How to Open a Trucking Company in Washington

POR Hispanic Entrepreneurs Apr 14, 2022
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Ground transportation is a multi-faceted industry in America's capital. In addition to transporting merchandise, it encompasses other important commercial activities. Surely you have ever wondered how to open trucking company in washington. In this article we explain the steps you must follow to achieve it. 

Beyond carrying merchandise around the state. Businesses of this type are also engaged in fuel transfer, repair, broker service, and leasing business. Likewise, rental transportation, messaging, refrigerated shipping, food, among others. 

Did you know that 70% of all freight in the US is transported by the trucking industry? Yes, it is a business that continues to grow. 

Most companies operate six or fewer trucks, indicating that they are dominated by small carriers, making them highly competitive. 

The American Journal of Transportation considers 5 states to be ideal for starting a trucking business. These are Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Indiana. 

One of the advantages of the capital is that it ranks among the top 10 for paying the highest salaries. Other than that workers are not required to pay personal income taxes. Which makes it more attractive.

Additionally, it provides various amenities that attract the attention of drivers. Among the benefits are truck stops that provide parking and food. Good equipment and cheap overnight parking are 2 key factors when choosing the state.

How to Open a Trucking Company in Washington

It starts with creating a business plan. This will guide you to success because it will help you organize, identify objectives, devise the value proposition and identify possible obstacles. 

Determine the initial and ongoing costs, what the target market is, how much you are going to charge customers, and what the company will be called. The average cost to start a trucking company is $200..

A medium truck can be worth a million. Besides, you would spend about $42.500 on facilities and land (parking), insurance, permits and licenses.

If you decide to buy used trucks, these are around $30.000 to $40.000. In this way to acquire a small fleet you would need from 600.000 to 1.000.000 dollars. Add to this expenses for office equipment, electronic devices, accounting software, vehicle trackers, and utilities. 

Then legalize the company. The ideal is to do it through the constitution of a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In this way you take care that what happens with the business does not affect your personal assets. Apart from giving you some commercial, legal and fiscal advantages. In this process choose an attractive name for the company. 

You will need to appoint a registered agent, he is the one who will be in contact with the secretary of state. He must have a physical address to which the legal notices arrive. 

The registration is done at the Secretary of State of Washington by filling out the corresponding form at this link: The fee is $200 and is processed within two business days. 

Then process the employer identification number, or EIN. It is necessary to open a business bank account and for tax returns. 

The next step is obtaining business licenses and permits. State, county and local governments have a number of requirements to allow businesses to operate in their jurisdiction.

Trucking Company Licenses in Washington 

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) requires a commercial vehicle registration number. This is assigned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Similarly, Washington law requires a USDOT number for operations within the state.

The certificate is requested for driving commercial vehicles and to obtain it you must pass several tests. It must be renewed every two years. The new regulations require beginning drivers to train with a provider that is on the FMCSA in order to get a commercial driver's license (CDL).

You can request it at There are 3 types of DOT, the MCS-150 which is for most trucking companies and carriers.

The MCS-150B for transportation of hazardous materials. And the MSC-150C which includes an intermodal equipment supplier request. That is, it is international transport that combines land, sea, river, air or rail.

You will also need the Carrier Operating Authority (MC) number to move passengers in interstate commerce. As well as to transport products owned by third parties. You also request it on the FMCSA website.

That is, with this you are authorized to cross state lines. The filing fee is $300. With both numbers the loads are mobilized throughout the country, the trucks are identified with decals. 

The BOC-3 form is required to achieve general coverage. In other words, a legal presence in any state in which the service is offered. This procedure is carried out through a process agent authorized by the FMCSA. Request it on the page:

Recommendations to drivers

The carrier is recommended to have a copy of it. Remember that if the BOC-3 is not updated with the federal government, you will not be able to operate between states. 

Similarly, it is important to purchase commercial insurance for motor carriers. Learn more about this at this link: For example, cargo insurance is $5000.

Cancel road taxes (form 2290). Trucks weighing 55.000 pounds or more are required to pay Heavy Vehicle Use Tax. The cost ranges from 100 to 550 dollars. 

The receipt of payment that they give you must be presented when you request the plate under the International Registration Plan (IRP). You manage it at the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Lower the form of the District of Columbia. 

Applies to trucks with 2 axles and a weight greater than 26 thousand pounds or if it has 3 axles. Washington-based carriers generally receive two plates for each truck. The IRP is renewed every year. 

Also, you must request the IFTA license (International Fuel Tax Agreement). It is included in the cooperation agreement between the United States and Canada. In this way, they make it easier for vehicles over 26.000 pounds to pay taxes on fuel.

You need to register the company in the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) of the state. This is how they check the coverage of the service. The cost is determined according to the size of the fleet, it ranges between $59 and $56.977. To carry out the procedure, it is essential to have the USDOT and MC numbers.

In addition to the requirements listed above, Washington requires motor carriers to apply for supplemental permits or registrations. Find out which ones you need Washington Department of Transportation. These are the key steps for you to get out of that doubt of How to open a trucking company in Washington.

Promote the trucking company 

After conceiving the graphic identity of the company, the next thing is to create its website. Owning one builds confidence in potential customers. It is recommended that it contain detailed information about the company and the services it offers.

Complement your online presence with advertising campaigns on social networks. This will make your company known and customers will arrive. 

Another of the most booming companies in this country is cleaning, in this note from How to open a cleaning business in the United States, we guide you so that if you want to undertake in this other area you know how.

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