Starting a business is no easy task. Establishing a moving company, however, is a different ball game. From developing a business strategy to coming up with the legal paperwork, there is a lot you need to learn and do before you can have your moving business up and running.
In addition to obtaining a USDOT number, there are other documents and licenses that you require. Moreover, you need to follow moving tariff steps (with the help of a legal expert) to consolidate a written agreement with the client. All of this can get confusing. However, with this post, you will gain an understanding of the documents required.
Here is a list of all the documents and licenses required:
1. Moving tariff
In a moving business, moving tariff refers to the legal document containing information about the company’s rules, regulations, charges, additional fees, etc. It is a written contract between the moving company and the client. The purpose of the document is to keep everything transparent, including charges, liabilities, etc. Preparing a moving tariff requires legal knowledge. Many moving businesses hire attorneys and other experts to develop the document.
The document is necessary if you want to operate your business within a state. A moving tariff contains information such as packing cost, moving cost, insurance cost, conditions, hourly rates, and other fees.
2. Bill of Landing
According to law, a moving company should provide a bill of landing for each shipment. The Bill of landing is a document provided by the moving company to the client. It guarantees that the movers will pick up, transfer, and deliver the goods at the destination. This document ensures that the parties involved are aware of where their items are and allows the mover to carry the items legally. It also makes it easy for the client to track the shipment.
The bill of landing contains information, such as the name of the shipper, the address of the customer, the city/state of origin, address of the destination, date of delivery, shipment number, name of the moving company, name of the client (the shipper), the weight of the goods, the route which is taken, the vehicle license number, the charges, etc. It also includes the valuation of the items being transported. In the case of damage, the mover pays the amount to the client.
3. Moving Inventory
A moving inventory is a list of items and their packaging. It contains information regarding where the item is packed, the description of the item, etc. Preparing a moving inventory is essential for organizing and keeping track of goods. However, it is required for other purposes too. In case of damage or loss, it can help you in finding or replacing the item. As professional movers, you need to provide an inventory to the client. To make matters convenient when you are packing and moving, prepare a template for the inventory. It should contain information such as the item name, its condition, model, etc. You can also take a picture of the item.
People in a moving business face risks. Accidents are quite common, which often leads to damage to the vehicle and injury to the driver. In addition to this, the company is held liable for the transported goods. It becomes apparent why insurance is necessary for a moving company to pay for damage, cover liabilities, etc. Three types of insurances cover the risks in the moving business: cargo coverage, automobile liability, and workers’ compensation. A moving company is not required to have this insurance, but it can be a huge relief in case of accidents and other misfortune.
5. USDOT number
USDOT (United States Department of Transport) number is a unique number assigned to a moving company. This number is required to ensure the safety of the people in the moving business.
Not all US States require a USDOT number for operating a moving business. However, it is required if you conduct moving operations between states. Moreover, if you transport hazardous material, you need a USDOT number. You can find other criteria for a USDOT number on the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website.
You can contact the Department of Transportation to obtain a USDOT number. Companies need to observe the regulations imposed by FMCSA to obtain a USDOT number.