Questions to Answer before Starting a Vehicle-driven Business


By Anthony Jones

Shipping, logistics, and other vehicle-related services don’t tend to be the first things that come to mind when people consider emerging small businesses. We tend to think of these as services and industries handled by large, established companies. That said, it can be an appealing sort of business to move into. Whether that means starting a local moving company, setting up a small fleet to offer shipping to large businesses at a competitive rate, or anything similar, a well-run small business certainly has a chance of breaking through.

this post is proudly sponsored by:

If this is something you’re interested to try, there are a few key questions you’ll need to answer for yourself before your business can get up and running.


Unfortunately, this is the first question for any potential new business in 2020—at least if it’s a business that is going to involve any sort of in-person contact. Where logistics and related industries are concerned, there have been significant operational issues associated with the pandemic. Some experts suggested early on that many smaller companies would disappear, and we have in fact seen supply chains and shipping-related businesses struggling mightily in the months since. If you’re starting now though, you’ll have a better chance to establish a new company if you have clear safety measures in place. Equip your business to stay safe, and advertise your consideration of the coronavirus as one of the reasons your business is trustworthy.


It’s easy to imagine that when you’re just getting started in an industry of this nature, you might be able to simply get a truck, launch a website, call some clients, and get started. That may work for a time. Ultimately though, you’ll need to make it official, which means filing the requisite paperwork to start a formal company. Luckily enough, this tends to be relatively simple. In Alabama, for instance (where we’re based), getting a new LLC off the ground can take just five steps: from selecting a name for the business to appealing for an Employer ID Number for tax purposes. We’d count Alabama’s LLC setup process as one of the simpler ones we’re aware of, but it’s at least somewhat similar in most other states.


If you’re looking to start a very small business on your own (such as a moving company with a single truck), you might not need to do much planning in this area. But if you’re hoping to expand or you’re looking to set up a fleet for longer jobs, vehicle cost and maintenance are going to be some of the most important aspects of your business. Try to plan ahead, determine how many vehicles you’ll need to scale (and what types of vehicles), and what average maintenance and upkeep costs might look like. It won’t give you an exact idea of your total costs, but it will certainly help you to start planning.


If you’re looking to start a business based on vehicle use and transportation, you need to give serious thought to how to present a progressive front with respect to energy. There’s ample data suggesting consumers and businesses alike prefer to work with eco-friendly companies. This means that using efficient vehicles and adopting whatever green measures you can muster likely makes your business more attractive. Fortunately, states are actually making it easier for people and businesses alike to transition to more efficient vehicles. In Alabama specifically, recent grants incentivizing electrical vehicle use result in more charging stations placed throughout the state. Additionally, there are some tax breaks associated with purchasing electric vehicles, both in Alabama and elsewhere. Do your research and consider perks like these. You may find that you have a clear route toward an energy-forward business.


In addition to being forward-looking on energy, it’s also a good idea to adopt modern technology that can improve the efficiency of most any vehicle-driven business. Technologies driving the future of logistics include automated systems, data management, and even blockchain use for payment and asset tracking—just to give you an idea. You don’t necessarily have to arm your company and vehicles with all of these things from the beginning. But being aware of the technologies that can improve vehicle-driven businesses is wise because your competitors are likely to be using them.

As you get started, you will of course have to address many different challenges to start whatever business it is you’re working on. Each project of this nature has its own needs. Answering the questions here should cover some of the broad points, however, and help you to be thorough and responsible setting up your company.


Anthony Jones is a freelance writer who specializes in covering the supply chain. During his years as an online reporter he has witnessed many changes to business operations and has made it his mission to keep businesses up to date with the latest trends. In his free time he likes to sail.

On-demand Roadside Assistance at Your Fingertips

DOT Compliance, Data Programs, and Audit Prep