Many people who love driving trucks decide to start up their own transport company. The kind of freight they take may depend on the size of the truck and whether they want to travel interstate, intrastate or just in the same city. No matter what kind of business you start, with the help of a good commercial lawyer there will always be the need to do it properly and adhere to the rules and regulations for your industry.

Here are 9 things to consider when starting up your own freighting company.

  • Choose a business structure. Operating as a sole trader is the cheapest option and you can still employ people. Other common options are partnership, company and trust. These take a little longer to organise and cost more, but not all that much.
  • Register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This is free and only takes around 15 minutes. It is not essential, but there are good reasons for doing so, such as claiming tax credits. You’ll also need to register your business name, register for GST if you expect your GST turnover to be $75,000 or more, get a business or personal tax file number and you may need to register for PAYG.
  • You may also want to register a trademark for your business.

  • If you want to have a business website that ends in ‘au’ it is necessary to have an ABN.
  • Get insurance for your business. Public liability is essential and you may also want to consider product liability and professional indemnity insurance.
  • You will need to apply for heavy vehicle permits and licences, depending on the size of your truck.
  • There are several different kinds of access permits that you’ll need to apply for. These too, will depend on the size of your truck and where you are going with it – e.g. interstate.
  • Agriculture, food and dangerous goods all have their own regulations and require different types of permits and licences.
  • If you employ drivers or contractors you’ll need to comply with Fair Work Requirements and have additional insurance for them. You may be able to register for a small business grant depending on the number of people you employ.

Many of the things you  need to register for cost nothing and can be done quite quickly. However, other things such as your vehicle/s will cost quite a bit, so you’ll most likely need to get a loan or go with a lend/lease option. It’s important to do some number crunching so you don’t end up in the red or going broke. That said, freighting goods from one place to another is something that many people enjoy, and it doesn’t take years of study to become an expert in the field.