How To Start A Moving Company

  1. Starting a Moving Company 
  2. Step 1
  3. Step 2
  4. Step 3 
  5. You May Ask 'What's a Moving Tariff?'
  6. Step 4 
  7. Step 5
  8. Operate Legally

1. Starting A Moving Company

So you want to know how to start a moving company? This may seem like one of the most straight forward businesses to start, move peoples items from A to B. Essentially it is if you are not planning on being around for very long which is never a good mentality when starting a business. The moving industry is a saturated market but may companies don’t last the test of time because they forget to take key measure that we are going to make easy for you by reading our step to step guide below. Have your company stand out by making a name that is synonymous with quality and efficient moves. Make sure to follow this helpful checklist before you start your moving business to get all your boxes ticked before you get other peoples boxes packed, so to speak.

2. Step 1

The first step to starting your moving business is making sure you have all your licensing. There are different licenses needed if you are doing local or interstate moving, and each state has different requirements so check your state/city for what you need on the DOT (Department of Transportation) website.  You make think that moving someone’s stuff from one place to another could go unnoticed for a while without a license, but it really isn’t worth the risk because it is actually a federal offense to do so without proper licensing. Don’t risk it, so get your proper paperwork done so your business can thrive.

3. Step 2

It is required by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) that you have an Arbitration service already set up before you start a business to protect both your company and your future customer base if they have any problems with your services. Next is buying and becoming part of Arbitration Program is the settling of any disputes outside of the courts, and an arbitrator is a neutral third party that can help settle the disputes. MovingAuthority is a listing of licensed moving companies across the USA that also provides a legal arbitration service to businesses for a reasonable fee. This is a great tool to use as you grow your business.

4. Step 3

Make sure to also obtain Cargo and basic liability insurance for your business. In addition, make sure to get workman’s comp insurance because when it comes to moving and hauling large items it is a possibility that your workers can get injured and its best to protect yourself and be prepared. Now the next action is to obtain a custom moving tariff.

5. You may ask whats a "Moving Tariff"

Well, it's a menu that sets out all agreed pricing and all line haul rates and also sets valuation option movers customers. The best suggestion is to get a custom built. A tariff from a household goods tariff builder and it must be published and you must have a copy of published moving tariff in your office available for a USDOT officer. Please take note that this is a law that FMCSA officers are able to inspect tariff any time they request.  

Do not get a tariff from an unauthorized Moving Tariff company. If you have an issue with USDOT carrier is responsible to don't cut cost on your tariff and do not confuse a moving software as a tariff.   

start successful moving company

6. Step 4

Get a Website made! Most, if not all, of your sales, will come from online searches made for movers, so get online. Make sure you have a catchy and unique logo and make your website user-friendly and mobile friendly, both will help drive up your sales. Another helpful hint is to add your business to Google Places so your business is better linked and will show up in local customers searches. 

Having your business listed on Moving Authority and linking back to your profile page with a posting of different awards and accreditations that can show how good your company is and it will show that your moving company does quality work as a mover and that you are part of a group in the industry. Other top sites in the moving industry is another key component to growing a successful moving company.

7. Step 5

Invest in real equipment. Besides your truck or trucks, you really need

  • Boxes Dolly or called hand truck
  • Appliance Dolly for fridges or appliances
  • Furniture Quilts/Blankets to wrap the furniture
  • 4 Wheeler Dolly for bulky items

It is best for the long haul of your business to invest in professional grade equipment rather than items from stores like Home Depot. Although those tools work well; they usually cannot withstand the wear and tear over the years as proper equipment does and tends to break quickly.

8. Operate Legally

Websites like Moving Authority have changed the online game for finding licensed, accredited moving companies that meet consumer’s needs and budgets. Making sure your business is listed on such sites is the final step and key to success!

If you want to learn more about starting your own moving company, we highly recommend that you view the video below. It gives you a quick rundown on what you need before you can legally operate as a mover in the United States of America going across state lines.

Links Related To Moving Companies and Movers


Eric B

2 years, 10 months ago

We built an application for those looking to start a moving company. It's pretty cool and will run your entire business. movingpro.io

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Did You Know

Question Alongside the many different trailers provided are motorcycle trailers. They are designed to haul motorcycles behind an automobile or truck. Depending on size and capability, some trailer may be able to carry several motorcycles or perhaps just one. They specifically designed this trailer to meet the needs of motorcyclists. They carry motorcycles, have ramps, and include tie-downs. There may be a utility trailer adapted permanently or occasionally to haul one or more motorcycles.

Question In 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).

Question In the United States, a commercial driver's license is required to drive any type of commercial vehicle weighing 26,001 lb (11,794 kg) or more. In 2006 the US trucking industry employed 1.8 million drivers of heavy trucks.

Question The year 1611 marked an important time for trucks, as that is when the word originated. The usage of "truck" referred to the small strong wheels on ships' cannon carriages. Further extending its usage in 1771, it came to refer to carts for carrying heavy loads. In 1916 it became shortened, calling it a "motor truck". While since the 1930's its expanded application goes as far as to say "motor-powered load carrier".

Question Trailer stability can be defined as the tendency of a trailer to dissipate side-to-side motion. The initial motion may be caused by aerodynamic forces, such as from a cross wind or a passing vehicle. One common criterion for stability is the center of mass location with respect to the wheels, which can usually be detected by tongue weight. If the center of mass of the trailer is behind its wheels, therefore having a negative tongue weight, the trailer will likely be unstable. Another parameter which is less commonly a factor is the trailer moment of inertia. Even if the center of mass is forward of the wheels, a trailer with a long load, and thus large moment of inertia, may be unstable.

Question As we know in the trucking industry, some trailers are part of large trucks, which we call semi-trailer trucks for transportation of cargo. Trailers may also be used in a personal manner as well, whether for personal or small business purposes.

Question A business route (occasionally city route) in the United States and Canada is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.

Question Business routes always have the same number as the routes they parallel. For example, U.S. 1 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, U.S. Route 1, and Interstate 40 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, Interstate 40.

Question The FMCSA is a well-known division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). It is generally responsible for the enforcement of FMCSA regulations. The driver of a CMV must keep a record of working hours via a log book. This record must reflect the total number of hours spent driving and resting, as well as the time at which the change of duty status occurred. In place of a log book, a motor carrier may choose to keep track of their hours using an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR). This automatically records the amount of time spent driving the vehicle.


Implemented in 2014, the National Registry, requires all Medical Examiners (ME) who conduct physical examinations and issue medical certifications for interstate CMV drivers to complete training on FMCSA’s physical qualification standards, must pass a certification test. This is to demonstrate competence through periodic training and testing. CMV drivers whose medical certifications expire must use MEs on the National Registry for their examinations.

FMCSA has reached its goal of at least 40,000 certified MEs signing onto the registry. All this means is that drivers or movers can now find certified medical examiners throughout the country who can perform their medical exam. FMCSA is preparing to issue a follow-on “National Registry 2” rule stating new requirements. In this case, MEs are to submit medical certificate information on a daily basis. These daily updates are sent to the FMCSA, which will then be sent to the states electronically. This process will dramatically decrease the chance of drivers falsifying medical cards.

Question The word cargo is in reference to particular goods that are generally used for commercial gain. Cargo transportation is generally meant to mean by ship, boat, or plane. However, the term now applies to all types of freight, now including goods carried by train, van, or truck. This term is now used in the case of goods in the cold-chain, as perishable inventory is always cargo in transport towards its final homeEven when it is held in climate-controlled facilities, it is important to remember perishable goods or inventory have a short life.


The FMCSA has established rules to maintain and regulate the safety of the trucking industry. According to FMCSA rules, driving a goods-carrying CMV more than 11 hours or to drive after having been on duty for 14 hours, is illegal. Due to such heavy driving, they need a break to complete other tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, stopping for gas and other required vehicle inspections, as well as non-working duties such as meal and rest breaks. The 3-hour difference between the 11-hour driving limit and 14 hour on-duty limit gives drivers time to take care of such duties. In addition, after completing an 11 to 14 hour on duty period, the driver much be allowed 10 hours off-duty.

Question In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was established as an organization. However, in 1905 the name was changed to the Office Public Records (OPR). The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names. So, the organization's name was changed three more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although it was abolished in 1949. Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.

Question The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

Question The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip. Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only. Similar to its predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". He essentially plays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.


The year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit. It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman" in order to deliver bootleg beer. Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyride entirely devoid from economic reality"
Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!"

Question The most basic purpose of a trailer jack is to lift the trailer to a height that allows the trailer to hitch or unhitch to and from the towing vehicle. Trailer jacks may also be used for the leveling of the trailer during storage. To list a few common types of trailer jacks are A-frame jacks, swivel jacks, and drop-leg jacks. Other trailers, such as horse trailers, have a built-in jack at the tongue for this purpose.

Question Moving companies that operate within the borders of a particular state are usually regulated by the state DOT. Sometimes the public utility commission in that state will take care of it. This only applies to some of the U.S. states such as in California (California Public Utilities Commission) or Texas (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. However, no matter what state you are in it is always best to make sure you are compliant with that state

Question The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the most common government agency that is devoted to transportation in the United States. The DOT is the largest United States agency with the sole purpose of overseeing interstate travel and issue's USDOT Number filing to new carriers. The U.S., Canadian provinces, and many other local agencies have a similar organization in place. This way they can provide enforcement through DOT officers within their respective jurisdictions.