Hi, new user here! I am about to become an OTR owner operator within a month. As far as formalities go, so far I have done the following:
1. Registered an LLC with EIN number
2. Bank account for that LLC
According to my research, I will also need to have to do the following:
3. Decide what truck insurance to get
4. Get USDOT number from FMCSA (MC?)
5. Activate the truck insurance a certain number of days after USDOT application
6. Purchase BOC-3 process agent
7. UCR (Unified Carrier Registration)
8. Sign up for IFTA ("international" fuel tax) and then file regularly
9. WDT (if driving much through oddball states)
10. IRP (apportioned plates, get from DMV?)
11. Form 2290 (heavy vehicle highway use tax return) - after a year?
12. Sign up with drug testing consortium and write procedures for hiring drivers, recording driver qualifications, safety rules for drivers, truck maintenance (did I forget anything?) and put in truck to show DOT officers when they new the new entrant audit
13. Do bookkeeping as receipts come in
(In practice, of course you also need yourself, your CDL, a truck etc - the above was just a list of the formalities)
Yes, I know it doesnt take very long to do all of this myself, but regardless my strategy will be to outsource as much of this paperwork as reasonably possible. So I have looked around for service bureaus that does this for people. Truckersbookkeepingservice (TBS) is one, they dont do everything but most of it, and at reasonable prices. However my contact person there has proven very difficult to communicate with unfortunately, so before I pick them I am trying to see if there is another bureau that I could consult instead. It is mainly step 12 in the above checklist that I am unsure of. My main question is: where could I find a source that sums up these requirements for me? My next step may be to email FMCSA and ask them for a pointer. Or if you know of another service bureau that sell ready made templates for $170 or cheaper (which is what TBS charges in their "DIY package")...
New owner operator - how to make the compliance documents?
I highly recommend OOIDA. They can help with the authority filling. If you are a member they will file BOC-3 for free. They also have drug consortium program called CMCI. It is not the cheapest but I feel confident using them.
What state are you looking to get your apportioned plate?
I actually became an OOIDA member recently but I am disappointed in them, because in the marketing they said they would offer insurance but when I contact them it turns out that their underwriters require at least 4 years of experience and had lots of other requirements that truck insurers dont usually have.
Is the stuff in step 12 (DOT compliance procedures) something they need to see in order to issue the authority, or is it something they will not ask for until the new entrant audit?
2290 will be prorated your first year, but it needs filed before you can hit the road regardless of when that is.
With drug consortium, you'll need a third-party C/TPA if you're by yourself. You aren't allowed to administer your own program to...yourself. In other words, you can't schedule your own piss tests. You have to have a third party do it for you. Your consortium will know what to do.
You can't start IFTA application until IRP is done. Get on those, because with Corona, they take forever. (five months in Texas when everything was shut down, not sure about now)Bean Jr. Thanks this.
Sorry, but it's so much easier driving a company truck today, and look at new fishing boats. Hope it works out for you, don't forget the Road Use Tax in June. That one ALWAYS pixxed me off . Quarterly taxes too, with all the costs, did they actually expect me to pay estimated taxes every 3 months, so a good accountant is more important than ever,,more cash out. When it's all said and done, there is little incentive to be an O/O today. I think you'll find that out, hopefully before you go too far in the hole. I'd have at LEAST $10g's as emergency backup funds too because at $150/hour, repairs take a big chunk, and if the wheels aren't turning, no money coming in. Insurance, both health and liability kills most O/O's these days, something bigger companies can absorb. Being an O/O myself and went back to a company driver, I can't believe someone today still thinks their own is the way to go. I suppose it's sign of good ol' American pride, but you know what THAT'S worth today. Let the boss have the headaches, you go take Junior fishin',,,Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
IRP and IFTA took the longest. The state would not do it till after the authority went active. Everything had to be submitted online though website for my state TN.
3 months into my authority I just got a letter of New Entrant Audit from FMCSA. They want paperwork for Consortium. Thanks to OOIDA I have everything that I need to show compliance.
Also, I dont know if it applies to your truck but e-log maybe required for your operation.