A trucker route broker is legally known as a freight broker. The broker arranges delivery between the shipper and the person or company receiving the product. To legally become a freight broker, you must register, apply and obtain an approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Register a business name in your state, purchase a surety bond or trust fund to protect your company from legal action and appoint a person to handle court claims if you won’t be doing it yourself.
Register your business name and type, such as a sole proprietorship, or individual; partnertship; or corporation with your state. If you’re unsure where to register your business, call your nearest Small Business Administration for instruction. Obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, if possible; otherwise, you may use your Social Security number to complete the appropriate documents for licensing.
Choose “Online Registrations” from the “Registration & Licensing” drop-down menu at the top of the page on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s website. Click on “Step-by-Step Registration Guide” in the “Help Me Register” section.
Answer the qualifying questions to obtain the forms you need. As a broker, you don’t operate any vehicles or trucks, so answer “no” to any questions related to delivering cargo or operating trucks. Answer “yes” to “Will your company operate as a freight forwarder with a motor carrier in interstate commerce?”
Click “Register Online” once you’ve answered all of the questions. Register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and write down your username and password. Once you’re presented with an application tracking number, write it down and click “Register Electronically” to complete Form OP-1.
Complete Form OP-1 and pay the $300 application fee, as of the publication date, for processing. Write down your Freight Forwarder, or FF, number, which you receive after submitting the form and payment. Obtain a surety bond or trust fund in the amount of $10,000. Search online or locally for surety bond providers using the term “freight broker bonds.”
Provide your surety bond company or trust fund provider with your FF number so the company may submit the proof of the bond or trust on your behalf — you can’t submit this information yourself. Print the required documents from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website: Form BMC-84 for a surety bond and BMC-845 for trust fund verification. Give the forms to your provider if the provider doesn’t have it. The information must be submitted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration within 90 days of submitting your application.
Locate a processing agent in your state or designate yourself as a processing agent, which is a person legally responsible for accepting court papers. Obtain a list of agents in your state from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website or search a local directory. Submit the agent’s or your business information if you’re appointing yourself using the “Submit Insurance Information” option on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Submit this information within 90 days of filing your application.
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