How to Get a Freight Broker License in Louisiana

Louisiana freight brokers are responsible for planning and overseeing shipments from point A to point B. They are hired by clients with cargo to move (shippers) to find reliable transportation (carriers). In addition, freight brokers are intermediaries between shippers and carriers, connecting the two and relaying communications. 

Other freight brokering duties include:

  • Finding potential carriers using load boards, directories, and other means.  
  • Negotiating a fair price with both the shipper and the transportation company.
  • Tracking ongoing shipments and handling any issues that arise. 
  • Filling out required paperwork for shipments, invoicing, and bookkeeping.  
  • Keeping up to date on the shipping industry and transportation laws.


However, in order to legally do any of the above in the State of Louisiana, you need a freight broker license. Keep reading to find out how to get a LA freight broker license. We cover the top Louisiana freight broker schools, how to get a freight broker bond, application requirements, and more.


Louisiana Freight Broker License Requirements


To get a Louisiana freight broker license you must be a minimum of 18 years of age with a GED or equivalent. During or before the application process, you will need to obtain:

We go over each of these licensing requirements in detail below. 


Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Freight Broker License in Louisiana


All freight broker licenses in Louisiana are processed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You need Operating Authority from the organization in order to legally work as a freight broker and/or open a freight brokerage business. 


Step 1: Get a USDOT Number & USDOT PIN

Before you start your application, you will need a United States Department of Transportation Number (USDOT Number) and a USDOT Personal Identification Number (PIN). 

  • Apply for a USDOT Number using the Unified Registration system on the FMCSA website. 
  • Request a USDOT PIN. This step requires a valid credit card for your electronic signature. However, no charges to your card will be made. You will receive your PIN by mail in 4 - 7 business days.


Step 2: Apply for an MC Number

Once you receive your USDOT PIN, apply for a Motor Carrier Number (MC Number) from the FMCSA using an online OP-1 application. This is also commonly referred to as Broker Authority. 

Note that this application has a $300 non-refundable fee, so ensure it is error-free before submitting.

  • If applying online, you will get your MC Number immediately, and the confirmation grant letter will arrive via mail. 
  • If applying by mail, you will receive both your grant letter and MC number in 4 - 6 weeks. 


Step 3: File Insurance Documents

You need specific insurance, a surety bond (Step 4), and legal process agent documents (Step 5) on file before FMCSA will issue authority. Your application will be dismissed if you fail to submit these within 90 days from the file date of your application. 

While your insurance takes care of filing at this step, you should still be aware of the process. Forms they may have to file include:

  • Form BMC-91 or BMC-91X for proof of bodily injury and property damage (BI & PD) insurance.
  • Form BMC-34 for proof of cargo liability insurance. 

Visit the FMCSA website to determine which insurance filings are required for your operations. 

Freight Broker Bonds vs. Insurance

Freight broker bonds protect shippers/motor carriers, not freight brokers.However, freight broker insurance does protect freight brokers. 

Many new freight brokers that invest the bare minimum on insurance coverage quickly realize they are disqualified from working with larger shippers. Each year, more freight brokers are pulled into litigation, and ultimately go out of business due to huge judgments and legal fees they can’t afford.

Although insurance is not required to operate, the most important reasons to have it in place are to:

  • Protect your bottom line
  • Create increased security around your bond, and avoid leaving yourself open to paying legal fees by not purchasing insurance.
  • Increase top line: by having insurance, you become more attractive in today's marketplace to shippers and wholesalers.

Freight Broker Insurance Types

There are several types of insurance coverages that are recommended for freight brokers; please see the list below:

  • Business owner’s policy (BOP)
  • General liability
  • Workers' compensation
  • Commercial auto
  • Professional liability/errors and omissions (E&O)
  • Contingent cargo
  • Contingent auto liability

If you’d like to learn more about all of the insurance coverages available to you, please read our freight broker insurance guide.

Step 4: Get a Freight Broker Bond

All Louisiana freight brokers need a freight broker bond, also known as a BMC-84 bond. This bond must be issued through a surety company licensed to operate in Louisiana and be in an amount of no less than $75,000. 

How much is a Louisiana freight broker bond?

Those with good credit pay approximately 1% - 5% of the total bond amount ($75,000). Therefore, a freight broker surety bond costs $750 -$3,750. 

  • Get a free quote for your freight broker bond to see what rate you qualify for. 


Have a low credit score? See our guide to Getting a Surety Bond with Bad Credit


Step 5: Appoint a Louisiana Processing Agent

Obtain a processing agent (also commonly called a process agent) that is licensed to work in Louisiana. If a claim is ever filed against you or your brokerage, this individual will provide legal representation. 

  • Complete form BOC-3 (Designation of Processing Agents) and submit it to the FMCSA and each state you’ll be operating in. 


Step 6: Confirm Registration Approval

Before beginning any freight broker operations, ensure that:

  • All your filings have cleared.
  • An official record of Operating Authority is issued. 
  • Your Operating Authority is published in the FMCSA Register with an ACTIVE status. 


Freight Broker Training and Certification Programs in Louisiana


While attending a freight broker training course is optional—you can become a freight broker with no experience and a GED—it is highly beneficial. Freight broker training programs are designed to teach the fundamentals of freight brokering to prepare students for a successful freight broker career. Plus, they can offer an advantage in the job market—showing potential employers and clients your commitment to your profession. 

Freight broker schools in Louisiana include: 

  • Brooke Transportation Training Solutions: students can take the course online or in-person. Additionally, they will receive job placement assistance after completion.
  • Delgado Community College: This self-paced, online course takes students through the steps of becoming a successful freight broker: from the basics of brokering to starting a freight broker business. 
  • Freight Movers School: This online freight broker training covers everything you need to know to become a successful freight broker, ranging from basic brokering skills to sales solutions. 
  • Louisiana State University Eunice: A freight broker education course that is online and self-paced. The instructors each have over 25 years of experience in the industry and teach everything from licensing to marketing.


Career Growth and Salary Expectations of a Freight Broker 


The average salary of a Louisiana Freight Broker is $35,191 a year [ Source: Ziprecruiter ].

However, location is a significant factor for salary. Freight brokers make much more in certain cities—with some locations offering nearly double Louisiana’s average freight broker salary.  

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baton Rouge> $65,583
Houma $64,085
Mandeville $59,790
Lafayette $57,460
Lake Charles $55,083
New Orleans $54,055


Freight brokers, transportation brokers, and freight broker agents in Louisiana—and the rest of the US—are in demand due to shipping volume and the high speed at which the supply chain operates. This demand is projected to continue for the foreseeable future as both national and international shipping volume continues to grow. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2019-2028 the US Freight Market will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7%.




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


It costs a minimum of $1,450 to become a licensed freight broker in Louisiana. This pricing includes your application fee, surety bond, and insurance. However, there are other costs to consider as well. These will vary depending on your operations and if you are starting your own business. 

Expense Approximate Cost
Freight Broker School $1000 - $3,000
Business Registration $100 - $300
MC Authority License $300
Business Insurance $400 - $2,000
Freight Broker Bond $750 - $3,750
Computer & Software Cost $2,000 - $6,000
Office Space $1,000 -$2,000 monthly
Marketing & Miscellaneous $1,000


How Long Does It Take to Become a Broker in Louisiana? 


You can become a freight broker in Louisiana in 2 - 3 months.

Filing your application online and having the required documents ready can help streamline the process. Additionally, if you choose to get your freight broker certificate, you don’t need to wait until your application clears—you can attend school before or during the application process.


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