How to apply for your own operating authority
If you love your job as a professional driver but hate working around someone else's schedule, maybe it's time to get your own Operating Authority (Motor Carrier Number). Having your own MC Number allows you to start your own trucking company, providing you control over your schedule, income and growth. Creating your own business can be a daunting task, so we're here to help walk you through the process!
The steps in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) process include getting a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number and your Operating Authority (Motor Carrier Number). Here's a quick breakdown of what you'll need to complete the process and become your own boss.
1. Choose a name for your business.
It may sound simple but having a name for your business makes the rest of this process much simpler!
2. Get your U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number.
A USDOT number is a unique identifier for your vehicle used to help monitor your company during audits, inspections, and investigations. The majority of states require a DOT number, you can research if you need a DOT number here.
3. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, helps to identify your company or business. We recommend that you also apply for an EIN to use for tax purposes at the end of the year.
4. Getting an MC number.
In addition to your DOT number and EIN, you will need a Motor Carrier Number (MC Number). The first decision to be made when applying for your MC Number is figuring out what type of authority you need. Since the MC Number depends on the kind of cargo carried, drivers may need to apply for multiple authority types, each allowing you to haul across state lines. Use caution to choose relevant Operating Authorities, since this will affect the level of insurance required. We recommend getting pre-approved for primary liability and cargo insurance to avoid waste of time and resources down the road.
Once you've named your business, applied for your MC Number and gotten insurance it may be time to think about getting paid faster for the loads you haul. Since most owner-operators wait 30 days before receiving payment from their loads, many use a process called freight factoring to help with cash flow. So, if you need help getting paid fast, Love's Financial is here to help.