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How To Get Your Freight Broker License?

Max 3 min read

To become a freight broker, you need to consider the freight broker license cost and requirements. Many people are thinking about pursuing this career because of the lucrative market.

The global freight brokerage market grew significantly in 2021, valued at $48.1 billion, and is expected to expand further in the coming years. As such, obtaining a freight broker license can prove to be an invaluable asset for anyone looking to get into this industry.

Let’s dive deeper into the process and discover how to get your freight broker license. But first, you should know what a freight broker actually does.

What is a freight broker?

A freight broker is a professional who acts as an intermediary between clients who need to ship cargo and companies that provide the necessary transportation services to move the goods. They’re responsible for managing all aspects of a shipment, from finding carriers and negotiating rates to handling paperwork and payment.

You may have heard of freight brokers and forwarders. Many people use the terms “freight broker” and “freight forwarder” interchangeably.

One key difference, though, is that a freight forwarder or trucking company arranges the pickup, transport and delivery of goods for their customers. On the other hand, a freight broker is a company that brokers or facilitates the transportation of goods for its customers by finding and negotiating contracts with carrier companies.

How to get a freight broker license?

If you are looking to become a freight broker, the first step is getting your license. A freight broker license is a requirement to legally engage in the business of arranging shipments of goods and services between customers and carriers.

First, you will need to file an application with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is done by submitting a Form OP-1 and paying the fee. You’ll also need to include a surety bond of at least $75,000 for your business operations. The FMCSA may require additional documentation such as proof of financial responsibility or qualifications depending on the type of freight broker license you are applying for.

Once your application has been approved, you will be given your broker’s license number. You should use this number when conducting business with carriers and customers to avoid any legal issues. 

How much is a freight broker license?

How much is a broker license? What are the fees involved?

The freight brokerage license cost is $300 plus a $75 application fee, and must be renewed annually. Some states also require additional fees such as fingerprinting, background checks or other processing costs. It’s important to check with your state licensing board for specific requirements and fees.

Fees involved in obtaining a freight broker license

The license isn’t the only expense you’ll incur when applying for a freight broker license, though. You also have to consider:  

Training costs

In order to become a licensed freight broker, you will need to attend an approved training program. These programs typically range from $1,000 to $2,500 and provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills needed for success in the industry. The cost of training may vary depending on where you take your course and how long it takes.

Surety bond

A freight broker must obtain a surety bond from an insurance company. The amount of the bond varies by state, but most require at least a $75,000 bond. This money will be used to cover any losses that may occur due to the freight broker’s negligence or fraud.

Take note that you’ll only have to pay a portion of the bond. Depending on your credit score, you may only need to pay as little as 1-3% of the total bond amount. 

Operational costs

If you’re planning to start your own brokerage, you have to consider the startup cost of a trucking company on top of the truck freight broker license cost. Your business registration, insurance, computers, software, and other office supplies will add up to your overall expenses.

Additionally, you’ll need a good phone system with reliable internet access that’s connected to an online freight broker system. This setup is necessary for tracking shipments and responding quickly to customers.

You’ll also need a program to help manage invoices and payments from clients. Accounting for a trucking business can be a challenge, so you’ll want to invest in services that will help streamline the process.

To make your life even easier, partner with Factoring Express for trucking accountant services. This way, you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about the paperwork. 

Start your freight brokerage business with the help of Factoring Express

Becoming a freight broker and starting your business can be a challenging endeavor, but with the right financing and support, it can also be highly rewarding. The cost of freight broker license is just one of the many expenses that you will have to consider as you start your business.

One financing option that many freight brokers turn to is truck factoring, which allows you to get paid for your invoices quickly and easily. If you’re considering factoring for your freight brokerage business, consider partnering with Factoring Express.

With our years of experience in providing factoring for trucking services, we can help you simplify your cash flow management and grow your business. Contact us today to learn more. 


What is the difference between a freight forwarder and a freight broker?

A freight forwarder is a company that consolidates shipments from different customers, arranges for transportation, and provides other logistical services. A freight broker is an individual or firm that acts as an intermediary between shippers and carriers.

Freight brokers are responsible for finding the best solutions to move cargo in terms of cost, speed, and reliability. 

Is freight broker the same as logistics?

Freight broker and logistics are two distinct roles. A freight broker is responsible for arranging transportation for shippers’ goods between different carriers and locations. Logistics professionals plan, implement and control the efficient flow of raw materials, finished products and related information from point of origin to point of consumption.

How much does a freight broker license in California cost?

The FMCSA has a $300 application fee for a freight broker license in California. Apply for registration using Form BOC-3 and wait for the FMCSA to approve your application, which typically takes around four to six weeks. 

How much does a freight broker license in Florida cost?

You must pay the $300 fee upon submitting USDOT Form OP-1. This fee covers only one operational class for one year. Additional operational classes require additional fees, and each class must be renewed annually. 

What is the freight broker license cost in Texas?

Similar to Florida and California, there’s a $300 fee to get a freight broker license in Texas. This includes the cost of an application which you must submit to the FMCSA in order to obtain your registration. 

Is being a freight broker profitable?

Yes, being a freight broker can be profitable. You may find that you are able to make more money than if you worked as an employee in the industry. Your success will depend on your ability to negotiate with shippers and carriers, build relationships with customers, and stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and trends in the freight business.

The average income of a freight broker is $62,105 per year. On top of that, you can get as much as $28,000 annually on commissions. As such, if you are able to build a successful business, you can easily make six figures per year.

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