How to Get a Freight Broker License in Louisiana

Published: Oct 02, 2023


People outside the transportation industry often wonder what a freight broker does. Find out more here and how to apply for and get a freight broker license in Louisiana.

Working as a Freight Broker in Louisiana

Louisiana requires no licenses from the state in order to operate a freight brokerage legally. However, freight broker agents and brokers must obtain their licenses to operate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA.

These steps will be listed below, so follow this guide to become a licensed freight broker in Louisiana. After receiving this permit, you can operate your own business in major cities like Lafayette and New Orleans. This career requires you to access a load board, negotiate contracts, and perform related tasks. Taking in-person classes is not necessary; online training courses are available.

The job requires freight brokerage agents to negotiate pricing with shippers, perform invoicing, track shipments, and more. The amount freight brokers make is partially determined by these negotiating skills; this position is partially commission-based.

Requirements for Obtaining a Freight Broker License in Louisiana

To obtain your broker authority license, certain requirements must be met. The agency that issues licenses to freight brokers is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. The permit serves as your operating authority.

Requirement 1: Age and Education

Obtain a high school diploma or GED, and be 18 years or older at the time of your application.

Requirement 2: Get a USDOT Number and USDOT PIN

To operate in the state, you must obtain a U.S. Department of Transportation Number, or USDOT number. You must also get a PIN and a motor carrier number.

Requirement 3: Obtain a Motor Carrier Number, or MC

Obtaining a Motor Carrier number is required. The FMCSA issues this number to applicants who submit the form OP-1 for Broker Authority.

Requirement 4: Freight Broker Bond

Securing a freight broker bond is a critical step. The surety bond and legal agent forms must be filed within three months of submitting your application. Preparing for this deadline will help you to meet it.

The freight broker bond is also called the BMC-84 bond. To obtain this required surety bond, contact a surety company in the state and submit to a credit check. Your credit score and other financial information determine the total cost of the bond. This is expressed as a percentage of the total amount, which must be at least $75,000.

  • A good credit score will result in a percentage between 1% and 5% of the total bond amount.
  • The average range you can expect to pay for the surety bond can be anywhere between $700 and $4,000.
  • Bad credit will not prevent you from obtaining the bond if you can pay. However, you should also contact the company about any additional fees that apply to those with bad credit.

Requirement 5: Liability and Cargo Insurance

Liability and cargo insurance are essential for running a successful freight broker business. The transportation industry is filled with uncertainties, so make sure to secure adequate coverage before launching your freight broker business.

Some policies provide per-load coverage up to $2 million per vehicle. In other words, all risks are inclusive, which protects you from collisions, theft, truck damage, and other incidents.

Requirement 6: Obtain a Process Agent

The processing agent serves as your transportation law advisor in the case of a suit. This is more than an essential safety measure; it is required. Fill out the correct form with the FMCSA to obtain a process agent.

Step-by-Step Process to Obtain a Freight Broker License in Louisiana

The steps to obtaining a freight broker license are listed here. However, the issue of education is a gray area. Louisiana requires no formal education to work as a freight broker. Many people choose to enroll in freight broker training programs to learn the critical skills needed in this industry.

Step 1: Decide on Education, Training, or Certification

The first step you should take is to decide if you wish to enroll. There are many advantages you can enjoy when taking this path. For example, brokers often get preferential treatment from employers during the hiring process. In addition, the freight broker training course prepares you to handle tasks like negotiating rates between shippers and carriers.

Transportation intermediaries also use directories and load boards to find freight. The difference between the rates and the costs of transport is the profits earned by the freight broker. The most important credential you can obtain is the Certified Transportation Broker, or CTB. This certificate is issued through the Transportation Intermediaries Association, or TIA.

Freight agent training can be accomplished through a freight broker school after paying the application fee. Enrolling in an online freight broker training program can be done through an online course or an in-person training program from a qualified institution. Freight broker training is optional, but attending one of the many freight broker training programs can prepare you for the industry.

Step 2: Get a USDOT Number

The USDOT number must be obtained by first-time applicants through the Unified Registration System, or URS. Broker registration procedures are detailed on the website.

Step 3: Obtain a Freight Surety Bond

The freight surety bond can be obtained by filing form BMC-84; however, you can also apply by filing form BMC-85, which is the Trust Fund Agreement. The amount of the freight broker bond must be at least $75,000.

Step 4: Designate a Process Agent

The process agent must apply for the registration with a BOC-3 form. This occurs through the FMCSA website, but only the agent is empowered to complete the application. Once approved, the process agent serves as the legal representation in the state where the freight broker operates.

Step 5: Pay the Application Fee

The application fee costs $300 in order to process the form. It will take between four to six weeks to fully process.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Freight Broker License in Louisiana?

The total cost depends on the amount of education you decide to earn, your credit score, and the insurance quote you receive. This could be anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 or higher, depending on the tuition.

Freight Broker Salary in Louisiana

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, estimates that the average earnings of a freight broker in the U.S. is around $54,800, or just over $21 per hour. However, commissions are a significant part of the freight broker's total income; earnings can go as high as $70,000 in many cases. This part of the supply chain industry enjoys a growth rate of around 10% annually.


What Is the Average Salary of a Freight Broker?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for freight brokers in Louisiana is just over $35,000 per year before adding commissions. This amount depends on the region. For example, the average salary in Baton Rouge is around $65,500; Lafayette and New Orleans average around $59,000.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Freight Broker License Application Process?

The amount of time it takes to complete the freight broker application depends on whether you attend a freight broker training program or certification course. People who skip the educational option can expect to finish within three months.

What Happens If Your Freight Broker License Application Is Denied?

Contact the FMCSA and ask for the reason for the denial. Correct any errors or provide missing information.

How Long Is the Freight Broker License Valid?

Each freight broker license comes with an expiration date. Renewal applications must be done prior to this date.

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