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How To Start a Logistics Company

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Here are the steps you can take to get started on building your very own logistics business.

Ten Steps to Launching a New Logistics Business

1. Choose Your Type of Logistics Business

The first step in launching a logistics business is to identify the type of business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types, among others:

  • A full-service logistics company that offers a complete range of transportation and warehousing services
  • A trucking company that specializes in hauling freight via trucks
  • A freight brokerage that matches shippers with carriers
  • A third-party logistics provider (3PL) that manages the entire supply chain for its clients

2. Name Your Logistics Business

Give your logistics business an identity, so people will consider it a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your logistics business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name, among other options.

The main goal of naming your logistics business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so potential customers will want to do business with you.


3. Determine Your Logistics Business Model

There are several possible types of business models for a logistics business, including:

  • Asset-based: A company that owns its transportation equipment, warehousing space, and other assets
  • Non-asset based: A company that uses the assets of others to provide logistics services
  • Hybrid: A company that uses a mix of its assets and those of others

No matter which model you choose, ensure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.

Read more about choosing the right business model for your logistics business.


4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business

By incorporating your logistics business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.

The business structure you choose for your logistics business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.

Read our article comparing the most common logistics business structures.


5. Write a Logistics Business Plan

All logistics business owners should develop a business plan. 

A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team.

When developing your logistics business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:

  • What logistics services does your company offer?
  • What are your prices?
  • Where is your business located?

Read our article about how to write a logistics business plan.

Create a winning business plan quickly & easily with Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template. Complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses

There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your logistics business.

For example, if you plan to operate a trucking company, you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

You must also register your logistics business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.

Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website if you plan to hire employees.

Read our article about obtaining the proper logistics business licenses.


7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed

In developing your logistics business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.

If you have funds to invest in your logistics business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your logistics business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.

Read our article about the costs associated with starting a logistics business to help you determine if funding is needed. 

Read our article about how to fund your logistics business


8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently

When you start your logistics business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues. 

You may also want to invest in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage your customer data, project management software to oversee the progress of shipments, and a Transportation Management System (TMS) to optimize your shipping routes.

Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a logistics business.


9. Market Your Logistics Business to Potential Clients

Before selling your services, you must let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.

After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the logistics industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business. 

You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Logistics businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:

  • Develop marketing collateral like business cards, flyers, and brochures.
  • Participate in trade shows related to your industry.
  • Attend local Chamber of Commerce events.
  • Engage in email marketing campaigns.

Read our article about how to market your logistics business for more tips.


10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business

When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients

Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your logistics business.

Create a winning business plan quickly & easily with Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template. Complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

Starting a Logistics Business FAQ

The logistics industry is projected to grow in the coming years, making it a good time to start a business in this space. In addition, starting a logistics business can be relatively easy and inexpensive compared to other businesses.

You can start a logistics business from home by developing a business plan, choosing the right business structure, obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, getting the right technology and software in place, marketing your business to potential clients and growing your business.

Some tips for starting a logistics business include:

  • Develop a business plan.
  • Choose the right business structure.
  • Obtain the necessary licenses and permits.
  • Get the right technology and software in place.
  • Market your business to potential clients.
  • Grow your business.

A simple checklist to use when starting a logistics business is as follows:

  1. Choose Your Type of Logistics: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to always keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind.
  2. Name Your Logistics Business: This should be done carefully, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
  3. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
  4. Determine Your Logistics Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
  5. Write a Logistics Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
  6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
  7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
  8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need the right tools to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
  9. Market Your Logistics Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need. 
  10. Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services



Starting a logistics business can be a rewarding and challenging endeavor. The key to success is in developing a solid business plan, choosing the proper business structure, obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits, getting the right technology and software in place, marketing your business to potential clients, and growing your business. With careful planning and execution, you can build a successful logistics business.

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