I would like to provide a minibus service: a customer makes an order through a web page and a minibus picks this customer up to ride him anywhere he wants. The payment is done by a credit card on the order web page.
Most probably the customer would have to share the ride with other customers in this minibus.
Does a company need a special license to provide such service in California?
(I have asked this question since I don't think that such kind of service can be classified as a taxi cab service).
UPD: If we assume that ordering a trip through a web site makes this trip 'prearranged ', then we can say that we have a chauffeur service, and no taxi medallion is needed. Right?
Check out Uber [cab]'s legal issues. Don't even think of doing what you are describing without reading all about California regulations (a quick google leads to http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/D5E763FD-5706-4F7D-9F95-1DE383C4F92C/0/BasicInformationForPassengerCarriersAndApplicants.pdf ).
Don't take the word of some random stranger in a forum for something as specific as this. You could be in very serious trouble.
I'm pretty sure what you're suggesting fits perfectly into the definition of a Taxi service. I can call up any local taxi provider, pre-arrange and pay by credit card right now but that doesn't stop it from being a taxi.
Or, think of it this way, what's going to happen when one of your drivers is accused of misconduct/assault? will anyone, in this day and age actually trust a completely unlicensed, unregulated "Taxi" service? I'm sure you're aware of the large number of people that come to harm every year from shady unlicensed/illegitimate taxi drivers.
I personally can tell you that neither I, nor anyone I know, would get into an unlicensed taxi.