What permits and insurances do I need to open a taxi company?


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.


asked Oct 11 '11 at 20:54
1 point
  • I closed this because outside of the standard answers of business cost -- the business license issue and costs are way too localized. Even car insurance is based on the zip code! But taxi's in the US are mostly a regulated industry with great variance in licensing rules and requirements. Here is a good overview: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos245.htmJoseph Barisonzi 12 years ago

1 Answer


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):

  • Car License: All areas have boards or commissions that oversee the the licensing of private cars - you'll need to get (often expensive) licenses for every vehicle you operate.
  • Driver Licenses: All of your drivers will also likely need specialized commercial drivers licenses
  • Liability Insurance: Any business that is operation should have liability coverage - doubly so since you will be operating motor vehicles that could very easily get into accidents and kill/injure people. You should maintain coverage in the $2-5M range (per incident)
  • Collision License: You'll also probably want to have collision insurance on your vehicles to pay for any damage to them in case they are in an accident
  • Business License: Most states require you to have an overall license for operating the business (that way they know you're functioning and can collect taxes from you
answered Oct 12 '11 at 00:43
Alex Miller
632 points
  • In addition, most large cities have a limitation on the number of cabs. You can **not** just open a new cab company. You need a "medalion" or something similar for each cab, and there are only a fixed number of those items. They have all been purchased- so you would need to buy one, at **current market value** to open a cab company there. – Gary E 12 years ago

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