One day it happens; a truck diver looks in the mirror and makes the decision to leave his current driving job and take on the challenge of a trucking owner operator; questions arise and cheif among them are "Do I need to pay money and obtain a freight brokers license?"
It would be nice to be able to broker a load when you needed one to make sure you were making money, and it'd be nice to make a little extra helping out others needing loads as well.
Numerous sites will lead you along about information on a brokers license, feeding you this book and that book, all the while asking for your credit card number." Do I need to pay the money and obtain a freight brokers license? Do I need some kind of bond or insurance to do this? If I just get my own authority to haul under my #1 truck and have the other trucking owner operator haul under my authority, I should be all set to go?"
You could help trucking owner operators find loads but when you do it for a fee you stretch the meaning of a broker; if you do this most shippers will ask to see your brokers authority or a bond. A broker usually puts a shipper and a carrier together, because the broker has an agreement with the shipper to move its freight. A broker usually plays the part of the middleman.
To be a carrier you must have an MC # and a USDOT # and all the rules and regulations must be adheared too, including logs. Only then could you run other owner operators under your company name. Some carriers will hire owner operators with their own authority so they don't have to keep logs on them. As a carrier you don't need a brokers authority, but if you have too much freight and not enough guys to move it you could elect to broker your extra loads to another carrier. In this senario you would be required to have a brokers authority.
Depending on how you get the freight you find for contractors and under who's name the freight will be moving, will depend on whether you need a brokers license. I could go out and help someone find a load but who actually signs the broker confirmation? Is it you or the contractor?
Will the shipper be paying you for the load and you then pay the contractor? If so a brokers authority is required.
You don't have to be a broker to accept a load from another broker or shipper. You don't have to be a broker to help someone find a load as long as the contractor signs the confirmation and has his own operating authority. And it depends on how you're shipping; are you invloved in interstate or intrastate shipments? In CA you can broker freight within CA without a brokers authority. But let's not complicate this issue anymore than it already is, let's figure your doing interstate shipments.
To get a Brokers authority all you need to do is apply for it and get the bond, keep in mind there are many ways for one to operate his/her business and still be within the law.
For more information DOTauthority.com is an excellent source for info about a brokers license.