So you’ve made the leap, and bought your own 18 wheeler. Day after day you take to the open road, encased in possibly one of the largest investments you’ve ever made. Of course you
have the required insurance on your big rig -- you don’t have a choice in the matter. But you do have choices in how you defend the thousands you’ve spent on your personal rig(s),
or those of truckers you employ.
You know better than anyone just how many accidents occur on a daily basis. You see them firsthand, and you also know that even the most experienced truckers make mistakes occasionally.
While your insurance may cover claims for repairs, if you’re operating as a DBA or a sole proprietorship, you might as well be getting behind the wheel blindfolded, because you’re taking
an enormous risk. We know this because we know firsthand just how often lawsuits are filed.
Consider the unfortunate scenario of a major accident. Road conditions were bad, someone pulled in front of you, etc. You did everything you could to avoid the accident, but it happened.
If you are operating as a DBA or sole proprietorship, and the other driver decides to sue you, good luck. Your personal assets including your savings, your home, your truck (AKA your
livelihood and business) stands to be taken away from you should the driver win the lawsuit.
Even worse, if you’re working as a DBA with partners, you can ultimately be named in a lawsuit based on the actions of your partner!
Unfortunately the fact is that if your partner is sued (and it does NOT have to be a lawsuit that is related in any way to motor vehicles) your livelihood is at great risk.
If your partner is sued by someone because they slipped on your partner’s porch and injured themselves, or were bitten by a dog, or for back child support, your career may very well be
on the line too. Indeed, if you are operating as a DBA with a partner and they are sued, virtually everything you’ve worked for is at stake, including your truck. Is that a risk you’re
comfortable with? Especially when this could have been avoided for less than you spend on gas in a week?
By structuring your trucking business as an LLC or a corporation, you are able to defend both your personal and
professional livelihood, thereby skirting these potentially life-altering potholes. This is because your business, including your trucks, will become an entity separate from you.
Remember what you were taught about not mixing business with pleasure? There’s merit in those words. As a corporation or LLC, your business will have its own Tax Identification
Number (TIN), your business will have its own banking accounts, and your business will not be able to be named in a personal lawsuit. Best yet, the process of setting up your trucking
business as an LLC or corporation is as easy as navigating I-70 through Nebraska.
As the owner/operator of your truck, or the employer of truckers, you can structure your business in a variety of ways, but the process for doing so is essentially the same whether you are a
single member or you have partners. The process goes like this: