer the following services for businesses in the Northwest:

  • Pick-up and delivery of goods with a minimum per-delivery weight of 20,000 lbs from and to locations in its geographic range by 18-wheeler trucks hauling dry van trailers
  • Both “less than a truck load” and “truck load” services
  • Online tracking information detailing the location of all GPS-tagged trucks and the status of deliveries, including expected arrival times for pick-up or delivery
  • Phone support for all customer questions, delivery changes, and scheduling
  • Preferred client services including online accounts, regular schedules of shipping, or linking of client order information directly to Timely Trucking’s scheduling software to allow for seamless logistics

To maintain its competitiveness in its core services, Timely Trucking will NOT offer:

  • Storage or warehousing of goods awaiting delivery (goods can remain in storage in trucks for short periods, but at relatively high cost to customers)
  • Packaging and crating
  • Flat bed hauling

In the future, Timely Trucking will add the following services:

  • Temperature-controlled shipping to expand the range of customers Timely can appeal to

Trucks are operated by qualified and well-trained drivers with spotless records. Drivers are safety trained and re-tested for knowledge of laws as they change. A dedicated suite of software and communication systems will allow for the logistical management mentioned above.

Market Analysis Summary how to do a market analysis for your business plan.">

The American commercial trucking industry serves as a key link between raw material suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers in most industries. According to the American Trucking Association, the industry includes dry van, flatbed, refrigerated and bulk/tank trucking over short-haul (up to 100 miles), medium-haul (100 to 250 miles), and long-haul (250 miles and up).

Timely Trucking will compete in the market for medium and long haul dry van trucking in the American Northwest. This market serves businesses ranging from the packaged goods/grocery industry to the clothing industry to high-tech equipment, as well as commercial relocations.

Pro Tip:

Market Segmentation

The market analysis table covers likely market segments within the five states which Timely Trucking will serve.

Raw Material Suppliers ship large quantities of materials to large manufacturers in the northwestern states. These materials generally do not require refrigeration or temperature control. Manufacturers maintain some on-site storage for these supplies and generally have some leeway as to when deliveries can be received, except when projections are mistaken and supplies drop low. Packaging supplies also must be shipped to manufacturers and are included in this group.

Manufacturers often outsource the distribution of their goods to businesses that specialize in serving one the type of retailer or business. Their packaged goods are often shipped to only one wholesaler/distributor, creating a regular business in shipping between the two locations.

Wholesalers/Distributors that serve large retailers assemble truckloads of goods from the many manufacturers they serve. While they often have their own trucks or distribution means, some of these firms do not either because they are smaller or because they attempt to limit their investment in assets. Others may require additional trucking support when they are operating at capacity but not prepared to expand their shipping capacity.

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Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
Raw Materials Suppliers 1% 1,500 1,515 1,530 1,545 1,560 0.99%
Manufacturers 1% 2,500 2,525 2,550 2,576 2,602 1.00%
Wholesalers/Distributors 1% 1,000 1,010 1,020 1,030 1,040 0.99%
Total 1.00% 5,000 5,050 5,100 5,151 5,202 1.00%

Target Market Segment Strategy

Timely Trucking will begin by focusing specifically on the segment of manufacturers in Washington and Oregon states, expanding after the first year to the entire intended five state region. By serving manufacturers, Timely Trucking can provide an affordable shipping solution for new and growing manufacturers over purchasing their own trucks.

Raw material suppliers sometimes require flatbed or bulk/tank trucking which will not be an initial service offered by Timely Trucking and wholesalers often have their own trucks. These segments are expected to yield some customers, but by focusing first on the middle of the supply chain with manufacturers, Timely Trucking will be introduced to suppliers and distributors who may require their services without having to engage in full marketing campaigns to these segments.

Service Business Analysis

Hoovers reports that:

  • The U.S. trucking industry includes about 110,000 for-hire carriers and 350,000 independent owner-operators
  • Total industry revenue is nearly $200 billion
  • Major players in the industry include YRC Worldwide, Swift Transportation, JB Hunt, and Con-way
  • The industry is fragmented, with the 50 largest companies accounting for less than 30% of the market

The industry includes carriers that use commercial motor vehicles and doesn’t include couriers like UPS and FedEx or private carriers (companies that transport their own products and raw materials).

Hoover’s writes that “demand is driven by consumer spending and manufacturing output. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in account relationships, bulk fuel purchasing, fleet size, and access to drivers. Small operations can compete effectively by providing quick turnaround, serving a local market, or transporting unusually sized goods. Average annual revenue per employee is $135,000.”

The industry is broken into “truckload (TL) shipments that dedicate trailers to a single shipper’s cargo” and “less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, which transport the consolidated cargo of several shippers on one truck, dropping off goods at multiple delivery points”.

Competition and Buying Patterns

In addition to competing with other trucking companies, including national carriers, Timely Trucking will compete with rail and air cargo transportation. However, for the distances it intends to travel, and due to the few rail lines over the northwestern states, trucking is at an advantage.

Shippers choose between trucking companies based on:

  • Their track record of on-time and accurate deliveries
  • Their price
  • Their ability to partner with the shipper to offer logistics expertise and added services.

Web Plan Summary

The Timely Trucking website will serve as a source of basic information for those who find it via Internet searches, as well as a sophisticated account management portal for clients. For potential clients, the website will serve as a deeper explanation of the services and background of the company than a brochure or advertisement can provide. Specific calls to action on the website will ask users to call to speak to a salesperson or to fill in a form with their basic information and a good time to speak with them, so that a salesperson can contact them. Even one-time clients will be able to access up-to-date information about the ETA and current location of their deliveries. Clients who subscribe to preferred services will have access to more advanced information and functions.

Website Marketing Strategy

Timely Trucking will utilize the following means to promote its website as a marketing tool:

  • Initial and ongoing search engine optimization by the Web developer and then by an SEO firm
  • Google Adwords campaign which can be reduced or defunded if organic search rankings are high enough
  • Profiles and listings on ten business and trucking company online databases
  • Mention of the website URL in all brochures and advertisements

Development Requirements

The website’s components will have the following requirements:

  • Homepage – Mirroring a basic brochure about Timely Trucking
  • About Us – Background on the partners, mission, and basics of the business
  • Contact – Form to submit information and phone number to reach a salesperson during business hours
  • Services – Deeper description of the service options along with images of the trucks and a map of the area served>

Delivery Tracking

  • Form – To enter delivery code which was designated for the delivery
  • Map – Shows current location of the delivery on a map
  • Statistics – Gives ETA, minutes late or ahead of schedule, status of pick-up or drop-off, other notes about the order

Account Management

  • Login – Login form for client username and password
  • Account Profile – Basic client information, settings related to interface between client systems and Timely Trucking if direct links have been established
  • Scheduling – Calendar on which pickups and deliveries can be scheduled and rescheduled
  • Alerts – Settings for email or text alerts about deliveries which can be sent to client
  • Database Entry – Ability to search within and make changes and edits to the client and scheduling information in the database
  • Billing Interface – Website sends billing information for completed jobs directly to accounting software for bill creation

The website will be developed over a three month period and will require $20,000. Many elements can be adapted from off-the-shelf or open source software, but others must be developed from scratch to interface between client software and the Timely Trucking database.

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Timely Trucking will focus its strategy on the following areas:

  • Establishing a strong software/Web component to its business to drive adoption of its preferred client services
  • Building and maintaining its on-time reputation to command revenue per mile slightly over the industry average
  • Targeting manufacturers in Oregon and Washington in the first wave of marketing as the segment most in need of Timely Trucking’s services

Competitive Edge

Marketing strategy.

Timely Trucking will attempt to rapidly achieve awareness in Oregon and Washington states about its business in the first year, followed with awareness in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana in future years. It will seek to position itself not as the most inexpensive carrier, but as a carrier with the best on-time record coupled with advanced systems to help clients manage their logistics better. Smaller businesses may feel more comfortable working with a smaller carrier as they fear being lost in the shuffle by bigger carriers who also handle huge accounts.

  • Building a website with visibility on search engines and in databases of trucking companies (see Web plan)
  • Creating a compelling brochure of Timely Trucking services which will be distributed through direct mail, and kept in stock for networking events
  • Exhibiting at Northwestern business service conferences, especially for sectors of the manufacturing industry
  • Advertisements in trade publications
  • Public relations efforts including press releases related to the business launch and its unique preferred client account management package

Sales Strategy

Jim Kerrigan will manage sales for the business, making appointments with and traveling to client businesses in the region when necessary to establish relationships based on an understanding of the client’s needs for shipping. Kerrigan will prospect from a list of manufacturer businesses in the region, starting with small and new businesses which may not have established a long-term relationship with a carrier yet.

Sales Forecast

The cost of sales listed here for per-mile shipping is approximately 25% for fuel based on the estimated 10 mpg for loaded trucks, and another 25% for truck driver labor hours that can be assigned to the jobs based on $16/hour rate. Cost of sales for preferred accounts is much smaller as it consists only of set-up and maintenance labor for hourly operators.

Preferred client accounts are paid for once a year and a 90% retention rate is projected.

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Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Unit Sales
Miles of Shipping 600,139 870,201 1,261,792
Preferred Client Accounts 88 264 528
Total Unit Sales 600,227 870,465 1,262,320
Unit Prices Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Miles of Shipping $1.30 $1.35 $1.41
Preferred Client Accounts $1,000.00 $1,050.00 $1,100.00
Sales
Miles of Shipping $780,180 $1,176,512 $1,774,180
Preferred Client Accounts $88,000 $277,200 $580,800
Total Sales $868,180 $1,453,712 $2,354,980
Direct Unit Costs Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Miles of Shipping $0.65 $0.68 $0.70
Preferred Client Accounts $100.00 $105.00 $110.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Miles of Shipping $390,090 $588,256 $887,090
Preferred Client Accounts $8,800 $27,720 $58,080
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $398,890 $615,976 $945,170

The milestones table covers the early marketing activities described in the marketing strategy summary. The first two milestones (website and brochure) are budgeted under start-up expenses and the remainder are budgeted under the first year marketing budget for operations.

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Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Create Brochure 11/1/2009 11/30/2009 $5,000 JK Marketing
Create Website 10/1/2009 12/31/2009 $20,000 JK Marketing
Generate Mailing List 12/1/2009 12/15/2009 $1,000 JK Marketing
Direct Mail Distribution 12/15/2009 12/31/2009 $5,000 JK Marketing
Run First Advertisements 1/1/2010 1/31/2010 $10,000 JK Marketing
Launch Press Release 1/1/2010 1/31/2010 $2,000 JK Marketing
First Trade Show (Pre and Run) 2/15/2010 2/28/2010 $10,000 JK Marketing
Totals $53,000

Management Summary management summary will include information about who's on your team and why they're the right people for the job, as well as your future hiring plans.">

Jim Kerrigan, CEO, will manage the strategic direction, sales and marketing of Timely Trucking. He developed experience in all of these areas through work in his previous warehousing business, which he launched and successfully sold after fifteen years of operation.

The Chief Operating Officer position will be filled by a partner who will be granted up to 10% of shares in the business after meeting certain milestones. Additional shares will be granted if the COO contributes capital to the business. The COO will manage operations, finances, human resources, and procurement.

The business will require additional personnel including an administrator/dispatch center operator and a sales/marketing support associate. These individuals will be managed by the COO and the CEO, respectively. Three part-time truck drivers will be hired initially.

Personnel Plan

Truck driver salary listed here covers only wages paid which are not directly attributable to client jobs. This includes training, repair work, returns from deliveries, and other required driving with empty trucks. It is expected that this will be less than 20% of driver wages. Truck drivers will grow from three part-time at launch to four full-time by the end of year 1, eight full-time by the end of year 2, and 10 full-time by the end of year 3. There will be more full-time truck drivers than trucks as the business will attempt to utilize the capacity of the trucks at least 60 hours per week and will limit overtime of drivers.

The sales/marketing associate will be hired in the fourth month after the CEO has directly executed all sales and marketing operations for the first three months.

Personnel Plan
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
CEO $48,000 $70,000 $75,000
COO $60,000 $70,000 $75,000
Sales/Marketing Associate $27,000 $40,000 $45,000
Administrator $36,000 $40,000 $45,000
Truck Drivers (Non-Job Payroll) $26,961 $40,000 $50,000
Total People 8 12 14
Total Payroll $197,961 $260,000 $290,000

Financial Plan investor-ready personnel plan .">

Timely Trucking will establish its business with three trucks and a launch financed by the owner and investor’s equity. Starting debt-free will enable the business to take on debt once it has established cash flows to purchase additional trucks over the first three years. Profits will swing positive in the second year after a loss in the first year.

After the first three years, the business can sustain growth of at least three additional trucks per year, and begin to add additional bases of operation throughout the region so that truck drivers who do not live in the Portland area can be hired and trucks do not have to return to this base after all jobs.

Dividends will not be paid out, as cash will be used in the business to prepare for expansion to additional offices and purchase equipment on better terms going forward. After five years of operation, the business will seek a strategic sale to a national freight trucking operator for which Timely Trucking’s geographic and technological focus will be a good match.

Start-up Funding

Jim Kerrigan will provide the majority of start-up funding out of savings from the sale of his previous business. Additional investment will be from investing partners who will be granted 20% of shares in the business for their investment.

Start-up Funding
Start-up Expenses to Fund $63,000
Start-up Assets to Fund $660,000
Total Funding Required $723,000
Assets
Non-cash Assets from Start-up $570,000
Cash Requirements from Start-up $90,000
Additional Cash Raised $0
Cash Balance on Starting Date $90,000
Total Assets $660,000
Liabilities and Capital
Liabilities
Current Borrowing $5,000
Long-term Liabilities $0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills) $0
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free) $0
Total Liabilities $5,000
Capital
Planned Investment
Jim Kerrigan $500,000
Investors $218,000
Additional Investment Requirement $0
Total Planned Investment $718,000
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses) ($63,000)
Total Capital $655,000
Total Capital and Liabilities $660,000
Total Funding $723,000

Important Assumptions

The business assumes the cost of fuel at an average of the past two years, slightly higher than today’s fuel prices. This is considered a conservative estimate as it is possible that fuel will stay below this number during at least part of the start-up phase. However, if fuel becomes significantly more expensive, the gross margins of the business will drop.

Break-even Analysis

The break even point is shown in the table and chart, below.

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Break-even Analysis
Monthly Units Break-even 52,272
Monthly Revenue Break-even $75,608
Assumptions:
Average Per-Unit Revenue $1.45
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost $0.66
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost $40,869

Projected Profit and Loss

Major expenses include:

  • Payroll: Covers the management, staff, and truck driver wages (when not directly attributed to jobs)
  • Marketing/Promotion: Projected higher in the first year and then dropping due to extra marketing devoted to the launch and the weaning off of search engine marketing over time
  • Depreciation: Reflects the growing investment in trucks and equipment over the years. Trucks are depreciated on a 10 year straight-line schedule. The depreciation is $1,250 per month per truck or $1,458 per month including the additional equipment purchased with each truck. The business will grow from four trucks at the end of year 1 to six at the end of year 2 to eight at the end of year 3.
  • Truck Maintenance/Repair: Estimated at $200 per month per truck to start and rising to $225 in year 3 due to aging of some of the first trucks purchased.
  • Rent & Utilities: Projected to rise slightly due to inflationary increases
  • Insurance: Will grow with the number of trucks and size of operations
  • Payroll Taxes: Applied to payroll as listed and half of the direct cost of sales (truck driver wages)
  • Licensing and Permitting: Include ongoing renewals of licenses and additional licenses for new trucks as they are purchased

General motor freight trucking business plan, financial plan chart image

Pro Forma Profit and Loss
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales $868,180 $1,453,712 $2,354,980
Direct Cost of Sales $398,890 $615,976 $945,170
Other Costs of Sales $0 $0 $0
Total Cost of Sales $398,890 $615,976 $945,170
Gross Margin $469,290 $837,736 $1,409,810
Gross Margin % 54.05% 57.63% 59.87%
Expenses
Payroll $197,961 $260,000 $290,000
Marketing/Promotion $102,000 $80,000 $100,000
Depreciation $59,334 $89,952 $124,944
Truck Maintenance/Repair $7,800 $12,000 $18,900
Rent $36,000 $37,800 $39,690
Utilities $3,600 $3,780 $3,969
Insurance $12,000 $18,000 $25,000
Payroll Taxes $59,611 $85,198 $114,388
Licenses and Permitting $8,000 $10,000 $10,000
Web Hosting and Development $4,125 $7,200 $7,560
Total Operating Expenses $490,431 $603,930 $734,451
Profit Before Interest and Taxes ($21,141) $233,806 $675,359
EBITDA $38,193 $323,758 $800,303
Interest Expense $3,889 $21,975 $35,250
Taxes Incurred $0 $63,549 $192,033
Net Profit ($25,030) $148,282 $448,077
Net Profit/Sales -2.88% 10.20% 19.03%

Projected Cash Flow

Purchases of new trucks will be made with 3 year loans for 90% of the purchase price. The remaining $25,000 plus $25,000 in additional equipment (forklift, etc) for each purchase will be made in cash. Payments on these loans will be $3,750 per month, per truck loan for the life of the loans.

One additional truck will be purchased in the first year with a loan, two in the second year, and two in the third year.

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Pro Forma Cash Flow
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Cash Received
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales $217,045 $363,428 $588,745
Cash from Receivables $531,566 $1,009,642 $1,642,109
Subtotal Cash from Operations $748,611 $1,373,070 $2,230,854
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received $69,454 $116,297 $188,398
New Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) $0 $0 $0
New Long-term Liabilities $135,000 $270,000 $270,000
Sales of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Sales of Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0
New Investment Received $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Received $953,065 $1,759,367 $2,689,252
Expenditures Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending $197,961 $260,000 $290,000
Bill Payments $568,192 $944,669 $1,447,865
Subtotal Spent on Operations $766,154 $1,204,669 $1,737,865
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out $69,454 $116,297 $188,398
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing $2,000 $3,000 $0
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment $7,500 $90,000 $180,000
Purchase Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0
Purchase Long-term Assets $175,000 $350,000 $350,000
Dividends $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Spent $1,020,108 $1,763,966 $2,456,264
Net Cash Flow ($67,043) ($4,599) $232,988
Cash Balance $22,957 $18,358 $251,346

Projected Balance Sheet

The balance sheet illustrates the launch of the business on equity financing and augmented by safe debt over its first three years of operation to purchase additional trucks. This will allow cash and assets, as well as net worth, to continue to grow.

Retained earnings will be negative due to the loss sustained in the first year of operation and the start-up phase, but will move closer to positive in the third year after a profitable second year.

Pro Forma Balance Sheet
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Assets
Current Assets
Cash $22,957 $18,358 $251,346
Accounts Receivable $119,570 $200,212 $324,339
Other Current Assets $20,000 $20,000 $20,000
Total Current Assets $162,527 $238,570 $595,685
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $725,000 $1,075,000 $1,425,000
Accumulated Depreciation $59,334 $149,286 $274,230
Total Long-term Assets $665,666 $925,714 $1,150,770
Total Assets $828,193 $1,164,284 $1,746,455
Liabilities and Capital Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $67,723 $78,532 $122,627
Current Borrowing $3,000 $0 $0
Other Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Current Liabilities $70,723 $78,532 $122,627
Long-term Liabilities $127,500 $307,500 $397,500
Total Liabilities $198,223 $386,032 $520,127
Paid-in Capital $718,000 $718,000 $718,000
Retained Earnings ($63,000) ($88,030) $60,252
Earnings ($25,030) $148,282 $448,077
Total Capital $629,970 $778,252 $1,226,328
Total Liabilities and Capital $828,193 $1,164,284 $1,746,455
Net Worth $629,970 $778,252 $1,226,328

Business Ratios

The ratios of the business are compared to General Freight/Long-Distance Trucking for businesses of $1 million to $5 million in revenues.

Ratio Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Industry Profile
Sales Growth n.a. 67.44% 62.00% -0.08%
Percent of Total Assets
Accounts Receivable 14.44% 17.20% 18.57% 28.96%
Other Current Assets 2.41% 1.72% 1.15% 28.54%
Total Current Assets 19.62% 20.49% 34.11% 58.36%
Long-term Assets 80.38% 79.51% 65.89% 41.64%
Total Assets 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Current Liabilities 8.54% 6.75% 7.02% 34.65%
Long-term Liabilities 15.39% 26.41% 22.76% 34.50%
Total Liabilities 23.93% 33.16% 29.78% 69.15%
Net Worth 76.07% 66.84% 70.22% 30.85%
Percent of Sales
Sales 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Gross Margin 54.05% 57.63% 59.87% 59.90%
Selling, General & Administrative Expenses 56.94% 47.43% 40.84% 15.68%
Advertising Expenses 11.75% 5.50% 4.25% 0.24%
Profit Before Interest and Taxes -2.44% 16.08% 28.68% 4.09%
Main Ratios
Current 2.30 3.04 4.86 1.36
Quick 2.30 3.04 4.86 1.34
Total Debt to Total Assets 23.93% 33.16% 29.78% 69.15%
Pre-tax Return on Net Worth -3.97% 27.22% 52.20% 42.38%
Pre-tax Return on Assets -3.02% 18.19% 36.65% 13.08%
Additional Ratios Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Net Profit Margin -2.88% 10.20% 19.03% n.a
Return on Equity -3.97% 19.05% 36.54% n.a
Activity Ratios
Accounts Receivable Turnover 5.45 5.45 5.45 n.a
Collection Days 43 54 54 n.a
Accounts Payable Turnover 9.39 12.17 12.17 n.a
Payment Days 27 28 25 n.a
Total Asset Turnover 1.05 1.25 1.35 n.a
Debt Ratios
Debt to Net Worth 0.31 0.50 0.42 n.a
Current Liab. to Liab. 0.36 0.20 0.24 n.a
Liquidity Ratios
Net Working Capital $91,804 $160,038 $473,058 n.a
Interest Coverage -5.44 10.64 19.16 n.a
Additional Ratios
Assets to Sales 0.95 0.80 0.74 n.a
Current Debt/Total Assets 9% 7% 7% n.a
Acid Test 0.61 0.49 2.21 n.a
Sales/Net Worth 1.38 1.87 1.92 n.a
Dividend Payout 0.00 0.00 0.00 n.a

The valuation of the business after three years is estimated at an average between two methods of valuation, based on an earnings multiple and based on a sales multiple. Both methods yield similar results. The average valuation is $4.53 million.

Investors will be given 20% of shares for their capital contribution. Kerrigan will be given 46% for his capital contribution and 34% for his contribution as founder. Investors will see a 63% internal rate of return based on this valuation.

The market value of the business will be determined after five years, when the business is best poised for sale. The valuation of the business is expected to be between $10 and $15 million for a strategic sale to a national trucking operator at that point.

Investment Analysis
Start Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Initial Investment
Investment $718,000 $0 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $0 $0 $0
Ending Valuation $0 $0 $0 $3,108,600
Combination as Income Stream ($718,000) $0 $0 $3,108,600
Percent Equity Acquired 66%
Net Present Value (NPV) $1,470,488
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) 63%
Assumptions
Discount Rate 10.00%
Valuation Earnings Multiple 10 10 10
Valuation Sales Multiple 2 2 2
Investment (calculated) $718,000 $0 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $0 $0
Calculated Earnings-based Valuation $0 $1,480,000 $4,480,000
Calculated Sales-based Valuation $1,740,000 $2,910,000 $4,710,000
Calculated Average Valuation $870,000 $2,195,000 $4,595,000
Sales Forecast
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Unit Sales
Miles of Shipping 12,000 18,000 27,000 37,800 52,920 55,566 58,344 61,262 64,325 67,541 70,918 74,464
Preferred Client Accounts 0 1 2 4 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 14
Total Unit Sales 12,000 18,001 27,002 37,804 52,927 55,574 58,353 61,272 64,335 67,552 70,930 74,478
Unit Prices Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Miles of Shipping $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30 $1.30
Preferred Client Accounts $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00
Sales
Miles of Shipping $15,600 $23,400 $35,100 $49,140 $68,796 $72,236 $75,848 $79,640 $83,622 $87,803 $92,193 $96,803
Preferred Client Accounts $0 $1,000 $2,000 $4,000 $7,000 $8,000 $9,000 $10,000 $10,000 $11,000 $12,000 $14,000
Total Sales $15,600 $24,400 $37,100 $53,140 $75,796 $80,236 $84,848 $89,640 $93,622 $98,803 $104,193 $110,803
Direct Unit Costs Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Miles of Shipping 50.00% $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65 $0.65
Preferred Client Accounts 10.00% $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00 $100.00
Direct Cost of Sales
Miles of Shipping $7,800 $11,700 $17,550 $24,570 $34,398 $36,118 $37,924 $39,820 $41,811 $43,902 $46,097 $48,401
Preferred Client Accounts $0 $100 $200 $400 $700 $800 $900 $1,000 $1,000 $1,100 $1,200 $1,400
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $7,800 $11,800 $17,750 $24,970 $35,098 $36,918 $38,824 $40,820 $42,811 $45,002 $47,297 $49,801
Personnel Plan
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
CEO $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000
COO $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Sales/Marketing Associate $0 $0 $0 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Administrator $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Truck Drivers (Non-Job Payroll) $1,000 $1,200 $1,440 $1,584 $1,901 $2,091 $2,300 $2,530 $2,783 $3,061 $3,367 $3,704
Total People 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 8 8
Total Payroll $13,000 $13,200 $13,440 $16,584 $16,901 $17,091 $17,300 $17,530 $17,783 $18,061 $18,367 $18,704
Pro Forma Profit and Loss
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Sales $15,600 $24,400 $37,100 $53,140 $75,796 $80,236 $84,848 $89,640 $93,622 $98,803 $104,193 $110,803
Direct Cost of Sales $7,800 $11,800 $17,750 $24,970 $35,098 $36,918 $38,824 $40,820 $42,811 $45,002 $47,297 $49,801
Other Costs of Sales $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Cost of Sales $7,800 $11,800 $17,750 $24,970 $35,098 $36,918 $38,824 $40,820 $42,811 $45,002 $47,297 $49,801
Gross Margin $7,800 $12,600 $19,350 $28,170 $40,698 $43,318 $46,024 $48,820 $50,811 $53,802 $56,897 $61,001
Gross Margin % 50.00% 51.64% 52.16% 53.01% 53.69% 53.99% 54.24% 54.46% 54.27% 54.45% 54.61% 55.05%
Expenses
Payroll $13,000 $13,200 $13,440 $16,584 $16,901 $17,091 $17,300 $17,530 $17,783 $18,061 $18,367 $18,704
Marketing/Promotion $6,000 $6,000 $16,000 $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 $16,000 $6,000 $6,000 $16,000 $6,000 $6,000
Depreciation $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $4,580 $6,038 $6,038 $6,038
Truck Maintenance/Repair $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $600 $800 $800 $800
Rent $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000
Utilities $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300 $300
Insurance $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Payroll Taxes 15% $2,535 $2,865 $3,347 $4,360 $5,167 $5,332 $5,507 $5,691 $5,878 $6,084 $6,302 $6,541
Licenses and Permitting 15% $0 $0 $1,000 $0 $0 $1,000 $0 $0 $5,000 $0 $0 $1,000
Web Hosting and Development $300 $218 $238 $259 $282 $307 $335 $365 $398 $434 $473 $516
Total Operating Expenses $31,315 $31,763 $43,505 $36,683 $37,830 $39,210 $48,622 $39,066 $44,539 $51,718 $42,281 $43,899
Profit Before Interest and Taxes ($23,515) ($19,163) ($24,155) ($8,513) $2,868 $4,108 ($2,598) $9,754 $6,272 $2,084 $14,616 $17,103
EBITDA ($18,935) ($14,583) ($19,575) ($3,933) $7,448 $8,688 $1,982 $14,334 $10,852 $8,122 $20,654 $23,141
Interest Expense $61 $60 $58 $57 $55 $53 $51 $48 $46 $1,168 $1,133 $1,100
Taxes Incurred $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Net Profit ($23,576) ($19,223) ($24,214) ($8,570) $2,813 $4,055 ($2,649) $9,706 $6,226 $916 $13,483 $16,003
Net Profit/Sales -151.13% -78.78% -65.27% -16.13% 3.71% 5.05% -3.12% 10.83% 6.65% 0.93% 12.94% 14.44%
Pro Forma Cash Flow
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Cash Received
Cash from Operations
Cash Sales $3,900 $6,100 $9,275 $13,285 $18,949 $20,059 $21,212 $22,410 $23,405 $24,701 $26,048 $27,701
Cash from Receivables $0 $6,240 $15,220 $23,380 $34,241 $48,917 $58,623 $62,022 $65,553 $68,823 $72,289 $76,258
Subtotal Cash from Operations $3,900 $12,340 $24,495 $36,665 $53,190 $68,976 $79,835 $84,432 $88,958 $93,524 $98,337 $103,959
Additional Cash Received
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received 8.00% $1,248 $1,952 $2,968 $4,251 $6,064 $6,419 $6,788 $7,171 $7,490 $7,904 $8,335 $8,864
New Current Borrowing $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Other Liabilities (interest-free) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $135,000 $0 $0
Sales of Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Sales of Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
New Investment Received $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Received $5,148 $14,292 $27,463 $40,916 $59,254 $75,395 $86,623 $91,603 $96,448 $236,428 $106,673 $112,823
Expenditures Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Expenditures from Operations
Cash Spending $13,000 $13,200 $13,440 $16,584 $16,901 $17,091 $17,300 $17,530 $17,783 $18,061 $18,367 $18,704
Bill Payments $720 $21,738 $26,425 $43,202 $40,911 $51,603 $54,880 $65,356 $58,064 $65,325 $73,538 $66,430
Subtotal Spent on Operations $13,720 $34,938 $39,865 $59,786 $57,812 $68,693 $72,180 $82,886 $75,847 $83,386 $91,905 $85,134
Additional Cash Spent
Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out $1,248 $1,952 $2,968 $4,251 $6,064 $6,419 $6,788 $7,171 $7,490 $7,904 $8,335 $8,864
Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing $100 $110 $121 $133 $146 $161 $177 $195 $215 $237 $261 $144
Other Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $3,750 $3,750
Purchase Other Current Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Purchase Long-term Assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $175,000 $0 $0
Dividends $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Cash Spent $15,068 $37,000 $42,954 $64,170 $64,022 $75,273 $79,145 $90,253 $83,552 $266,527 $104,252 $97,892
Net Cash Flow ($9,920) ($22,708) ($15,491) ($23,254) ($4,768) $122 $7,477 $1,350 $12,896 ($30,099) $2,421 $14,931
Cash Balance $80,080 $57,372 $41,882 $18,628 $13,860 $13,982 $21,459 $22,809 $35,705 $5,605 $8,026 $22,957
Pro Forma Balance Sheet
Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Assets Starting Balances
Current Assets
Cash $90,000 $80,080 $57,372 $41,882 $18,628 $13,860 $13,982 $21,459 $22,809 $35,705 $5,605 $8,026 $22,957
Accounts Receivable $0 $11,700 $23,760 $36,365 $52,840 $75,446 $86,705 $91,718 $96,927 $101,590 $106,870 $112,726 $119,570
Other Current Assets $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000 $20,000
Total Current Assets $110,000 $111,780 $101,132 $98,247 $91,468 $109,306 $120,687 $133,177 $139,736 $157,295 $132,475 $140,752 $162,527
Long-term Assets
Long-term Assets $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $550,000 $725,000 $725,000 $725,000
Accumulated Depreciation $0 $4,580 $9,160 $13,740 $18,320 $22,900 $27,480 $32,060 $36,640 $41,220 $47,258 $53,296 $59,334
Total Long-term Assets $550,000 $545,420 $540,840 $536,260 $531,680 $527,100 $522,520 $517,940 $513,360 $508,780 $677,742 $671,704 $665,666
Total Assets $660,000 $657,200 $641,972 $634,507 $623,148 $636,406 $643,207 $651,117 $653,096 $666,075 $810,217 $812,456 $828,193
Liabilities and Capital Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Month 5 Month 6 Month 7 Month 8 Month 9 Month 10 Month 11 Month 12
Current Liabilities
Accounts Payable $0 $20,876 $24,981 $41,850 $39,195 $49,786 $52,693 $63,429 $55,897 $62,865 $71,328 $64,095 $67,723
Current Borrowing $5,000 $4,900 $4,790 $4,669 $4,536 $4,390 $4,229 $4,052 $3,857 $3,642 $3,405 $3,144 $3,000
Other Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Current Liabilities $5,000 $25,776 $29,771 $46,519 $43,731 $54,176 $56,922 $67,481 $59,754 $66,507 $74,733 $67,239 $70,723
Long-term Liabilities $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $135,000 $131,250 $127,500
Total Liabilities $5,000 $25,776 $29,771 $46,519 $43,731 $54,176 $56,922 $67,481 $59,754 $66,507 $209,733 $198,489 $198,223
Paid-in Capital $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000 $718,000
Retained Earnings ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000) ($63,000)
Earnings $0 ($23,576) ($42,799) ($67,013) ($75,583) ($72,770) ($68,715) ($71,364) ($61,658) ($55,432) ($54,515) ($41,033) ($25,030)
Total Capital $655,000 $631,424 $612,201 $587,987 $579,417 $582,230 $586,285 $583,636 $593,342 $599,568 $600,485 $613,967 $629,970
Total Liabilities and Capital $660,000 $657,200 $641,972 $634,507 $623,148 $636,406 $643,207 $651,117 $653,096 $666,075 $810,217 $812,456 $828,193
Net Worth $655,000 $631,424 $612,201 $587,987 $579,417 $582,230 $586,285 $583,636 $593,342 $599,568 $600,485 $613,967 $629,970

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hauling service business plan

How to Start a Local Hauling Business

by David Weedmark

Published on 12 Dec 2019

Starting a hauling business is something just about anyone can do with little in the way of upfront costs. If you already own a pickup truck, chances are you've been doing some hauling already for family, friends and neighbors. Starting your own pickup truck hauling business means you can get paid in cash rather than hugs and baked goods. Provided you only haul locally without crossing state lines, you'll need a truck, some hauling equipment, insurance and a business registration.

Selecting the Right Truck

If you don't already own a pickup truck, you will likely want to get a one-ton truck , which can carry 2,000 pounds. A half-ton truck with a load capacity of 1,000 pounds is great for moving furniture or opening a delivery service, but you will be restricted in what you can and cannot haul.

The benefit of a pickup truck is that you can also use it as a personal vehicle when you're not working. The drawback is that it has an open cab, and it won't be suitable for larger loads. If you already have a good client base and think you need something with a bigger capacity, a larger truck may be preferable:

  • Cargo van: Haul up to 3,500 pounds and 404 cubic feet
  • 12-foot truck: Haul up to 3,100 pounds and 450 cubic feet
  • 16-foot truck: Haul up to 4,300 pounds and 800 cubic feet* 22-foot truck: Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,200 cubic feet
  • 26-foot truck: Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,700 cubic feet

Gas mileage between these vehicles is about the same; however, a larger vehicle will likely cost more. Having a brand-new truck may be great for the ego, but the more your truck costs, the more hours you'll have to work just to keep out of the red. A sturdy used truck with low maintenance requirements is usually ideal.

Getting the Right Equipment

Once you have your truck, you're going to need some equipment for moving items in and out and securing your loads. To begin, you will need at least one hand truck or dolly. There are different shapes and sizes for different jobs. If you're moving refrigerators or appliances, for example, you will want an appliance dolly.

The specific equipment you need will depend on what you're hauling. In most cases, moving blankets, ratchet straps and bungee cords should be on your shopping list. If you have a pickup truck, you will need a tarp to protect your cargo from the elements. Larger, heavier items may require heavy ropes or chains to keep them secure.

State Licensing Requirements

Check out the state and local requirements for operating an intrastate commercial vehicle . As long as you stick to local hauling, these are the only requirements about which you need to worry. In Michigan, for example, you will have to register with the regulatory and credentialing section of the Michigan State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.

Depending on your state, what you plan to haul and the size of your vehicle, you may also need a commercial drivers' license. Your cargo can have additional requirements as well. Junk haulers, for example, need to be aware of hazardous waste transportation requirements.

Keep in mind that the laws are quite different for intrastate local hauling compared to interstate hauling. Once you cross that state line, you will likely have additional state requirements to meet, and you will have to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation to get a USDOT number.

Registering and Insuring Your Hauling Company

In most cases, registering your business as a sole proprietorship should be fine, but if you're working with a partner, you should consider registering as an LLC or partnership. Talking to a lawyer or an accountant will give you insight on which type of company is best for your needs as well as what insurance you will need.

In most cases, you will need commercial insurance for your truck as well as liability insurance . If you already own your pickup truck, talk to your insurance broker about your plans because you will probably need to upgrade your insurance. Not only will the cost go up due to increased mileage but premiums for commercial vehicles generally cost more than personal vehicles.

Finding Customers Who Need You

Once your business is registered and all the paperwork is out of the way, it's time to start finding customers. Start with friends, family and neighbors and let them know your truck is now for hire so they can help spread the word. Get yourself some business cards and introduce yourself to any local businesses that might be a good candidate for your services. Put your company information on the door of your truck.

Finding customers online will save you a lot of legwork. Register a page on Yelp and post an ad on Craigslist offering your services. While you're on Craigslist, take a look for anyone posting ads for "hauling services needed". Sign up for GoShare if it's available in your city. It's an app service similar to Uber but for people who need hauling services.

If you're willing to work in bad weather , you'll likely find this will get you customers quickly and earn you plenty of referrals. Make sure you keep your truck in good repair so a mechanical breakdown won't stall the goodwill you've established.

Making Your Hauling Business Profitable

If you're just looking to make some extra money with your pickup truck, working evenings and weekends may be all you need. If your goal is to grow your business into a full-time enterprise, you will need a business plan . A major part of your business plan will be to ensure that your income exceeds your costs.

Most costs are fixed and can be totaled and then averaged out to monthly payments, such as:

  • Vehicle payments
  • Licenses and registrations
  • Maintenance

Next, determine how much you want to make in profit each month and add this to your fixed costs. Then, divide the total by the number of hours you will work each month. Add the average cost of fuel per hour to determine how much you should charge per hour.

Expanding Your Hauling Business

When you own a truck, every hour it's sitting idle in your driveway is a lost revenue opportunity. This is why business owners often partner with someone , especially when they have other jobs, in order to ensure they are getting the most revenue from their investment.

Alternatively, you may want to consider hiring someone on a part-time basis to do hauling for you when you're busy. This of course will mean additional costs, like added insurance premiums, wages and workers' compensation insurance. You will also need to register with your state and the IRS for payroll taxes.

Investing in a second truck is always something for which to aim, but it will also be a very perilous time for your business if you can't keep both vehicles busy. Before doubling your costs, consider hiring someone who already has his own truck and pay him a premium for using it. Another good option is to negotiate a deal with a truck rental company to use its vehicles as needed until you're certain that buying another vehicle is a wise investment.

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  • Business Insurance

Best Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

Best commercial auto insurance companies of june 2024.

Jason Metz

Updated: Jun 2, 2024, 4:00pm

We found that Acuity, Auto-Owners, Axis, Federated Insurance, The Hartford, Nationwide and Sentry are the best commercial auto insurance companies. Each scored five out of five stars in our analysis.

We evaluated 28 large business insurance companies based on complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to help you find the best options.

Why you can trust Forbes Advisor

Our editors are committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. We use data-driven methodologies to evaluate insurance companies, so all companies are measured equally. You can read more about our editorial guidelines and the methodology for the ratings below.

  • 28 insurance companies evaluated
  • 96 years of insurance experience on the editorial team
  • Best Small Business Insurance
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  • Cheap Business Insurance
  • How Much Small Business Insurance Costs
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A.M. Best financial strength rating

A- (Excellent)

Acuity A Mutual Insurance Co.

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Acuity A Mutual Insurance Co.

Complaint level

Acuity has low complaint levels across the board for its commercial auto, liability and property insurance. Types of businesses that Acuity can insure include construction, manufacturing, trucking and retail. Acuity has many supplemental coverage types you can add to a commercial auto insurance policy, such as coverage for bail bond payments, temporary substitute vehicles and fire department service charges.

  • Online commercial auto insurance quotes available.
  • Covers employees for after-hours personal use.
  • You can file commercial auto claims online.
  • Financial strength rating is lower than some top competitors, but still solid.

Auto-Owners Insurance

AM Best financial strength rating

Auto-Owners Insurance has a very low level of complaints about its business auto insurance. Ways to save on Auto-Owners’ commercial auto insurance include a discount for paying in full, buying multiple policies and using a telematics program to monitor your fleet of vehicles.

  • Road trouble service is included and covers problems like flat tires, dead batteries, running out of gas and locking your keys in your vehicle.
  • Includes coverage for additional expenses after an accident such as a rental car and  food and lodging if you cannot drive your work vehicle due to an accident.
  • You can add loan/lease gap coverage to cover the gap between what you owe on your vehicle and the value of your vehicle if it’s totaled due to a problem covered by your policy.
  • Offers several different types of discounts, such as multi-policy discount, paid-in-full discount, and fleet monitoring discount if telematics devices are installed and used to monitor the vehicles in your fleet.
  • You’ll need to contact an agent to get a commercial auto insurance quote.

Acuity A Mutual Insurance Co.

Have you considered Acuity A Mutual Insurance Co.?

Low complaint levels

Types of businesses include construction, manufacturing, trucking and retail

(Excellent)

Axis Insurance isn’t one of the larger insurers on our list but is worth a look because of its lack of commercial auto insurance complaints in 2021. Its business targets commercial and consumer product manufacturers, commercial contractors, the hospitality industry and retail. Complaints made to state regulators about Axis’s commercial liability and commercial property insurance were also low.

  • Very low level of commercial auto insurance complaints.
  • No option to file a claim online, you’ll need to contact an agent.
  • Does not offer online quotes for commercial auto insurance.

Federated Insurance

Federated Insurance serves industries, such as contractors, dealerships, automotive repair, retailers and wholesalers. It stands out for having no complaints to state regulators last year. However, its commercial liability and commercial property insurance businesses received complaint levels above the industry average.

  • Very low level of commercial auto complaints.
  • Agents will meet with you to customize a commercial auto policy that fits your specific business needs.
  • Offers online claims filing.
  • Does not offer online commercial auto quotes.

The Hartford

Within its broad footprint of insurance and financial services, The Hartford offers commercial auto insurance for both small and large businesses. If your business vehicle is in a crash, commercial auto insurance from The Hartford can cover lost business income.

The Hartford’s commercial auto policies include gap coverage for leased and loaned vehicles and coverage for electronic devices. If your business vehicle is totaled, The Hartford pays an additional 10% (up to $2,500) above the vehicle value if you replace it with a hybrid, electric or natural gas vehicle.

  • Pays an additional 10% (up to $2,500) of your coverage limit if you replace a totaled work vehicle with an electric, hybrid or natural gas vehicle.
  • Offers online business insurance quotes.
  • Offers liability insurance for rental cars if you or your employees are driving a rental vehicle for work purposes.

Nationwide

While Nationwide’s business spans many types of insurance and financial services, it’s also a big player in commercial auto insurance. Nationwide’s target customers include commercial agribusiness, construction and manufacturing. Small businesses, such as retail stores, can also find suitable coverage from Nationwide.

If your small business has a fleet of vehicles, check out Nationwide Vantage 360. This telematics program allows you to view drivers’ locations and how well they drive.

  • Offers online claims filing and a repair shop locator.
  • The telematics program (Vantage 360 Fleet) offers a rewards program for drivers to earn points for safe driving and redeem points for gift cards.

Sentry

Sentry has an excellent track record for low complaints about its commercial auto insurance. Sentry primarily serves large businesses, including auto dealerships, construction and manufacturing companies, and motor carriers.

  • Offers non-trucking liability insurance to cover you when you’re driving for non-business purposes.
  • You can work with safety services consultants to implement a fleet safety program.
  • Does not offer online claims filing—you’ll need to contact Sentry.
  • Does not offer online commercial auto insurance quotes.

AmTrust Financial

AmTrust’s commercial auto insurance business focuses on contractors (such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing), distributors (such as food and beverage), energy and appliance repair. AmTrust can provide downtime loss coverage for small businesses if your vehicle is being repaired, a diminishing deductible if you haven’t made a claim and a single deductible if you have claims on multiple vehicles from one event.

  • Low level of complaints for commercial auto insurance.
  • Offers coverage for towing and rental reimbursement while your work vehicle is being repaired due to a problem covered by the policy.
  • Offers online commercial auto insurance quotes.
  • Does not offer online claims filing for commercial auto, but you can download a form and submit a claim via email.

Old Republic Insurance

Old Republic’s subsidiary Great West Casualty Co. is worth a look because of its very low complaint level if you’re in the trucking business. Great West specializes in services and insurance for truckers.

  • Very low level of complaints for commercial auto insurance.
  • Coverage is geared toward truckers and trucking companies.
  • Offers online truck insurance quotes.
  • Does not offer online claims filing.

Travelers

Travelers’ commercial auto insurance spans a broad range of customers, from small businesses to commercial trucking to municipal emergency services. With a track record of low complaints and a large selection of other business coverages, Travelers is worth consideration.

  • Superior financial strength rating from AM Best.
  • Offers industry-specific coverage for the public sector (such as fire trucks and ambulances) and the oil and gas industry.
  • Offers online commercial auto insurance claims filing.
  • Some top competitors have a lower level of commercial auto insurance complaints, but Travelers’ track record is solid.
  • Does not provide online commercial auto insurance quotes.
Company Forbes Advisor Rating

Commercial car insurance is a form of small business insurance for work vehicles. If you drive a car, truck or van for business purposes, you’ll need a commercial auto policy. Your personal car insurance likely won’t cover the vehicle if you (or an employee) get into an accident while driving for business.

Commercial auto insurance can cover everything from company cars to food trucks to delivery vans.

Here’s a look at the types of coverage available with commercial auto insurance:

  • Property damage liability pays for damages to another person’s property, such as their car, when you are at fault in an accident.
  • Bodily injury liability pays for the injuries you cause another person when you’re responsible for an accident.
  • Combined single limit (CSL) offers one limit for property damage claims and bodily injury claims.
  • Collision insurance pays for damage to your business vehicle when it hits another car or an object, such as a pole.
  • Comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by weather, fire, falling objects (such as tree branches) and other problems. It also covers vehicle theft.
  • Medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP) pay for the cost of medical care for you and your passengers, no matter who was at fault.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your and your passengers’ injuries if your vehicle is struck by an uninsured driver.

If you are driving a vehicle for business purposes, you will need commercial auto insurance. Your personal car insurance policy won’t pay a claim if you get into an accident while driving your car for work.

Here are some examples when you need a commercial auto insurance policy:

  • The vehicle is solely used for work (for example, a company car).
  • You transport goods or people in your vehicle.
  • You transport tools or equipment in your vehicle.
  • Your employees drive your business vehicle.
  • The vehicle is owned by the company.
  • You conduct a business service with your vehicle.

Related: How commercial auto insurance works

The average cost of commercial auto insurance is $147 per month , according to Insureon. More than a third (37%) of Insureon customers pay less than $100 per month, about a quarter (26%) pay between $100 and $200 per month and 37% pay more than $200 per month for commercial auto insurance.

Factors in Business Auto Insurance Cost

Here’s a look at the pricing factors for commercial auto insurance.

  • Company business. The type of business you run impacts the commercial auto insurance rates that you’ll pay. If you mainly work at your office, you’ll pay less than someone who carries tools and equipment in a work van and makes customer calls all day.
  • Vehicle. The type and size of the company vehicle affects the insurance rate.
  • Driving history. Drivers with good driving records are rewarded with better rates.
  • Location. If you work in a bigger city, expect to pay more for your commercial auto insurance than a business that operates in a small town. Drivers in areas with low accident frequency and few car thefts pay less.
  • Mileage. How much you typically drive a commercial vehicle impacts rates.
  • Coverage choices. Your coverage choices and insurance limits impact your rate.

If you have a business vehicle that you rent or a personal car that you sometimes use for business-related work, the vehicle won’t be covered by a commercial auto policy. But you can find coverage with “hired and non-owned auto insurance.”

Let’s say you’re driving your personal car to a business meeting and get into a car wreck. You’re at fault in the accident, and the other driver decides to sue your business. Hired and non-owned auto insurance would help cover these legal fees.

If you’re a driver for Uber, Lyft or another rideshare service, you may wish to get additional insurance protection with rideshare insurance . Relying on a personal auto policy and the rideshare company’s insurance can leave a coverage gap.

For example, there is a gap in insurance coverage when a driver has the rideshare company’s app on but is still waiting for a passenger request. The driver won’t be covered by comprehensive and collision insurance from either their personal auto policy or the insurance offered by the rideshare company’s coverage. Getting rideshare insurance fills this gap in coverage.

Below is a ranking of the largest sellers of commercial auto insurance.

Rank Company Market share

We evaluated 28 companies based on commercial auto insurance complaints made to state regulators in 2021, using data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Best Car Insurance Companies 2024

With so many choices for car insurance companies, it can be hard to know where to start to find the right car insurance. We've evaluated insurers to find the best car insurance companies, so you don't have to.

Business Insurance Made Simple

What types of vehicles are covered under commercial auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance generally covers work vehicles that are owned, rented or leased by a business and used for work-related purposes, such as delivering goods and transporting tools and equipment. This includes vehicles such as cars, box trucks, pickup trucks, dump trucks, food trucks, vans, funeral home vehicles and courtesy vehicles for repair shops.

Why are commercial auto insurance costs so high?

Commercial auto insurance typically costs more than personal auto insurance because insurance companies generally see driving for work-related purposes as riskier than driving for personal use. For example, a business consultant who drives to meet with several clients every week is more likely to have an accident compared to someone who drives to work once a day.

The best way to find a good price on commercial auto insurance is to shop around for quotes. It’s a good idea to get commercial auto insurance quotes from several different insurers.

How is commercial auto insurance different from personal auto insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is intended specifically for vehicles used for business purposes. Because of the extra risks associated with business use, commercial car insurance is generally more expensive than a comparable personal auto policy.

You’ll find business-specific coverage options and sometimes discounts for using a telematics program to track your fleet of vehicles.

Next Up in Car Insurance

  • Best Car Insurance Companies Of 2024
  • Cheapest Car Insurance
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  • How Commercial Auto Insurance Works
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Jason Metz

As a former claims handler and fraud investigator, Jason Metz has worked on a multitude of complex and multifaceted claims. The insurance industry can be seemingly opaque, and Jason enjoys breaking down confusing terms and products to help others make well-informed decisions.

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Business Insurance FAQ

Additional resources, business insurance.

Last Updated: March 27, 2024, 2:07 pm by TRUiC Team

Small businesses need insurance to protect themselves from a variety of risks, including natural disasters and lawsuits from employees and customers.

We'll help you find the right types of business insurance to fit your needs (and your budget).

Recommended: Next Insurance  is dedicated to matching small businesses with the right policies at the best price.

Small Business Insurance

Insurance companies use several factors to calculate your monthly premium. Some of the well-known aspects include: 

  • Type of coverage
  • Number of employees
  • Geographical location of your business
  • Financial stability 
  • Existing safety and security features of your building, equipment, and/or vehicles

It’s estimated that small businesses pay anywhere from $14–$124/month for any one kind of insurance coverage. 

Affordability is an important factor in choosing business insurance — take a look at our low-cost business insurance guide to learn more about pricing. Below is a chart that shows you the average cost of popular types of coverage:

 
General Liability Insurance $30 $360
Commercial Property Insurance $63 (median) $756 (median)
Inland Marine Insurance $14 (median) $169 (median)
Cyber Liability Insurance $123.75 $1,485
Business Interruption Insurance $40 $480
Workers Compensation $70 $840

Sources: AdvisorSmith, The Hartford, Hiscox, and Insureon

Compare Quotes Online

Use our dedicated small business insurance provider to generate a quick and accurate online quote created specifically for your small business.

Types of Business Insurance

The type of insurance your business needs will depend on what you do and the size of your business.

A good first line of defense — or rather, if you only were to choose one policy — then it should be general liability insurance . General liability will help protect your business against the most common risks like personal injury and property damage.

Other types of business insurance include:

Business Owner's Policy

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance

Umbrella Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

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Business Insurance requirements can vary state by state. When looking at what business insurance you will need, as well as those that are highly recommended, be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s requirements. Check out our guide on Business Insurance Requirements by State .

Let's Find the Coverage You Need

The best insurers design exactly the coverage you need at the most affordable price.

What is covered by business insurance?

Business insurance covers businesses from losses that can happen in the natural course of doing business. This can come from various situations, like property damage, lawsuits, loss of business income, bodily injury, fire, and more.

What you choose to get covered depends on your industry and the different types of policies you choose to take on for your business.

Do I really need business insurance?

Businesses need insurance for several reasons. Depending on the state they operate in, businesses may be required to get specific types of insurance like workers’ compensation . 

In addition to this, some businesses may refuse to work with you unless you carry your own insurance, as they do not want to assume the risks and liability for your work on their own insurance.

When do I get business insurance?

You should get business insurance when you start your business, especially if you plan to start doing business right away. This way, you can be protected from the very beginning from any lawsuits, property damages, costs associated with bodily injury, and anything else that could happen to your business.

How much should business insurance cost?

The cost of business insurance for a small business is typically between $700 and $3,800 a year, but this depends greatly on what types of insurance your business needs.

We recommend doing some research into the risks faced by your business and getting a business insurance quote from a trusted source.

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Election latest: Tory minister defiant over election - and wants a former PM to campaign

The Liberal Democrats have kicked off a vital stage of the election campaign by launching their manifesto to "save the NHS". Reform UK haven't gone that far yet, but are seeking to explain their tax-cutting plans. Meanwhile, a Tory minister wants Boris Johnson back on the campaign trail.

Monday 10 June 2024 23:50, UK

  • General Election 2024

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Election news

  • Lib Dems launch manifesto to 'save the NHS'
  • Bulletin: What you need to know from the campaign trail
  • Pledges include free social care, bereavement support for parents, tackling river sewage, and 'fixing' ties with EU - Ed Conway looks at how much it would cost
  • Home secretary wants Johnson on campaign trail
  • Minister condemns Reform candidate's 'shameful' post
  • Sunak 'not thought about quitting' despite D-Day fallout
  • Battle For No 10: PM and Starmer taking part in Sky News special
  • Live reporting by Jennifer Scott and (earlier)  Tim Baker

Expert analysis

  • Gurpreet Narwan: Echoes of Truss in Reform's economic plans
  • Tamara Cohen: Labour takes on enormous childcare challenge
  • Sky News Daily: Do the Lib Dem manifesto's sums add up?

Election essentials

  • Manifesto checker: Lib Dems
  • Campaign Heritage: Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Trackers: Who's leading polls? | Is PM keeping promises?
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts: Electoral Dysfunction | Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more: Who is standing down? | Key seats to watch | How to register to vote | What counts as voter ID? | Check if your constituency is changing | Your essential guide to election lingo | Sky's election night plans

We are going to pause coverage now so we can all get some shut eye before another busy day.

Remember to join us in the morning ahead of the Conservatives' manifesto launch, where we will bring you all the news and analysis first. 

And our correspondents will be out on the road, getting the reaction of all the rival parties in another busy day of campaigning. 

For now though, sweet dreams! 

The Conservatives will put their offer to pensioners at the heart of their election manifesto when it is published on Tuesday.

The document will reiterate already-announced pledges to introduce the so-called  "triple lock plus" for pensioners  - which will create a new "age-related" tax-free allowance - as well as promises not to increase major taxes.

Its publication follows a torrid for days for the prime minister, who has been forced to  quash rumours he considered resigning  over the backlash he received over his early departure from the D-Day commemorations last week.

In an attempt to get back on the front foot, Mr Sunak will stress that as the "party of Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Lawson" the Tories believe in "sound money" and will ensure "we have lower welfare so we can lower taxes".

Read more ahead of the launch from our political reporter Alexandra Rogers below:

After launching his party's general election manifesto, Sir Ed Davey jumped on a rollercoaster and rode on a big swing.

His aim? To show the  Liberal Democrats  are on a rollercoaster ride to gaining seats, with a big swing to the party from the Tories.

Sir Ed's  visit to Thorpe Park , in Surrey, was just the latest in a gallery of wacky and often silly election stunts and photo-ops that have gained him priceless publicity.

In this election campaign he's confirmed his status as the king of the photo-ops. Remind you of anyone? Yes, he's snatched that title from Boris Johnson.

Read more from Jon below:

Welcome to our final rundown for today of the main things you need to know from the campaign trail.

We've had a manifesto launch, a Reform policy event, and seen a grilling of the prime minister, amongst other things.

So, if you are settling down with your cocoa before bed, here's what you need to know before you start counting sheep:

  • The Liberal Democrats have launched the first manifesto of the election , vowing to "save the NHS";
  • Leader Sir Ed Davey said  fixing social care would be key, while other pledges included stopping raw sewage being dumped into Britain's waterways and improving ties with the EU ;
  • But the party leader (who enjoyed a trip to Thorpe Park this afternoon) refused to say austerity - enforced by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition - was a mistake during an interview with our deputy political editor Sam Coates ;
  • You can flick through the party's manifesto pledges in our snazzy tool below: 
  • Rishi Sunak continued to bat away questions over his early exit from D-Day commemorations last week, insisting rumours he considered quitting over the row were untrue;
  • However, another significant figure from the Conservatives, Scottish leader Douglas Ross , did quit following a furore about his candidacy at the election;
  • Home Secretary James Cleverly admitted he had heard some "concerns" on the campaign trail about his party's performance, but insisted he remained positive about the Tories' chances at the ballot box;
  • And the PM faced a 30-minute grilling from the BBC over tax, immigration and the NHS .
  • Reform's tax-cutting agenda has been outlined by the party leadership today, with ambitions to raise the threshold for paying income tax to £20,000  and the point at which small business pay VAT from £90,000 to £150,000 ;
  • This so-called "great British tax cut" would be funded by overhauling the Bank of England, though it's seen Reform accused of pursuing a strategy of "Trussonomics on steroids" ;
  • Nigel Farage also used the event to double down on his criticism of the prime minister for leaving last week's D-Day commemorations;
  • But his party came in for some extra scrutiny today after it was revealed one of Reform's candidates had said Britain should have "taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality" instead of fighting the Nazis in an old social media post. 
  • Elsewhere, Labour announced it will honour the government's commitment to expand free childcare;
  • Our political correspondent Tamara Cohen says the party has taken on an "enormous challenge" by pledging to take up the policy, which the government has faced serious trouble implementing;
  • Labour has also said it will offer 100,000 new nursery places, and claimed the Tories' spending pledges "do not add up";
  • And in a late announcement tonight, the party pledged to ban the sale of high caffeine energy drinks to under 16s.

That's all your bulletins for this evening, but we'll have a few more bits of news coming your way so do stay with us. 

Labour has made a late policy announcement tonight, promising to ban high caffeine energy drinks for under 16-year-olds.

Sky News' political correspondent Tamara Cohen first reported the party were considering the move in February.

But now Labour has officially adopted the idea, saying it will apply to all drinks containing over 150mg of caffeine per litre.

Making the announcement, Sir Keir Starmer said: "The sale of dangerously high caffeine energy drinks to children under the age of 16 is not justifiable or acceptable and we'll stop it. I will always take the tough decisions necessary to keep our children healthy. 

"No more dither and delay, the time has come for change with Labour."

By Jenness Mitchell , Scotland reporter

First Minister John Swinney has said he is "not surprised" Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has announced he is stepping down. 

Speaking to Sky News at Pollok United's after-school activity club in Glasgow, the SNP leader said his rival's position was "beyond credibility" - having replaced David Duguid as a candidate, despite Mr Duguid wanting to campaign.

"He's treated David Duguid absolutely abominably," added Mr Swinney. 

"David is ill. He's a respected member of parliament. Everybody accepts the fact he's not well, and he was selected by his local association. 

"But that's not good enough for Douglas Ross. I think it's just an absolutely appalling way to behave towards a colleague."

If re-elected to Westminster as an MP, Mr Ross has pledged to resign as an MSP. 

But Mr Swinney said "picking and choosing" parliamentary representation "trivialises it". 

He added: "Representing our community in parliament is a deadly serious responsibility. Not one that you just pick and choose about."

Sticking with his BBC interview, Rishi Sunak is pressed on the NHS and, after a lot of pushing, admits it had "undeniably been under pressure for a while" before any strikes or the pandemic.

But he insists his government is now bringing down waiting lists and putting in "record" funding.

'Airfield on standby' for Rwanda flights

On immigration, the prime minister is pushed on the rise in small boats crossing the Channel this year.

He insists Rwanda flights will take off after the election if the Tories win, saying: "We've got a plan, the airfield is on standby, the planes are booked, migrants have been detained, the caseworkers are working."

PM teases tax cuts

And ahead of the party's manifesto launch tomorrow, Mr Sunak reveals there will be more tax cuts - though he is challenged over frozen tax thresholds - saying: "I believe in a country where people's hard work is rewarded and there's a clear choice and contrast at this election."

'It's got harder to buy a first home'

But he repeats his much maligned figure of Labour introducing £2,000 of taxes per family over the next parliament - despite multiple experts and the chief civil servant at the Treasury saying it is wrong. 

Finally, the interview comes to housing, and the prime minister appears to accept it is harder to buy a first home under the Conservatives, saying: "It has got harder, and I want to make sure that it's easier."

Rishi Sunak is sitting down for his first long interview of the election campaign with the BBC's Nick Robinson.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the first things brought up is D-Day - namely his decision to leave commemorations early. 

"The last thing that I wanted to do was cause anyone any hurt or offence or upset, which is why I apologised unreservedly for the mistake that I made," he says. 

"And I can only ask that I hope people can find it within their hearts to forgive me."

The prime minister is asked about one of his political rivals, Nigel Farage, who has been accused of "dog whistle" politics after claiming the PM does not understand "our culture" following his early exit.

"I'm not going to get involved in that, because I don't think it's good for our country or good for our politics," the PM says.

"Now, obviously, I disagree with him. And when it comes specifically to our armed forces, again, people can judge me by my actions."

Until voters go to the polls on 4 July, the Politics Hub will be looking back at some memorable moments from previous general election campaigns.

Never mind his slightly sloppy bacon sandwich eating technique, it was the entirely deliberate decision to unveil Labour's 2015 election pledges inscribed on an enormous slab of limestone that really got voters wondering what Ed Miliband was up to that year.

The then party leader thought the stunt, known as the Ed Stone, would persuade the public he was serious about delivering on his promises.

They included "a strong economic foundation", "controls on immigration", and "homes to buy and action on rents" (these sound familiar, no?).

Worse still, Labour even committed to putting it up in the Downing Street garden should they win power.

But it was immediately ridiculed upon its unveiling in Hastings, and the party ended up performing so disappointingly at the election that the now shadow energy secretary resigned as leader.

Sir Keir Starmer was probably right to stick to a pledge card this time.

Previous entry: Bigotgate

To round off the show, we are talking about the freshest election on the block - the one over in the European Union.

Sophy Ridge  asks our panellists what they think of the success of parties on the far right in the parliamentary polls - notably France, where the results saw President Emmanuel Macron call a snap election.

Former Green Party leader  Caroline Lucas says she is "deeply concerned" about the "wave" of this sort of politics in the US, Europe and at home - accusing Nigel Farage of falling into that category. 

And she says it is a "real threat that we ignore at our peril".

'Easy to be an armchair critic'

Sophy asks ex-Tory party communications director  Giles Kenningham  whether there is any mirroring of what is happening in the EU with Reform UK - Mr Farage's party.

He says there are a lot of people "lobbing bricks from the side lines" as it is "very easy to be an armchair critic".

But he questions what the party leader would do in power, and says French President Emmanuel Macron would pose the same question if his right-wing rival wins, saying "politics is not all milk and honey".

That concludes our coverage of tonight's Politics Hub With Sophy Ridge , but stick with us for more news and analysis throughout the evening.

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    Types of Business Insurance. The type of insurance your business needs will depend on what you do and the size of your business. A good first line of defense — or rather, if you only were to choose one policy — then it should be general liability insurance. General liability will help protect your business against the most common risks like ...

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