How to Start a Box Truck Business in 12 Steps

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Starting a box truck business can be profitable and exciting. You may want to start a business that moves large items or goods over long distances in the most efficient way possible. Box trucks are typically used to transport shipping containers, furniture, construction equipment, or even livestock across the country.

Getting into the box truck business could answer your financial woes. Starting a box truck business is simple and requires only a tiny amount of money and time. To get started, you don't need much money or a lot of time. 

With just two weeks, you can create your own box truck business. Is there anything else you want to do? 

Learn how to start a box truck business by reading this guide!

What is a box truck business?

A box truck business is a commercial vehicle operation with a large carrying capacity.

How to Start a Box Truck Business

It is typically used for carrying large amounts of goods or equipment over long distances and short periods. The driver or other staff will load and unload the truck as needed.

When it comes to trucking, the box truck is one of the most common types. Ten to 26 feet in length can be classified from Class 3 to Class 7 (12,500 lb. to 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating). 

It's commonly used to move small items, such as furniture or clothing. U-Haul rental customers, for example, have driven a box truck!

When running a box truck business, you earn money by transporting goods in your vehicle. The need for "less than truckload" (LTL) freight, which you typically deliver, has increased in tandem with the growth of e-commerce. 

This category includes packages, furniture, bulk food, and other cargo that must be produced locally but were not purchased in a store or online. 

This type of truck is ideal for urban areas because it can get into and out of difficult neighborhoods to access, and it doesn't cost a fortune!

How to start a box truck business step by step

Getting a box truck business off the ground can be difficult if you don't know where to start.

Here are some helpful steps on how to start your own box truck company:

Step 1: Establish your company

Choosing a company name and logo should be your first priority when starting a box truck business. Make sure you don't miss this step. Your business requires a website.

In particular, if you plan to provide services to the general public, such as moving services. To get started, you don't need to spend a lot of money or time; many resources are available online.

The size and price of various trucks should be compared. 

You should do your research. Investigate the loading and unloading equipment required.

Step 2: Select a legal form for your company

If you're starting a business, it's a good idea to keep some of your assets (such as cash) separate from the firm if the company is sued.

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Permits and licenses may be needed, so do your research! Investing in forming a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) entails more work and has a more considerable risk of loss than starting an essential commercial organization. 

If you need assistance with this, you can either engage an attorney or use various internet services.

Step 3: Write a box truck business plan

Business plans are written documents outlining your company's goals and objectives.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), every company should have one in place at least three to five years in advance, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Write an executive summary to summarize your company's history and current activities.

On the other hand, your company's description should include information such as your company's product or service offerings and revenues, a forecast of future income and profit growth, and an analysis of the market and current competition.

In the Operations section, you should detail your current location and your long-term goals for the year. As part of your marketing strategy, you'll need to think about things like advertising campaigns and website design/construction.

Products and services are listed in this part. It also shows us how our target market is currently doing and predicts their growth potential based on historical trends.

A financial projection tells us what our potential gains and losses will be if you carry out this activity during this timeframe.

Step 4: Get the money you need to start a business.

When launching a trucking company, securing business financing or finding investors is essential. The costs associated with financing and attracting investors can be high if you start from scratch.

The first place to look for finance is a major or minor bank. Smaller banks may not be able to offer the same rates and benefits as credit unions. 

Like those on this page, Trucking lenders can also be found online. Personal savings, loans from family and friends, and fundraising initiatives are all ways to raise money.

As I've already said, beginning a box truck business can be expensive, especially if you plan on purchasing a new truck.

Since there are many financing choices available, it's fortunate. Using Google to search for "box truck financing" can bring up a slew of alternatives. 

As previously mentioned, renting or leasing a vehicle is a viable alternative that will help you save money in the short term.

Looking for ways to raise the initial capital you'll need to launch your business? Consider the following possibilities:

  • Savings for one's own use. Before getting a loan from a lender, you'll need to put some money into the pot yourself.
  • There are credit cards available. As a rule, credit cards have high-interest rates, so they aren't the best option. You can put some of your starting costs on a credit card with a 0% teaser rate for the first several months and avoid paying anything (at least until the teaser rate period expires). A contract of at least a year will give you ample time to get your business up and running.
  • Friends and family members are included in this group. However, even though these people may be prepared to lend you money, you must consider the risk of damaging your connection with them if things go wrong.
  • Banks. Before making a loan to a brand new business, banks perform substantial due diligence and underwriting as part of their standard lending process.

Step 5: Get a business card and bank account.

Next, you'll need to get a company checking and credit card account.

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If you're beginning a box truck business, one thing you should do is open a business checking account. In this way, you'll be able to keep track of all of your company's revenue and expenses in one place. 

Suppose your box truck company is incorporated as a corporation or an LLC. In that case, your personal assets and costs will be separated from your firm's.

New firms may benefit from using credit cards with an unexpected repair bills. The first benefit is that they are more readily available, especially for those just beginning out than lines of credit.

You may not need it right away, but it's always helpful to have money on hand if something happens. A company's credit rating is an essential factor in securing financing in the future.

Step 6: Obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

Drivers and employees will also be necessary. Identify the subject matter they should be taught.

A commercial driver's license (CDL) can be obtained if you own a vehicle and are at least 21 years old, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

An application and the accompanying fees must be made. Tests for both eyesight and knowledge are essential.

A CDL is awarded to drivers who successfully complete the required exams.

To drive interstate, you must be between the ages of 18 and 20; if you are over 18 but do not have a license, contact your local DMV to learn how to get one in the state or nation where you live.

Step 7: Finish your trucking authority

Starting a trucking firm begins with obtaining a license to operate a commercial vehicle.

Finding out if a company name is available online is a simple way to do this. After the term has become available, you can register your preferred name with the FMCSA or your state government. 

For interstate commerce, trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings over 10,000 GVW must have a motor carrier number (MC#), which can be obtained by submitting an application.

You'll also need a UCR (Unified Carrier Registration) if you're moving goods across state lines. Look into several choices for leasing a truck. Investigate your options for coverage, including types and pricing. 

Look for a place to keep trucks or the equipment they carry. You'll want to make sure your box truck business is adequately insured. Progressive, Freeway Insurance, and GEICO are just a few insurers who provide this type of coverage.

Some jurisdictions may require additional permissions or licenses, depending on where you reside and the extent of your business activities.

A standard business license (which is usually not too pricey or difficult to obtain) may be all that is required in most circumstances.

Step 8: Decide on a method

Choosing a process agent is the first step in starting a new transportation company. Your business's court documents might be filed for you by this person on your behalf.

Every state in which you travel, work, or conduct business requires process agents for your company.

If there are any issues with BOC-3 paperwork, process agents can help! This is something that many entrepreneurs don't confront! You mustn't skip this stage while figuring out how to start a box truck business.

Step 9: Obtain a license

If you apply for an MC Number, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will provide one. It's an essential operation that costs roughly $300, and it's easy to do.

The BOC-3 form, which designates a service of process agent in the states where your trucking firm will be situated, must also be completed and submitted.

If you're shipping goods across state lines in a box truck, you'll need the right insurance. Insurers such as Progressive, Freeway Insurance, and GEICO all offer this form of insurance.

A general business license may be necessary in most cases. Still, additional permissions or permits may be required depending on where you live and the nature of your business activity.

Step 10: hire drivers and a location (if needed)

When it's not in use, you'll need some place to keep your box truck. You'll want to choose a place that isn't too far from your target communities but doesn't charge you an arm and a leg.

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It'll be a delicate balancing act because the farther away your storage facility is, the less expensive it will be to store your belongings. Still, you'll pay more in petrol, mileage, and overall truck wear and strain.

Employees are next on the agenda.

In the beginning, not all box truck businesses will require staff. Owner-operators can run their own cargoes without the help of other drivers. 

If you're not going to be driving, or if you want to put your company in a position to grow quickly, you'll want to recruit qualified drivers.

If you do not already have contacts in the sector, you should be able to find someone who does. The following are some pointers for finding and hiring truck drivers:

  • Write a detailed job description to determine what the position entails. Make it clear if you have any particular criteria, such as a clean driving record.
  • Broaden your search for candidates by posting the position online and through local venues and by asking friends and family for recommendations.
  • Make a list of the best applicants and interview them (you need to make sure you do not discriminate on a prohibited basis, like race, color, religion, sex, etc., during both the interview and hiring process).

Bear in mind the importance of having the correct systems in place to handle payroll

Many payroll administration companies can manage the legal and other obligations to ensure that the withholding and payment process goes without a hitch.

Step 11: Get contracts for your company's use of box trucks

  • Load boards- The most frequent approach to obtaining loads is through load boards. There are frequently online boards where you may see a list of upcoming shipments. The usage of many load boards is often subject to a cost.

    You can use Amazon's load board for free! Others commonly used for finding loads include the following: Truck Stop, DAT; Get Loaded; and Trucker Path. Additionally, you can contact freight brokers, 3PL businesses, and freight forwarders to check if they have open box truck contracts or cargoes.
  • Dispatchers for trucks – Truck dispatchers can help you find cargo. To find high-paying loads that fit their business model, carriers use them. This service can help you find the proper amount of traffic for your company.

Step 12: Adhere to the letter of the law

Owning a business necessitates adhering to all applicable laws and regulations, including those governing the trucking industry. 

You must do several things to keep your CDLs current, including submitting quarterly tax returns and being knowledgeable of state and national truck driving regulations and legislation.

Aside from reducing the risk of liability, brokers prefer to hire drivers who have the most current regulatory compliance knowledge available. 


It is possible to win business from carriers complying with applicable law if you monitor your compliance and keep ahead of the curve!

How to start a box truck business with no money

Box trucks are great for moving large items and can be used to carry everything from household goods to construction equipment. Several resources are available to help you get started in the box truck business.

It's possible to start a box truck business with no money, but it isn't easy. Here's how you do it if you're willing to put in the effort and are prepared to work long hours and under a lot of stress:

Step 1: Determine what kind of box truck business you want to run

Do you want to haul people or freight? Or maybe both? Then, decide where your customers will be coming from.

Are they local deliveries? Long-distance hauling? Do some research and make sure that you can get enough customers by working within their area and needs. If not, rethink your idea; this isn't going to be worth it if no one wants what you're offering!

Determine whether you want to buy or hire a box truck. Refrigerated trucks, flatbeds, dump trucks, and more are all available in various sizes and configurations. Find out which types of trucks will work best for your particular type of business.

For example, suppose you want to move furniture or other large items. Instead of a flatbed truck, you might want to think about obtaining an enclosed van or trailer.

Step 2: Find a location for your business

You will need a place to park your box truck and store any equipment that you use for deliveries. This could be anywhere from an office building parking lot to a garage space that you rent out from someone who already owns one!

Just make sure it's somewhere safe where no one will steal anything from inside it while parked there overnight!

Step 3: Obtaining permits

Obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the state or city where your business is located.

This will cost money and take time, but it's worth it because it will help ensure that you can operate legally once your business is up and running.

Step 4: Get insurance for your box truck

This will protect both yourself and any passengers who may be riding with you at any time during the day. Insurance rates vary depending on where exactly they live within their state or country and their driving record (if any).

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Some drivers choose not to get insurance because they believe that they're unlikely to get into an accident with their own vehicles on such short trips every day.

However, accidents are likely to occur at any time, so protecting your business and having the right insurance coverage can help you avoid costly property losses and other unforeseen expenses, as well as unplanned consequences. Click here to learn more which type of trucking cargo insurance will best meet your expectations and how to choose an insurance company that will ensure a balance between your need for budget control and your need for having the best insurance coverage.

Step 5: Open a shop

Now that everything is in place and ready to go, just start advertising! You'll need lots of social media posts (and maybe some billboards around town) if you want anyone to know about what you're doing!

Next, see if there's any competition in your area already


If there is, find out exactly what they're doing right and wrong so that when you open up shop later on down the road (or even now!), you can differentiate yourself from everyone else in town who might already be serving those same customers by doing something similar to yours!

Wrapping up

Running your own box truck company is one of the best ways to make a living. There is, however, a learning curve involved in getting started. It's possible to make more money now that there aren't as many drivers. 

More owner-operators with bad credit may still get financing and leasing. You have to put what you've learned about starting a box truck business into practice!

Frequently asked questions.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding box truck businesses

Where did the term "box truck" come from?

The first use of the word "box truck" was in 1926, when it was used as part of a generic term to describe vehicles meant to carry shipping crates. However, today it is still used to refer to a company that provides box trucks for hire.

How do I know if the truck can be loaded safely?

If you are considering renting or leasing a box truck, you need to make sure that the truck can be loaded correctly

The truck may fall over or even tip over if not properly loaded. You should also check with the leasing agent or rental company about how long your load can be so that you don't exceed the vehicle's maximum weight.

What should I look for when renting or leasing a box truck?

There is nothing worse than booking an appointment and arriving at the rental location only to discover that the truck is out of service. It can be frustrating, especially if you are on a tight schedule and don't have time to wait. 

You should arrange to check out the truck before you rent it in advance. When doing so, look over all the equipment and make sure it matches what you need. A fire extinguisher, for example, should be present if the truck is in good operating order.

What is an LTL trucking business?

LTL stands for "less than load" trucking. It refers to a commercial transportation service that deals with carrying partial loads over small distances. However, it also relates to box trucks or other large vehicles that are used for this purpose. 

LTL trucking is an excellent way to earn a reliable income because you can use your own truck and schedule your own time.

Driving the truck and taking care of other responsibilities, such as billing customers, requires a significant amount of effort. This is one of the drawbacks of the job.

How much does it cost to start an LTL business?

The cost of starting an LTL business depends on what type of equipment you need and how many customers you are going to serve

You will need a consistent money flow to operate, so starting a business with a steady base of regular customers is best.

What are the potential risks of starting an LTL business?

The most significant risk is that you may not have enough customers or work available at the correct times

This can be particularly challenging if you have bills that need to be paid every week. You want to make sure that you set aside enough money for the rent and other monthly expenses like vehicle insurance and gas.

How much does a box truck cost?

The price of a new box truck will depend on the market where you live. However, there are many used trucks available on the market too. 

They are typically cheaper at auction, but you will want to ensure they have clear driving records. You may also need to pay more in taxes and fees if you buy a used truck.

Make sure to research costs associated with LLC. For instance, LLC filing fees and LLC annual fees.

Is box truck business profitable?

One of the reasons why the box truck business is so popular is that it can be profitable if you work

Bear in mind that your profit margin will depend on the goods or equipment you are transporting. If you are hauling goods, you will typically make less profit than if you were transporting raw materials. 

If your primary goal is to start a profitable business and earn an income, the box truck business may be right for you. You should stay on top of your invoicing and other accounting tasks to ensure your profitability.

How do I know if my truck is taxed correctly?

You need to know how much you will pay in taxes upfront and then determine whether you can make enough money with that profit


You may need to charge more per hour or use a smaller truck to make the numbers work out. You will also want to look into the type of tax you must pay on the trucking service.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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