How to Become a Freight Broker in 7 Steps + Licensing Requirements and Programs

Freight brokers play an important role in the transportation industry.

Someone must be responsible for ensuring that shipments are transported across the country efficiently.

This is where a freight broker comes in.

Their main duty is to make shipments as easy as possible and track them along the way.

If you’re contemplating becoming a freight broker, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps you must take to become one.

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7 Steps to Become a Freight Broker

Here are the steps you must follow in order to become a successful freight broker:

1. Register for Freight Broker Training School

One of the first recommended steps you should take is to attend a freight broker training school.

This first step isn’t a requirement, but it will educate you on the tools you need to successfully run a brokerage business.

There are various freight broker training schools, both in-person and online, that will teach you about everything from technology tools to industry trends.

You are in control of choosing which classes you feel will help you become an excellent freight broker.

2. Create a Business Plan & Register Your Business

One of the best ways to start a brokerage business is to work for a company that’s already established.

This enables you to gain the necessary experience to begin preparing your own business.

The first thing you must do is choose a name for your brokerage business.

Your business name must also be registered with your state.

Many freight brokers go for a limited liability corporation, also known as an LLC.

Following the registration of your business, the IRS will send you a tax ID number.

You should also consider creating a business plan, applying for business credit, and determining your target market.

3. Choose the Appropriate Carriers

Being able to select the right carriers is extremely important, as this plays a huge role in the success of your business.

The carriers that you choose should be reliable, safe, and have a good reputation.

They should have experience working in the field you have chosen.

A good resource to use to search for carriers is to obtain references from brokers that you know or by checking directories online.

4. Apply for a License

Before you can apply for a freight brokerage license, you must meet the licensing requirements.

The easiest way to go about this is to apply for a USDOT number through the Department of Transportation in the state you reside in.

You will also need to submit an OP-1 freight broker application.

This entire process can take up to four weeks and has a $300 fee.

Once your application has been successfully approved, the FMCSA will mail you a motor carrier number.

You will need to wait a total of 10 days before the registration process is complete.

5. Acquire Freight Broker Bond

One of the next steps involved in receiving your freight broker license is acquiring a freight broker bond.

The requirement for the freight broker bond is $75,000.

This lets carriers and companies see that your company possesses enough finances to protect you in the event something goes wrong.

This is considered insurance but for your business.

6. File BOC-3

Your BOC-3 provides your business with additional protection.

For every state that you plan on operating in, you must file a BOC-3.

In addition, you’ll need to choose a process agent prior to filing.

The process agent will be the person who takes care of the legal processes in every state you are doing business in.

7. Create a Marketing Plan

What makes your business different from others?

It is important that you create a marketing strategy for your business.

In addition, you must determine the platforms you’ll use to market your business.

For instance, you may choose to have your business listed in online directories.

This can draw in both carriers and shippers to your site.

Licensing Requirements to Become a Freight Broker

In order to receive a freight broker license, you will first need to meet the following requirements:

  • Obtain your USDOT number & USDOT Pin
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have an EIN
  • Obtain Insurance
  • Obtain an MC Number
  • Appoint a Process Agent
  • Obtain a Freight Broker Bond

On average, this entire process can take anywhere from two to three months.

This time has to do with filing and wait times.

If you plan on taking a freight broker training course, these typically take about six months to complete.

The best way to ensure that this process goes smoothly is by having all of your documentation prepared prior to starting any application.

Online Training Programs

Here are several schools that offer freight broker training programs online:

Broker U

Broker U provides students with the opportunity to learn all the skills necessary to become a freight agent or broker.

The course costs $199.99.

It includes 7.5 hours of on-demand video, and more than 10 hours of lectures.

Some of the courses included are freight agent responsibilities, surety bonds, and trust funds.

This course is self-paced, so students have the ability to take courses at their convenience.

CSUSM Freight Broker TrainingCSUSM Freight Broker Training

CSUSM also offers a course for those pursuing a career as a freight broker.

This course is taught by two professionals who have freight brokerage experience.

This course is also 100% online and is self-paced. It normally takes about six months to complete.

The cost of this program is $1,995.00.

Students will also be able to benefit from personalized support from a student advisor.

Fees that you pay may include a voucher to take the certification exam.

Freight Movers SchoolFreight Movers School

The Freight Movers School is known as being one of the top freight brokerage training schools in the nation.

In the past, it was known as Transport Training of America, Inc.

The program cost is $2,500.00.

However, online options can range from $900 to $1,050.00.

Once you register, students will be given unlimited access to their online courses for 60 days.

The Brooke Transportation Training SolutionsThe Brooke Transportation Training Solutions

Another well-known freight brokerage school is Brooke Transportation Training Solutions.

They offer a few different options for courses.

For instance, their five-day basic freight broker course cost $2,495.00.

The five-day intensive freight broker course costs $3,995.00.

And their online course costs $1,895.00.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Collections
  • Freight Bill Audits
  • Claims Management
  • Dispatching
  • Prospecting
  • Determining Rate Quotes

LoadTraining Freight Broker SchoolLoadTraining Freight Broker School

Another excellent option for those seeking online freight brokerage programs is LoadTraining Freight Broker School.

The online course costs a total of $599.

There is also a homeschool option that costs $799.

And their five-day course costs $5,500.00.

The online program is self-paced, but you will still receive full support in addition to broker training manuals.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for freight brokers is $54,880.

This is equivalent to $21.04.

These numbers do not include bonuses and commissions earned.

Experienced freight brokers who have been in the industry for some time have reported earnings of up to $69,890.

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