What Do I Need to Start a Trucking Business in Edmonton?
As a dependable trucker with years of driving behind you, your knowledge and experience are extremely valuable. But if you're working for someone else, you're probably not earning as much as you could.
Setting up your own trucking business will give you the full rewards of your work, along with the freedom of working for yourself.
So how do you get started? There's plenty to think about when forming any business, but these are the basic steps involved for a trucking company.
Choose Your Legal Business Type
First, decide on the type of business you want to start. If you're a lone driver, a sole proprietorship is the most common choice as it's fairly simple to set up legally. If you'll be running the business with one other person, a legal partnership may be the most convenient option.
However, if you plan to build a larger business with several drivers, setting up a corporation can make sense. This type of company will protect your personal assets from any debts the business runs up and makes tax issues easier to deal with.
Once you've decided on your business type, register it with the Alberta government, as you'll need a legal business name to take the rest of the steps.
Arrange Your Trucks
Of course, for trucking business, you need dependable vehicles and this costs. Leasing is one option, but for building a solid business with long-term assets, arranging a truck loan may be the best solution. This kind of credit helps you buy a single truck or build a fleet, spreading the costs of the main asset your business relies on.
Before going any further setting up your business, check out your commercial vehicle financing options so you know how much funds you'll have available.
Arrange Reserve Funds
However, a truck loan isn't the only kind of credit you may need. To operate a trucking business you'll need to deal with cash flow problems. You'll need to pay for fuel and other costs before every job, and it may take weeks or months after delivery to get paid.
You'll need to have either a reserve fund of cash to draw on or arrange a line of credit that's easily available and not too expensive. Aim to have enough financial backup to pay for three months' expenses at least.
Before obtaining your trucking business licenses, you'll need to prove you're eligible for insurance. You'll need to cover your vehicles and your cargo, and also take out public liability insurance. A reputable insurance broker with experience in commercial insurance can offer valuable advice on this topic.
Regulations and Licenses
The final step is to apply for your Alberta government permits and licenses to operate commercial vehicles in the province. You may also need to be licensed in neighbouring provinces, and even internationally, depending on your likely routes.
Getting the paperwork completed can be complicated, and it's best to get help from a specialist compliance company who can guide you through the maze.
Setting up a business isn't something to rush into, but if you plan carefully you could be running your own trucking company sooner than you think.