How To Start a Non CDL Hot Shot Business [Best Guide]

We all like to get things at our doorsteps and have it all with just one click or call away. And delivery services make that happen, which is why the industry has seen a rapid boom in the past few years, specifically during the pandemic! But starting such businesses means getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) which is a lot of hassle. So, people often wonder how to start a non CDL hot shot business?

In this article, we will talk about how to start a non CDL hot shot business and its costs. But before that, let’s understand what non CDL businesses stand for!

What Is A Non-CDL Business?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) delivery business depends on CDL trucks to convey merchandise. CDL trucks require a business driver’s permit since they’re huge and more muddled to move than a standard-sized conveyance vehicle.

When you start a non-CDL delivery service, you will be serving local businesses that are looking for delivery services to get their goods to end users. Non-CDL businesses use non-CDL trucks rather than heavy vehicles to deliver goods. Therefore, non-CDL service providers do not require a commercial license to deliver goods throughout the city, making the process easier for new businesses.

The catch is that having more than 26,000 pounds of gross combined weight rating (GCWR) on non-CDL delivery vehicles is not allowed.

Also Read About – How To Start A Truck Dispatching Company

What Are The Requirements To Start A Non-CDL Hot Shot Business?

There are no major differences in basic non-CDL hotshot requirements and CDL businesses. But the legal and technical paperwork differ a little, and we’ve listed them below:

  • USDOT number

If you want to register your business as a non-CDL delivery service, you must have a USDOT number. A USDOT number is one of the fundamental authoritative reports in many states.

  • DQF

The DQF contains data about your driving record and confirmation of training that is offered. This file must be kept current so that it can be used in court or other legalities if necessary.

  • MVR 

A person’s driving history is recorded in their motor vehicle record (MVR). It incorporates drivers’ traffic references, violations by vehicles, mishaps, and DUI convictions.

  • Delivery vehicle 

To transport your goods, you can select a medium-sized U-Haul or a large box truck. Choose a vehicle that has the most cargo capacity for the kind of deliveries you intend to make. Many small or travel vans are utilized for small freight development like administrative work and clinical trials. 

  • Medical screening 

Non-CDL drivers must get checked and have their medical records with them. The prerequisite for clinical screening is different in various states.

How To Start A Non CDL Hot Shot Business?

1. Choose A Niche

An important question after asking what is a non-CDL hot shot business is to decide on a particular area of business. The delivery business is a huge market with constant requirements for new businesses. 

Food delivery, package delivery, medical device delivery, pharmaceutical delivery, and furniture delivery are just a few of the many different kinds of delivery businesses. But it’s great to choose one type out of these. Characterizing a specialist can assist you with better taking care of a particular group of people and confine your marketing.

2. Get Permits

While you do not need a commercial driver’s license, you will still need other necessary permits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is where you can register for your DOT and MC numbers. You’ll likewise have to finish a reasonable transporter’s enlistment and International Registration Plan before driving your truck to different states.

Health licenses and permits, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual property, and industry-specific rights and licenses are some of the other federal regulations required to start a non-CDL business.

3. Get A Vehicle

The kind of cargo you intend to transport with the vehicle determines the kind of vehicle required for your non-CDL delivery business. You will require a small vehicle if you intend to deliver documents, food, test results, and other items.

However, if you intend to transport furniture, such as a box truck or cargo van, a larger vehicle may be required. You’ll have to buy a car if you don’t already have one. You can purchase a pre-owned one or another one. Delivery vehicles typically cost between $15,000 and $50,000 or more.

4. Market Your Business 

The most known part in how to start a non CDL hot shot business is about marketing it. Social media is a great way to market any business these days, this is how you reach people. On the other hand, it is a good idea to paint your vehicle with your organization’s name, contact data, and logo. This will assist you with getting your name out there since individuals will see it when you cruise through the neighbourhood.

Meet with neighbourhood transfer shops, supply, furniture storekeepers, and others you realize who require conveyance drivers. Also ensure that you provide the best service and keep your promises once you have your first customers. This will result in additional word-of-mouth recommendations and constant business.

Also Read About – How To Get Clients For Transport Business? [Free Guide]

How Much Is The Non CDL Hotshot Startup Cost?

A non-CDL hotshot startup’s cost ranges from $4,200 to $9,500. Here, the major cost is for an initial installment on a vehicle.

A portion of your decent expenses would incorporate the cost of your vehicle, normal upkeep, permits, insurance costs and taxes. On the other hand, fuel costs, various repair costs, and fines are some of the variable expenses.

These are basic costs that remain more or less similar but some costs keep varying based on the business and needs. For instance, it costs $300 to get your MC and DOT numbers. And insurance can cost you anywhere from $9000 to $12,000 per year.

How Much Can You Earn With A Non CDL Business?

Now that we know the non-CDL hotshot startup cost, it’s important to focus on profits or how much can the business earn you. This is how you’ll know if it’s worth it at all.

You could work from home and deliver ten loads per week in your first year or two, earning nearly $80,000 annually. If the margin was 70%, this would result in a profit of almost $55,000. Deliveries could rise to 60 per week as your company expands. After some time, you can also hire delivery drivers bringing your profit margin down to around 30%, but this helps expand the business. 


Delivery businesses usually require a commercial driver’s license, but it is possible to build a startup without that! These are non-CDL businesses and people often wonder how to start a non-CDL hot shot business. Non-CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) businesses refer to businesses that do not require employees to possess a CDL to operate commercial vehicles. 

This article focuses on everything you need to know about what is a non-CDLhot shot business. From requirements and costs to how to do it, we’ve covered it all!

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