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How to Start a Trucking Company in Texas

Opening a Trucking Company in Texas

Are you thinking about starting a trucking company in Texas? Do you need information on how to start a trucking company in Texas? We’re here to help you. The Apex Startup Program can help you start a trucking company and walk you through any specific requirements to get your trucking authority in Texas.

At Apex, we believe all successful trucking companies begin with a business plan. A thorough business plan is the road map that helps you navigate any potential pitfalls. You can define your future trucking company – what you’ll haul, how to find customers, how to manage costs and expenses, and create specific goals for long-term success. Download our FREE guide that takes you through the process of writing a business plan.

Ready to Start Your Texas Trucking Company?

how to start a trucking company in Texas

13 Steps to Start a Texas Trucking Company

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the general steps for starting a trucking company and Texas-specific filings you’ll need to operate in the Lone Star state.

  1. Form your company – Pick a company name and file necessary formation documents with the Texas Secretary of State.
  2. EIN – That’s an Employer Identification Number. To get one, you need to complete Form SS-4 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  3. Operating Authority – Operating authority lets you haul loads. File Form MCSA-1 with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to obtain MC and DOT Numbers.
  4. BOC-3 – This is required by the FMCSA to activate authority and designates a process agent in every state. It potentially needs to be renewed annually.
  5. Insurance – A biggie! To haul, you need public liability insurance coverage of $750,000 or $1 to $5 million for HazMat. Obtaining cargo coverage is also suggested.
  6. UCR – The Unified Carrier Registration is for interstate commerce, is filed online with fees varying by number of trucks, and requires an annual renewal.
  7. International Registration Plan – These are for apportioned plates in interstate commerce and it is renewed with the Texas DMV annually. Fees are based on mileage and vehicle weight.
  8. TxDOT Number – If you plan to haul loads that pick up and drop off within Texas, you will need a TxDOT Number through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
  9. State-Specific Registrations – There are specific taxes for hauling loads through four states – Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon. Costs vary by state.
  10. International Fuel Tax Agreement – IFTA simplifies reporting of fuel taxes. You must register with the Texas Department of the Comptroller to file and pay quarterly fuel tax reports.
  11. Taxes – Federal Income Taxes will be determined by the type of business (see step 1) and you’ll need to file Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290.
  12. Business Taxes in Home State – Every state has them, so do some cities. For more information, visit
  13. Ongoing FMCSA Requirements – Expect to be part of the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program as well as a safety audit within the first 12 months of operating.
Steps to start a trucking company in texas

What to Know Before Starting a Trucking Company in Texas

In Texas, you’ll need to know two of the following things before you start your trucking business:

  1. How much weight you are planning to haul.
  2. If you’re going to haul intrastate (exclusively in Texas) or interstate (crossing state lines).

The answer to both questions will determine the required filings for your trucking company.

Are you hauling expedited freight or hot shot freight, both of which tend to run 26,000 lbs. or less? Are you planning to haul exclusively intrastate in Texas? If the answer is yes to either, or both, of those questions you may not need all 13 steps outlined on this page. Starting a trucking company isn’t a one size fits all process, which is why it’s important to research the requirements for the type of trucking company you want to run.

How the Apex Startup Program Can Help

At the Apex Startup Program, we take you through the process step-by-step, so we can focus on the required files you need and eliminate the ones you don’t. Our team of experts will manage the process of filing the paperwork so that it’s done correctly.

If you’re ready to start your trucking company in Texas, let the Apex Startup Program help!

We make managing filings easy and help you stay compliant. Fill out this form to get more information about how we can help and your next steps!