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Become an Owner Operator

Owner Op

For some, being your own boss is a dream that seems like an impossible reality. Yet, it is never too late to achieve that goal. Creating a work schedule that fits your lifestyle, deciding when to take time off and the potential for greater earnings are all reasons why one might want to become an owner-operator. So how do you become an owner-operator?

How to Become an Owner Operator

Becoming an owner-operator is a process that seems complicated; however, it is within reach. Follow these steps to help get you started on the path to your dream.


File For a USDOT and MC Number
First, you will need to have a registered USDOT number as well as a Motor Carrier (MC) number which provides you the authority to operate. There is a one-time $300 federal filing fee to request an MC number with the FMCSA. If you’ve ALREADY registered for a USDOT number then you can request an MC number online HERE.

What are the Different Types of Authority?
Authority for carriers is categorized into common or contract. A common carrier is available for hire by a shipper or broker. A contract carrier is contracted to haul loads for a specific company and are not available to the general public for hire.

Choosing the Right Insurance
Having insurance is not just an enforced federal law, it’s intended to protect you as an owner from risking your assets and liability in the event of an unexpected situation. The FMCSA requires certain types of insurance coverage depending on the authority you choose and the goods you plan to haul. For example, hazardous freight or freight requiring a hazmat permit will require specific liability coverage that differs from household goods. You can find the various forms and requirements of the FMCSA here.

To Be or to Lease? That is the Question
Deciding if you should lease or purchase a truck has much to do with your available assets. A used heavy duty truck in decent shape can cost over $30,000 and run upwards of $60,000. However, if you are considering to lease a truck from a trucking company, then you can look into the possibility for a lease-to-own purchasing option. Choosing to lease a truck can save on the biggest upfront cost to become an owner-operator. Keep in mind that if you choose to lease from a company, typically you’re expected to haul for them as well (there are some exceptions).

Finding Loads
Streamlining how you find loads can generate the most potential for your newfound operation. Truckloads is a free load board available on the web as well as on mobile devices (iOS and Android), providing you with 80,000 daily loads to search through wherever you are. Not to mention access to unlimited premium loads and the ability to view a brokers credit score, days to pay and calling right from the app.

Factor and Get Paid Quicker
When a carrier agrees to haul a load, the contract between them and the client enables the client to potentially wait up to 120 days to pay the carrier. Freight factoring companies, such as Instapay, agree to pay you after hauling a load and thus limiting the wait time to get paid. Instapay is a non-recourse factoring service which means it pays you now and collects from your client later. Hassle-free factoring from Instapay can put money in your pocket today.

Decide What is Best for You
There is an endless amount of work that goes into becoming an owner-operator that stretches beyond the obvious. You are required to register as an official company which includes the payment of fees, taxes and any violations; not to mention maintaining the operations of your business. The process is tedious and can take over a month before you even earn the authority by the FMCSA. Nonetheless, the process can pay off and allow you unlimited earning potential. Taking advantage of the opportunity could have a lasting impact on your career and personal life. Not every option will be the best fit for you and your family. Instead, you must review your situation before making any decision to becoming a leased or independent owner-operator.

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