The truth is that starting a box trucking business brings up other arising questions that you don’t have an answer to yet.
For example …
What are the exact steps to start a box truck business? Can you handle the cost of starting a box truck business? What are the best opportunities to make money in the box truck industry?
If you plan on running a box truck business, it's important to have clear answers to the above questions. That allows to run the business efficiently.
Find below the steps to starting a box truck business even if you have one box truck.
What is a box truck business?
A box truck business is a type of trucking business where the company uses box trucks to provide delivery services for a fee.
Box truck businesses provide deliveries for local businesses because, in urban areas, box trucks can reach even the most difficult to get to neighborhoods fast and without breaking the budget.
Box trucks transport such freight as packages, furniture, bulk food items, etc.
Box truck business startup cost
Unfortunately, calculating the exact startup cost of a box truck business is impossible.
That is because every box trucking business is different, and it has different business needs.
However, it is possible to calculate the average of how much does it cost to start a box truck business.
To get the average startup cost of your box truck business, you need to figure out the most expensive areas of starting your own box truck company would be and add them up.
One of the biggest startup costs of any box truck business is the purchase of a box truck. It may cost in the range of anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000.
If the cost for the acquisition of a new box truck is too expensive, you may consider buying a used box truck.
But buying a box truck is not the only expense included in the box truck business cost.
See below other possible box truck business startup costs:
Needed things to start a box truck business
Setting up a business name and corporation
Licenses and permits
To get the average cost of starting a box truck business, add the ranges from the above notes, and add it to the cost of acquisition of a box truck.
What do you need before starting a box truck business?
Create a box truck business plan
Creating a box truck business plan is not an easy task. Rather it is a complex process.
A box truck company business plan sets clear business goals. To achieve these business goals, it mentions the actions that needed to be taken such as optimizing business expenses and maintenance processes.
In the end a box trucking business plan should serve as a roadmap for building and growing the business.
When you write your business plan, don’t stress about getting it perfect because a box truck business plan is a tool for your own use. However, you might want to make it perfect when you present it to banks or investors to lend money.
Don’t know how to write a box truck business plan?
Find templates and examples using this business planning tool from The Small Business Administration.
Secure a parking location for your box truck
When the box truck won’t be in use, it’ll need a safe place where it could be parked anytime.
Also, that place shouldn’t be very expensive, and it should be close to your target customers.
How to start a box truck business step by step
Step 1. Establish your box truck business
Give your business a memorable name
Your box truck business should have a name.
The name of the company helps the customer to differentiate it from the competition.
To come up with a good name for your box truck business follow the below rules:
- Keep your business name memorable (focused, to the point, less details).
- Keep your business name simple such as George Box Trucking, Purple Box Trucking, or Fly Trucking.
The last option is good because it leaves room to expand to other types of services if that might be the case one day.
If you have trouble figuring out a name, try this business name generator.
Once on the website, go to Trademarks→Searching Trademarks→Search our trademark database (TESS).
Also, check the availability of related domain names using this domain name search tool.
Check if the exact name of your business is also available for a web domain.
Also, create your social media profiles using the exact name of your box truck business.
That level of consistency across the web improves credibility for your business.
Create a memorable logo
Another aspect of how your box truck business can be memorized or noticed by your customers is through a business logo.
There are two options to create a logo - a free one and a paid one.
The free option:
Go to canva.com and check out some of their logo templates. Choose a logo template and reoptimize it to your liking.
The paid option:
If you prefer a more ready-made solution, go on Fiverr and hire someone to create your logo.
Step 2. Register your box truck business
Find your state’s registration office using the SBA tool.
File for EIN
What is an EIN?
That is the business's tax ID. In other words, an EIN is something like a social security number for businesses.
Apply for your EIN through the IRS website.
Set up a business structure for your box truck company
When opening a box truck company requires choosing a legal business structure.
The chosen business structure determines the business’s taxes, personal liability, and registration requirements. So, choose wisely.
Here’s the main description of the four business structure types:
- Sole Proprietorship - is a common choice for small businesses. In this case, the business entity makes no legal distinction between the company and the business owner. So, the entire income of the company goes directly to the owner. At the same time, the business owner is also responsible for any debts, losses, or liabilities.
- Partnership - this business structure has the same characteristics of a sole proprietorship except of having multiple partners or business owners. As the owners, they keep the pre-tax income and are responsible for any losses.
- Corporation - shields owners from personal liability for their debts, and profits are distributed to shareholders rather than received directly.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) - Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. The owners are not personally liable for debts.
Most business owners choose an LLC to benefit from liability protection and pass-through taxation.
Note 2: Keep in mind that by choosing sole proprietorship, you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Register for taxes
Once you have your EIN, you need to choose your tax year.
This determines your business's tax cycle, while the chosen business structure determines the taxes needed to be paid.
Note: To ensure the correct taxes completion, it is recommended to consult an accountant or other professional.
Step 3. Open a business checking account
You need to separate your personal finances from business finances.
That is why you need a dedicated business checking account.
Some benefits of opening a business checking account are:
- Keeping a separate account keeps things tidy from a recordkeeping and accounting perspective.
- It makes things easier when tax time comes.
- It makes it easier to track the company’s income.
- It signals credibility and professionalism when you write a check from your business account or ask someone to pay for your business.
Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN, articles of incorporation, and other legal documents, and open your new account.
Step 4. Acquire a box truck
If you don’t have enough money to buy a box truck, then start a box truck business with a rental truck.
Many drivers begin by renting box trucks for occasional work.
Commercial truck rental services like Penske, Ryder, and Enterprise rent out box trucks without as much upfront capital as leasing or buying.
Step 5. Get funding
Starting a box truck business is very exciting.
But bringing your business to life typically requires an investment.
Funding a business can be tricky for entrepreneurs without a financial history.
A traditional small-business loan likely won’t be possible until you’ve been up and running for a few months, at least.
Still, you can look for other financial sources to have them to invest in until your business gets off the ground.
If you don’t have enough money in your savings, check out these financing ways to start a trucking company.
Step 6. Get licenses and permit
To use a box truck for business requires you to get the below licensing and permits.
- Depending on the category weight of your box truck, you may need or may not need a CDL.
- If you want your trucking authority, you need to apply to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for a Motor Carrier (MC) Number and also get a Department Transportation number (USDOT number).
- If your company transports cargo across state lines, you will also need a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR).
- Finally, you will also need appropriate insurance for your box truck business.
The license requirements and how to obtain them vary from case to case. So, check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
Step 7. Get insurance
As insurance protects your business from devastating consequences resulting from unexpected events, it is essential to have appropriate insurance.
Here are the types of insurance your box truck business should have coverage for:
- General Liability: It covers a wide range of issues, making it the most comprehensive type of insurance. This is the only sort of insurance I recommend you should get. It even covers property damage and bodily injury.
- Business Property: Delivers coverage for your equipment and supplies.
- Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Mechanical equipment failure is covered by equipment breakdown insurance, covering the cost of replacing or repairing the equipment.
- Workers Compensation Insurance: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
- Property Insurance: Covers your physical space, whether a cart, storefront, or office.
- Professional Liability Insurance: It covers your business against claims of professional negligence.
- Business Interruption Insurance: Protects lost income and expenses if your business is forced to shut down due to a covered event.
There are a lot of companies that offer this type of insurance. Do your research to find a suitable insurance company for your business.
For more information check out these types of insurance needed for a box truck article.
Step 8. Promote your box truck business
Opening your box truck company is not enough to say that you have a business.
A business should be profitable. That means the you need to find ways to get box truck contracts to grow the business.
Box truck business opportunities
Work with Amazon
Once you set up your box truck business, one lucrative business option is working with Amazon.
Amazon is a big employer in the US and it owns a big share of the box truck transportation industry.
If you like the idea of working with the Amazon brand, help them to transport their freight to their customers.
Find out how to start a box truck business with Amazon and their requirements.
Provide local deliveries
Due to e-commerce booming, the demand for box trucks grew in the local markets.
Local stores want to provide a fast delivery option to their customers.
They use box trucks to transport their products to their customers' doors fast.
For this kind of delivery, the driver is often not required to hold a CDL.
So, starting a non-CDL delivery business might be a good money-making opportunity.
Provide advertising solutions
A box truck is often called a billboard on wheels because it has two big white spaces on the sides of the cargo box area that can be used for advertising other businesses.
So, to make money you can advertise on a box truck for other local businesses.
Find side-hustling jobs for your box truck
If you have a regular job for your box truck, you can earn additional money by applying for any of these box truck side hustle options.
In that post, you can find a list of options to find part-time jobs for a box truck.
By far, if you understand how to start a box truck business, you might be interested in reading about other business ideas to make money with a box truck click the link.