If you’ve looked into becoming a freight broker, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. What is a BOC-3? Well, it’s just a form, but what does it do? How much does it cost, and how do I fill it out? These are all great questions, and we’re going to break it all down for you in this blog.
Okay, so Form BOC-3. The name tells us that it’s a form, but what kind of form? The actual title for Form BOC-3 is “Designation of Agents for Service of Process” sometimes simplified to just “Designation of Process Agents.” It must be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when applying for your freight broker authority. You might be even more confused now, and that’s okay. Let’s define what a process agent is, to give you a little better context.
What is a Process Agent?
As defined by the FMCSA, a process agent is a representative upon whom court papers may be served in any proceeding brought against a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder. In layman's terms, they’ll get served legal documents for your company if a situation ever came up that required it. It would then be their responsibility to relay these documents to you. These agents must reside in whichever state they are representing you in. So now we know what a process agent is, but how many do you need to have?
How Many Do You Need?
As of 2021, freight brokers are required to list or designate a process agent in any state that they conduct business in. Just because you work from home in one state doesn’t mean that you only need an agent in your home state. In fact, you could technically list yourself for your home state since you live there. But think, how many states does your freight brokering venture really entail? You’ve got freight moving all over the country, and you might be signing a contract with a company in another state. For this reason, freight brokers typically designate a process agent for all 50 states. How the heck are you going to find 50 people to designate?
Process Agent Companies
Luckily, there’s a quick and inexpensive solution to this. There are companies you can hire that will act as a blanket company to solve this problem for you. Each of these blanket process agent companies has a process agent that they work with in each of the 50 US states. You hire one company and in return they’ll designate someone in each state and get your Form BOC-3 completed for you. Some companies charge a one-time fee, while others might offer you an annual fee option. Either way, it’s typically fairly cheap, and you can expect to spend about $50 to get this taken care of. Check out a link in the description box to get a verified list of these process agent companies from the FMCSA website.
So that’s about it. We know that Form BOC-3 is a required step that you need to take care of when starting a freight brokerage, and now you know how easy it really is to accomplish this step. If this blog helped out you, share it with someone else that you think could benefit from it.