What Does It Take to Set Up a Small Taxi Firm?

The profession of the taxi driver is a regulated profession. It is necessary to respect all the required conditions and to take special steps to set up a business in this sector of activity. Obtaining a professional card and a taxi license are essential prerequisites for setting up your taxi business.

This article explains everything you need to know to become an independent taxi driver. We will discuss:

  • The conditions to become a taxi driver
  • The formalities to start a taxi driver activity
  • The regulations concerning the exercise of the activity of taxi driver
  • Insurance

The conditions and procedures to become a taxi driver

To create your business to become a taxi driver, you must:

  • hold a valid category B driving license
  • be recognised as fit by an approved doctor
  • and not have been the subject of a conviction or having a criminal record

If you meet these conditions, you can register for the professional competence exam. If successful, you will obtain your professional taxi driver's license and can then apply for a parking permit on public roads to legally exercise your activity.

The formalities to start a taxi driver activity

In order for you to start your business as a taxi driver, you must first set up your business. The formalities to be completed depend on the legal status chosen for your company.

Possible legal statuses

Considering that you are embarking on your own business creation project, you will have the choice between the following legal statuses:

To obtain your professional taxi driver license, you must pass the examination for the certificate of professional competence. This examination has two parts: an admissibility test (in particular knowledge of the regulations) and an admission test (including, in particular, a driving phase).

Sole proprietorship which consists of carrying out your activity in your own name.
The commercial company. Your profits will be taxed with income tax or, optionally, corporation tax. If you create a taxi company with several partners, or intend to employ several drivers, this option is for you.

The price offered by the taxi driver

The prices charged by taxi drivers are regulated; they are set each year by prefectural decree in each department. The price includes the following elements:

  • hold a valid category B driving license
  • be recognised as fit by an approved doctor
  • and not have been the subject of a conviction or having a criminal record

Insurance options available include:

  • A lump sum for support, charged the customer at the start of the drive
  • A price per kilometer
  • An hourly rate, applied for each minute spent in the taxi
  • If you are a fleet owner then applying for fleet insurance should work as the most cost effective option. 
  • and any supplements (to cover luggage, for example)

The price per kilometer may be subject to an increase in certain cases, such as for example for night races or rush hour races. Also, flat rates are provided for trips to certain airports. 

The taxi driver's vehicle

First of all, your vehicle must be equipped with a taximeter which records the route and indicates the price charged as well as the amount to be paid. The information must be sufficiently legible for customers.

Then, you must fix on the roof of your vehicle a lighting device bearing the mention "Taxi". When your taxi is free, the light should be on.

Finally, the vehicle used for the exercise of the taxi activity must be insured with an appropriate contract.

What type of insurance do you need?

If you have many taxis, then taxi fleet insurance would be helpful for any small business taxi company to reduce costs and eliminate bulky paperwork. Considerations such as the combination of vehicles to be covered, varying levels of coverage, driver versatility, public / private hire, and whether you run owner-driver or leasing schemes will need to be considered.

It is important that you select the most competitively priced fleet taxi insurance policy for your small taxi business that meets all the requisite requirements.

Private hire insurance is the sort of cover you'll like for a taxi company. Private hire insurance is another form of insurance for taxis.

The route to drive customers

A taxi driver must take the most direct route to complete his journey. However, he must comply with his client's requests (change of route, stop, etc.).

Continuous training for taxi drivers

Every few years, a taxi driver must follow a continuing education course at an approved training center. A certificate of validity is then given to the participant.

When the taxi driver does not respect this obligation, his professional card can be suspended or withdrawn.