How To Start A Hot Shot Business [2023]

Starting your own hot shot trucking business is a great way to make plenty of money, and it’s easier than you think!

If you are looking for an easy way to start making money fast, then starting a hot shot trucking business may be the answer you have been searching for – and we have all the information that you need to get started and turn your first profit in no time.

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What Is A Hot Shot Trucking Business?

A hot shot trucking business involves hauling loads from one location to another in a similar way to traditional haulage companies – but with one key difference.

While traditional carriers will wait to fill their trailers with multiple, complete loads before setting off on their route, a hot shot trucking business will typically load up with an incomplete or “less than truckload” (LTL) and head to supply a single customer.

This means that instead of waiting until the end of each day to set off on their routes, hot shot truckers can often leave work early, head straight to the nearest depot, pick up some more cargo and then head out again.

This gives them the flexibility to earn extra cash and allows them to take advantage of any opportunities that arise along the way.

The Benefits Of Running Your Own Hot Shot Trucking Business

There are many benefits to running your own hot shot trucker business, including:


Hot shot trucking offers greater flexibility than other trucking jobs, making it a perfect side hustle or business opportunity.

Earnings Potential

The average earnings potential for a hot shot trucker is around $50 per hour, which is higher than most other jobs available.

Low Investment

You won’t need to invest a lot of money into buying equipment, hiring staff, or paying for fuel. All you need is a vehicle, a trailer, and a computer.

Easy To Set Up And Operate

Setting up a hot shot trucking operation is relatively straightforward, and there’s very little paperwork involved. You’ll just need to register with your local authorities, and apply for a license – read on to learn more about getting started.

Starting Your Own Hot Shot Truck Driver Business

To find out more about how to start your own hot shot truck driving business, check out our guide below:

Register With Local Authorities

Before you even consider starting your own hot shot truck driver business, you’ll need to register with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. It is a good idea to get this out of the way early, as it can be easy to overlook.

Get Your Finances In Order

Once you’ve registered with your local authorities, you’ll also need to ensure that you have enough funds to cover the costs associated with operating your new business. These include things such as:


It’s important to insure your vehicle against damage or theft, so make sure that you get adequate coverage.

Fuel Costs

If you plan on using your vehicle to transport goods, you’ll need to pay for fuel. The amount you spend depends on where you live, but you can expect to pay between $0.20-$0.30 per mile.


In order to operate legally, you’ll need to obtain all relevant licenses. For a hot shot trucking business, you will need a Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and the cost of this can vary depending on where you are located.

Get Your License

When you’re ready to start your hot shot trucking business, you’ll need to contact your local licensing authority to arrange for your licenses to be issued.

Once they have been approved, you’ll receive a certificate confirming that you are licensed to drive commercial vehicles.

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Though not a legal requirement, you may also wish to work towards your Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC), and this will help to widen the range of loads that you are permitted to transport, as well as access secure areas such as ports for increased trade and business opportunities.

Set Up An LLC

An LLC is an ideal structure for a hotshot trucking company. It provides protection from personal liability for those who run the business, while still allowing you to benefit from tax advantages.

To set up an LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with your state’s Secretary of State. This process usually takes less than 30 days but is a crucial part of the process.

Obtain An EIN

Once you are set up as an LLC, the IRS will issue your new business with an EIN – or employer identification number. This allows you to pay yourself a wage, and hire and pay employees.

An EIN is also important if you plan to implement benefits packages or increase your 401k contributions. To apply, simply head online for more information, and a step-by-step guide to the process.

Open A Business Bank Account

Before you start trading, it is a good idea to open a dedicated business bank account. This helps to keep your finances separate from your personal money and makes it easier to manage your money.

When opening a business bank account, make sure that you choose one that offers sufficient insurance to protect your assets in case of loss or theft.

Develop A Marketing Plan

You should now have everything you need to launch your hot shot trucking company.

However, before you do anything else, you’ll first need to develop a marketing strategy. What kind of products or services will you offer? How will you market them? Who will you target? 

All these questions must be answered before you begin any advertising campaigns – and this is an important step, as it will help you to connect to those all-important customers.

Start Operating

Now that you’ve got your license, your EIN, and your bank account sorted out, it’s time to get started.

You’ll want to ensure you have enough capital to cover the costs associated with starting your hot shot trucking operation. In addition, you’ll need to consider how much you can afford to lose if things go wrong.

Final Thoughts

Starting a hot shot trucking business is relatively painless, and once you have ticked all the boxes to get yourself up and running, you will find many benefits to being self-employed.

Whether you decide to become a hot shot trucker full-time or just use it as a side hustle, you’ll soon discover that running your own business has its rewards – and this is a trade that has the potential to be very lucrative.

Andre Flowers
Andre Flowers

Hello, my name is Andre Flowers and I have been a Licensed Real Estate Professional for over 24 years. I also carry several certifications, including: Certified Distressed Property Expert, Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Credit Repair Specialist.

As a current Mortgage Underwriter with 15 years of experience, I have seen my fair share of money-related issues. Whether that be high levels of debt, not enough credit, or simply a lack of funds - I’ve had clients who fit into these categories.

Here I will share tips, tricks, and experiences on how you can get yourself back in control of your finances.

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