I am interested in opening a taxi-like business where a passenger can order a taxi by phone (or through mobile app). I do not live in US now and the search has not yielded any answers to me.
So the question is: how much does it cost to open an order-by-phone vehicle service (private hire) in terms of licenses and permits? Do I need a special insurance for each vehicle? Do I need a licence for the whole business? Do I need other permits? How much do they cost?
I have heard that there are differences between various cities in the US.
This question can't really be answered very well here because of how widely it varies (both in terms of requirements and costs). Every city (and state) has differing regulations and requirements for exactly what is required for private hire cars. Generally speaking though, you'll need the following in area that you operate (with additional requirements in other areas):