All freight brokers in Mississippi must get a freight broker license through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This license allows the holder to legally offer freight broker services in Mississippi. In short, this means they can act as a middleman for shippers (those with goods to ship) and carriers (those with the means to transport goods).
Specific freight broker duties include:
- Sourcing and vetting carriers for clients (shippers).
- Negotiating pricing with both shippers and carriers.
- Filing paperwork for shipments.
- Tracking shipments from their starting point to destination.
- Effectively communicating progress and any issues with all parties.
- Using load boards to help carriers fill loads/find transportation for clients.
- Light accounting, such as invoicing.
- Staying up to date on the trucking industry, shipping industry, and transportation laws.
This job can undoubtedly be hectic with its high pace. But in turn, it can be very lucrative and rewarding for those with good communication and organizational skills. We dive into Mississippi freight broker salary, training, licensing, and more in our guide below.
Requirements to Become a Freight Broker in Mississippi
The main requirement to become a freight broker in Mississippi is getting a freight broker license. Prerequisites for this license include being a minimum of 18 years of age and having a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to acquire:
- An EIN
- A USDOT Number & USDOT PIN
- An MC Number
- Freight Broker Bond or trust fund
- Process Agent(s)
Details for how to get these requirements are outlined below.
Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Freight Broker License in Mississippi
The state of Mississippi does not have any licensing or regulations for freight brokers. Instead, licensing is issued on an international level through the U.S. Department of Transportation's FMCSA. However, while a freight broker license is not tied to a particular state, the process agent you need to get is state-specific (See Step 7 for more information).
Step 1: Register Your Freight Brokerage
Register your freight broker business with both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Mississippi Secretary of State. The EIN you receive from the IRS is required not only for your application but also to open business accounts and file tax returns.
Step 2: Get a USDOT Number & USDOT PIN
To complete your application, you need a United States Department of Transportation Number (USDOT Number) and a USDOT Personal Identification Number (PIN).
- Apply for a USDOT Number. Sign up through the Unified Registration System on the FMCSA website.
- Request a USDOT PIN. Note that this requires a valid credit card for an electronic signature. However, your card will not be charged (a USDOT PIN is free). You will receive your PIN by mail in 4 - 7 business days.
Step 3: Find Your Broker Designation
There are two types of operating authorities. You can designate yourself with one operating authority or both.
Broker of Property: arranges the transportation of property (excluding household goods) belonging to others using an authorized Motor Carrier. Clients are generally businesses with goods to move.
Broker of Household Goods: arranges the transportation of household goods belonging to others using an authorized Motor Carrier (often a moving company). Household goods are personal items and property that is used in a home. Clients are the general public—those that need to move their personal belongings.
Step 4: Apply for Your Broker Authority
Once you receive your USDOT PIN, apply for a Motor Carrier Number (MC Number). This is also known as your broker authority. Requirements for this step include an OP-1 application and a $300 fee.
- Submit Online: Online applications go through the FMCSA's Unified Registration System, which provides an MC number immediately. A grant letter will later arrive by mail.
- Mail: Mailed applications take 4 - 6 weeks to process.
Step 5: Get a Freight Broker Bond
All freight broker license applications must be submitted with either a trust fund agreement or a freight broker bond (BMC-84 bond) in the amount of $75,000. The benefit of a surety bond is it doesn't tie up $75,000. Instead, it costs a small percentage of the total bond amount.
For example, those with good credit and no past bond claim history pay a yearly premium of approximately 1% - 5% of the total bond amount. Therefore, a $75,000 freight broker surety bond generally costs $750 -$3,750. Have a low credit score? Getting bonded with bad credit in exchange for a higher premium is often an option.
- Get a free online quote for your freight broker bond today to see your rate.
Step 6: File Insurance Documents
Your insurance company will handle this step at your request. However, we highly suggest being aware of the insurance filing requirements. If the correct forms are not received within 90 days from the filing date of your application, your application will be dismissed and the fee is non-refundable.
The forms you need will depend on your operation plans and may include:
- Form BMC-91 or BMC-91X for proof of bodily injury and property damage insurance.
- Form BMC-34 for proof of cargo liability insurance.
Step 7: Find a Mississippi Process Agent
You need a process agent licensed to work in the State of Mississippi. This individual will provide legal representation if a claim is filed against you or your brokerage. Additional processing agents are needed if you plan to operate in additional states (any state you have an office or write contracts).
- Submit form BOC-3 (Designation of Process Agents) to the FMCSA and each state you plan to operate in.
Mississippi Freight Broker Training Programs
You can become a freight broker with no experience or post-secondary education. However, attending a freight broker school is an excellent way to get a leg up in the industry. These programs teach everything you need to know, from the basics of freight brokering to opening a freight brokerage. Plus, the instructors are invaluable in assisting with the license application process and making connections in the industry—and freight brokering is all about connections!
Top Mississippi freight broker training courses include:
- Mississippi State University: A course run by Brooke Transportation Training Solutions—a top educator in the industry. This online freight broker training program is self-paced.
- Copiah Lincoln Community College: An online freight broker/agent training course that is online and at your own pace. Enrollment is always open.
- The Transportation Intermediaries Association: This training program delves into sales methods, managing risk, and marketing. After an exam, students get a Certified Transportation Broker (CTB) credential—the industry's highest and most recognized broker certification.
Career Growth and Salary Expectations of a Freight Broker
The demand for supply chain efficiency and steady growth of the transportation industry equates to a positive outlook for freight brokers. In Mississippi specifically, there were 16 freight broker jobs with an average salary of $38,857 in 2023 . The good news is that if you are looking for more opportunities, you can take your freight broker license anywhere in the U.S. Some states with more freight broker jobs include California (562), Pennsylvania (454), and New York (364).
To compare freight broker salaries by state, visit our Freight Broker Salary Guide.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Freight Broker in Mississippi?
$300 is the cost to apply for a freight broker license. However, there are other costs involved, such as a freight broker surety bond, insurance, business registration, office space, and more.
See a breakdown of costs in our guide: How Much Does It Cost to Become a Freight Broker?
How Long Does It Take to Become a Freight Broker in Mississippi?
On average, it takes 2 - 3 months to become a licensed freight broker in Mississippi.
This length of time is mainly application processing time. To get your license ASAP, submit applications online instead of through the mail. Note that this time frame also doesn't account for those who elect to take a freight broker training course. While you can operate as a freight broker without this course—or while you're still taking it—these courses take an average of 6 months to complete.