Many people jump right into applying for an MC/DOT number with just a sole proprietor or partnership then decide later to incorporate.
This is all well and good however it can cause some expensive issues.
It's always my recommendation to establish your corporation FIRST. File all the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State before applying for your MC and USDOT numbers.
Why? To avoid problems with the insurance filing.
BEFORE you take the plunge of changing your name with the FMCSA ask yourself these questions.
CAN I AFFORD A NEW INSURANCE POLICY?
IS MY CURRENT INSURANCE POLICY ABOUT TO RENEW?
CAN I FILE MY NEW INSURANCE WITHIN 30 DAYS?
If you can answer YES to at least 2 of these questions then go ahead and file for a name change.
Otherwise you should wait. The BEST time to change your name is during an insurance renewal period. Why? It has been my experience that the insurance company will want you to write a whole new policy for the newly established name.
Most small businesses simply cannot afford to place another downpayment for a new policy.
The paperwork with the FMCSA is another issue. It's pretty simple to change your name BUT they will require a new BOC-3 and the new insurance policy to be filed within 30 days. No exceptions!
What happens when these 2 requirements are not met? Your authority goes INACTIVE. That means you're temporarily out of business for at least a week if not 2 weeks. Then you will need to file for a reinstatement to reactivate your account with the FMCSA but the insurance still needs to be on file.
The insurance is the most important piece of this FMCSA puzzle. No insurance - No active authority. It's just that simple.
Contact your insurance agent and have a conversation about a possible name change to your authority before you proceed with the official name change with the FMCSA.
So are you ready to change your name? If so, great!
Click here to apply for a name change. We will guide you through the whole process.