Moving Company Startup Advice

Moving Company Regulations and Permits

Starting a moving company? Don't forget to get a moving business permit. Without a moving company permit, you may be out of businesss before you know it.

The moving industry is a heavily regulated industry.

Get a Moving Company Permit

If you operate a moving company, you need to be aware of all the moving company regulations and laws that are in effect in the areas you serve.

If you don't, you can be subject to fines for a wide range of violations, and your moving business can even be shut down.

For example, if you start a moving company in California, here's a small sampling of moving company violations that can result in fines:

  • Operating and advertising without a permit
  • Engaging employees without evidence of workers' compensation insurance coverage
  • Failing to comply to consumer protection rules in MAX 4 such as not showing a Not To Exceed Price on shipping documents
  • Operating as a sub-carrier without a permit
  • Failing to provide the "Important Information for Persons Moving Household Goods" booklet
  • Failing to issue the "Important Notice About Your Move" document

In California, the California Public Utilities Commission's (PUC) Consumer Protection and Safety Division, Transportation Enforcement Section is the enforcer of these rules.

Each state has its own enforcement agencies that monitor moving businesses.

In addition to state regulations, there are many county regulations regarding moving companies and city regulations covering moving businesses.

For example, all businesses performing South Florida moves in Miami-Dade County must be registered with the County and display signage.

There is an annual non-refundable moving business permit fee of $750.00 that must be paid. There is also an annual non-refundable moving vehicle decal fee of $10 per vehicle.

Getting a moving business permit isn't just as simple as filling out a form and paying the fee. Most states and counties will require that you have the appropriate insurance coverages and they also want to be sure you have worker's compensation insurance.

In our example county, Miami-Dade County, your application for a moving company permit must be accompanied by a certificate of insurance showing that you have General Liability Insurance, Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance ($50,000 combined single limit for vehicles with GVW of 35,000 lb. or less; $100,000 combinedsingle limit for vehicles with GVW in excess of 35,000 lbs.) and Cargo Liability Insurance (valuation of $10,000 combined single limit minimum with 60 cents per lb. per article).

Palm Beach, Florida has different requirements to be eligible for a moving company permit. They require valuation coverage at the rate of sixty cents ($0.60) per pound per article; cargo legal liability insurance of no less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per shipment; Motor vehicle combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance as follows: a) $100,000 per occurrence for each commercial motor vehicle weighing less than 26,000 pounds, b) $250,000 per occurrence for each commercial motor vehicle weight of at least 26,000 but less than 44,000 pounds and c) $1,000,000 per occurrence for each commercial motor vehicle weighing 44,000 or more.

Beyond proof of the insurance discussed above, you will typically need to show proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage, a state certificate of exemption or a letter indicating that no such workers' compensation is required by law.

As you can see, depending on where you decide to open a moving business, the requirements for a moving company permit will vary considerably. As such, when starting a moving company, you should contact all of the state and county agencies where you will be operating your moving business. These government employees will be more than happy to explain the specifics on what it takes to start a moving business in your area.

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Starting a moving business? If so, we'd love to get your comments on this topic.

  • Casillas posted on 6/14/2009
    What permits would i need to start a moving company in texas.. And how much are those permits
  • bell posted on 7/30/2009
    how can obtain a moving company study book?
  • jelllena posted on 10/20/2009
    Do i need to have own track to open moving company or i can just rental track? When i have to go to open company in marilend?
  • cheryl posted on 11/9/2009
    Who and where do I get the information to start up a moving company in the state of Michigan. Where do I begin?
  • leroy posted on 3/22/2010
    i am looking to start a moving company in jacksonville, florida and want to know what is the first step. how do i get licensed and insured.
  • willie freeman posted on 3/23/2010
    willie freeman
    whats the requirements to start a moving company in georgia
  • mike posted on 5/6/2010
    What do i need to start a moving company in NJ? How do i get licensed and insured in NJ for a moving company? Please help me start a moving company in NJ. I really appreciate any advice.
  • lorrie posted on 5/7/2010
    Was interested in starting a small moving/hauling busines in Las Vegas, Nevada. Any suggestions? What pitfalls should I look out for?
  • FETZ posted on 5/9/2010
    LORRIE........LORRIE..... I also will be starting a moving company in las vegas... Maybe we should chat....
  • Big Jon posted on 5/12/2010
    Big Jon
    I am starting a small moving company in Raleigh, N.C. what type of permits and licences do I need to get?
  • john frazier posted on 5/25/2010
    john frazier
    I can get a moving truck. What are the license and permit requirements to start a local moving company that doesn't do interstate moving? What steps are needed to move people's items locally within a 50 mile radius?
  • Melanie posted on 6/23/2010
    What permits and insurance requirements will I need to start an intrastate moving company in Texas? I already have a box truck, multiple dollies, moving blankets and straps. So, what is an approximate start up cost for these permits, certificates, insurance prices, etc? Is there a guide that I can send for that would cover all the requirements for starting a moving company in Texas? Thanking you in advance for any and all help you can give me. Melanie.
  • Felicia posted on 6/27/2010
    I am starting a moving/trucking company in MA what permits/License do I need and where do I get them
  • Jesse Feng posted on 7/7/2010
    Jesse Feng
  • posted on 9/5/2010
    in the process of starting a moving company in new jersey, just checking to see if there anything i left out. so what are the correct steps in starting a moving company?
  • JOSE AVILES posted on 9/15/2010
    if i rent a truck from uhaul or budget to move some one else, do you think that all the insurances are covered by their insurance?
  • charles posted on 9/16/2010
    starting a moving company in nebraska, wondering if you could help me out with advice on how i go about securing my permits, what permits i need to secure, and what regulations i am to be following??? if you could help me out a bit it would be greatly appreciated thank you for your time -charles
  • Katie posted on 3/15/2011
    Hello, everybody. Have a question regarding the opening the moving company in New York city, Brooklyn. What kind of permits and insurances will I need? And another question is about the I really need to take a loan, or a little of my own capital would be enough+ all the equipment that I already have?

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