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Everything I need to start my expediting business?

dc843

Seasoned Expediter
Researching
Offline
Currently working for fleet owner, planning on getting started as an owner operator around February or March. My thinking behind that is it lets me build up my money, credit will grow some, and most important some of the more reputable companies will most likely be planning for an increase in business and will be taking on vans. I don't wanna go with a company that will just take whoever and if you have to sit 30th on a board for a week so be it. So I'm trying to go ahead and get a game plan going.

Heres a list of everything I'm going to get figured out before getting started:

1. Form an LLC
2. Get business checking account.
3. Get plan for accounting/taxes figured out. (most likely going to hire a company to do the tax/bookkeeping for the first year, then plan on doing it myself once i get a better first hand look at how it works)
4. Get a loan from a van before shopping for one, go as paying cash and negotiate. Make sure to get an extended warranty.
5. Plan for how to build up the van, roof AC, batteries, generator, freight securement

Is there anything that I am missing? any advice on taking care of this stuff?
 

Grizzly

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Online
I've mentioned this before ....
I would save up $20K cash and buy a good used van. This business is hard enough without a loan payment. Especially if you aren't under the gun and have time to shop.
 
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BobWolf

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
Currently working for fleet owner, planning on getting started as an owner operator around February or March. My thinking behind that is it lets me build up my money, credit will grow some, and most important some of the more reputable companies will most likely be planning for an increase in business and will be taking on vans. I don't wanna go with a company that will just take whoever and if you have to sit 30th on a board for a week so be it. So I'm trying to go ahead and get a game plan going.

Heres a list of everything I'm going to get figured out before getting started:

1. Form an LLC
2. Get business checking account.
3. Get plan for accounting/taxes figured out. (most likely going to hire a company to do the tax/bookkeeping for the first year, then plan on doing it myself once i get a better first hand look at how it works)
4. Get a loan from a van before shopping for one, go as paying cash and negotiate. Make sure to get an extended warranty.
5. Plan for how to build up the van, roof AC, batteries, generator, freight securement

Is there anything that I am missing? any advice on taking care of this stuff?[/QUOTE


Your list is just the tip of the iceberg. Ive been in expedited trucking for ten years. before that the construction business for 20 years. You can take the following business advice or leave it..

First order of business is file your DBA. its less expensive, gets your business name legally recognized and provides more flexability in the event things dont work out and you need to shut diown. Although an LLC is a good idea sit down with an accountant before going the LLC route. The LLC wont provide any legal protection if you don't make a certain amount of revenue, or have enough in savings and business assets. For example you have a wreck resulting in personal injuries, property, and freight damage. Your at fault, the insurance doesn't satisfy the victim and your company is just barely making it. In legal speak its called piercing the veil; the judge will make your LLC disappear and your personal assets are fair game.

Definitely a business checking and savings account. Checking obviously for day to day income and expenses savings for a vehicle repairs and equipment purchases. As a rule the money you make driving is not your money; The money belongs to your business. If business is good consider an escrow account to lock down money for a new truck.
Pay yourself with a check regardless of how you are structured.

GET YOUR OWN AUTHORITY!!! Even if you run with a fleet owner it will come in handy. If possible have a clause if you are stuck for more than two or three days or its extremely slow and nothing is in sight you can arrange your own work.

That leads me to talking to a PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANT; Don't step over a dollar to pickup a penny. You will waste your time, potentially loose money by not knowing what deductions are available, or chance having problems with the state and federal tax departments. It costs me less than 150 bucks a year to have my accountant file my taxes, I put all my income and expenses on a spreadsheet, hand it into him, he does the rest. When I have a bad year he knows what to claim and how to file so I don't have a problem. If there is a problem with the tax, labor, insurance boards to name a few he / she can deal with them while you focus on TRUCKING....

You should also retain a good attorney it will set you back a couple grand BUT this person is on call and one who can wear several hats. They review contracts for your favor to avoid you getting screwed. If you have an out of town traffic violation they can get you back on the road. Some towns and cities will detain you until your court date. They collect on that late $2,500 dollar invoice; I make one friendly collections call. If the customer dodges my call or nothing happens, I hand the invoice over and his office takes it from there. RESULTS, and it only costs me a couple hundred bucks. BTW another deduction.

If your going the van route buy a van already set up.
I would recommend a 16 foot cube or Areocell van they are more versatile everything from parcels to skids and large objects and are work ready as far as load securement, etc. I have come across a couple where the box was modified to make a sleeper. You will forfeit three or four feet of box but will still be ten times more productive than a van. I picked up one last week and I am considering the above modification.

Try not to carry a loan if you can avoid it. It sucks having a truck payment of several hundred dollars, then have to put a four grand into repairs, and have a slow month afterwards.

That leads to the extended warranty. If you go the finance route and get the extended warranty heed the following.
Purchase it through the OEM GM covers GM vehicles and is accepted at any dealership.
Aftermarket if you are running mostly local find shops in the cities you intend to work. Make sure that they accept the warranty and have experience working with warranty companies as this helps with getting work done.
In ether case read the fine print.
 

dc843

Seasoned Expediter
Researching
Offline
Your list is just the tip of the iceberg. Ive been in expedited trucking for ten years. before that the construction business for 20 years. You can take the following business advice or leave it..

First order of business is file your DBA. its less expensive, gets your business name legally recognized and provides more flexability in the event things dont work out and you need to shut diown. Although an LLC is a good idea sit down with an accountant before going the LLC route. The LLC wont provide any legal protection if you don't make a certain amount of revenue, or have enough in savings and business assets. For example you have a wreck resulting in personal injuries, property, and freight damage. Your at fault, the insurance doesn't satisfy the victim and your company is just barely making it. In legal speak its called piercing the veil; the judge will make your LLC disappear and your personal assets are fair game.

--- interesting. Yeah, the whole point of the llc was protection. Although, I really don't have any personal assets for them to take anyway besides my bank account. But most of that's going into the business anyway. That will be something I ask an accountant.

Definitely a business checking and savings account. Checking obviously for day to day income and expenses savings for a vehicle repairs and equipment purchases. As a rule the money you make driving is not your money; The money belongs to your business. If business is good consider an escrow account to lock down money for a new truck.
Pay yourself with a check regardless of how you are structured.

---absolutely. I dont need much. I have cheap rent and aren't a big spender. I was thinking like a $130 A week salary for myself. Everything else goes to expanding and saving.

GET YOUR OWN AUTHORITY!!! Even if you run with a fleet owner it will come in handy. If possible have a clause if you are stuck for more than two or three days or its extremely slow and nothing is in sight you can arrange your own work.

--- I've thought about this. It just doesn't seem like a great idea right out of the gate. But definately once I get my feet wet it will be something I look into.

That leads me to talking to a PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANT; Don't step over a dollar to pickup a penny. You will waste your time, potentially loose money by not knowing what deductions are available, or chance having problems with the state and federal tax departments. It costs me less than 150 bucks a year to have my accountant file my taxes, I put all my income and expenses on a spreadsheet, hand it into him, he does the rest. When I have a bad year he knows what to claim and how to file so I don't have a problem. If there is a problem with the tax, labor, insurance boards to name a few he / she can deal with them while you focus on TRUCKING....

----yeah, as far as taxes and bookkeeping consultation, but I dont see a point in paying $1200 A year for someone to bookkeep for me when I'm the one getting all the receipts and payments.

You should also retain a good attorney it will set you back a couple grand BUT this person is on call and one who can wear several hats. They review contracts for your favor to avoid you getting screwed. If you have an out of town traffic violation they can get you back on the road. Some towns and cities will detain you until your court date. They collect on that late $2,500 dollar invoice; I make one friendly collections call. If the customer dodges my call or nothing happens, I hand the invoice over and his office takes it from there. RESULTS, and it only costs me a couple hundred bucks. BTW another deduction.

---this will be more when I start looking into booking my own loads and such. If something bad happens I'll always make sure I have enough saved for a lawyer, but it won't be as prevalent of a need with just running for one broker and using their authority.

If your going the van route buy a van already set up.
I would recommend a 16 foot cube or Areocell van they are more versatile everything from parcels to skids and large objects and are work ready as far as load securement, etc. I have come across a couple where the box was modified to make a sleeper. You will forfeit three or four feet of box but will still be ten times more productive than a van. I picked up one last week and I am considering the above modification.

---not true. You can make a simple sleeper that adjusts and swings up if you need the 3rd skid. And even if i couldnt id rather sacrifice losing the every now and again 3 skid load vs borderline living like a homeless person. It's also not that much money to build up a van for freight securment. While those vans do have more room they are also less aerodynamic and cost more for gas. Also from my research I've drawn the conclusion that due to weight limitations you wont get enough loads that I couldn't get with a 3500 promaster HR ext. To make it worth the extra cost of gas.

Try not to carry a loan if you can avoid it. It sucks having a truck payment of several hundred dollars, then have to put a four grand into repairs, and have a slow month afterwards.

---yeah Well, in a perfect world yes. I'm going to be getting a slightly used van, less than 10k on it. Looking at one now for 31k with only 600 miles on it, they msrp for 43k. So with that I'll also get an extended warranty. So that will cover any repairs for the first part of its life, so all that income can be saved to pay off the loan and build repair fund.

That leads to the extended warranty. If you go the finance route and get the extended warranty heed the following.
Purchase it through the OEM GM covers GM vehicles and is accepted at any dealership.
Aftermarket if you are running mostly local find shops in the cities you intend to work. Make sure that they accept the warranty and have experience working with warranty companies as this helps with getting work done.
In ether case read the fine print.

---well I'm getting a RAM, So, any advice on an extended warranty with them? Yes definately read the fine print. And read it twice. I intend to work all over the US. And possibly local courier work during winter.

Anyway great advice, thanks for taking the time to write all that out for me.
 
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Goips

New Recruit
Broker
Offline
There are many ways to save on this business. He is very complicated. As mentioned above, you can buy a good second-hand van.
 

EYDJ

New Recruit
Owner/Operator
Offline
A limited liability company (LLC) is a corporate structure in the United States whereby the owners are not personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Limited liability companies are hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation with those of a partnership or sole proprietorship
 
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