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GWarren For Business & Nonprofits
GWarren For Business & Nonprofits, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience:  30 yrs Counsel, AVP Corp Governance Fortune 100 finance/ins, Nonprofit Bds, law firm. OH NJ license
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I want to start my own (passenger) van service. My cliental

Resolved Question:

I want to start my own (passenger) van service. My cliental would mostly consist of family and friends visiting Florida state correctional facilities. Should I incorporate or LLC? And what type of insurance do I need and anything additional I may need to protect myself and my business
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  GWarren For Business & Nonprofits replied 5 years ago.
hank you for contacting justanswer.

First, you may want to consider a form of corporation (likely an LLC, a Limited Liability Company) to protect you to the degree possible from personal financial and activity liabilities, rather than as a sole owner proprietor of your business. Typically an LLC works well unless you have a need for employment tax benefits in which case you may want to consider an S Corporation.

A link to the Florida Secretary of State is provided below to guide you through that process, however, you may want to engage a local attorney through the local bar association lawyer referral service who you can interview as to their experience and fees to assist you.

http://www.dos.state.fl.us/divisions/division_doc.cfm

Second, depending on your locality you will need a Chauffeured Limousine Services DRIVER’S LICENSE, likely a background check for which a fee will be charged (typically under $50), a special VEHICLE PERMIT (typically under $500 annually), a Vehicle Inspection Fee (per vehicle) (typically $25)

Most of the regulations for for hire, van/taxi/limo operators/owners and drivers are on the local level. Therefore, you will need to check with your local police department or department of transportation as depending on the municipalities you may serve with your business, you may also be required to file a for hire taxi/limo license application, Limousine Insurance Form showing proof of insurance. You may or may not be fingerprinted as part of the registration process and may need to provide character references.

You may want to initiate discussions with a local insurance agent or broker for a commercial automobile insurance company you can identify through a websearch. You will want to consider significant insurance limits and the insurance agent or broker will be able to guide you in that respect - likely a million dollar limits.

You may also want to consider carrying a fire extinguisher, flares and other safety equipment in the van.

You may find it very helpful to contact SCORE.org as SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business provides free volunteers face to face or online to assist individuals in starting businesses. Workbooks, coaching/counseling/mentoring are available as to business plans and other elements essential to a successful business.

While not in any way an endorsement, there is also a limousines on line discussion forum that may be helpful to your further van for hire efforts through the below link:

http://limousinesonline.com

Please let me know if you would like any further clarification. Best wishes on your business venture.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does the fact that I have my Commercial driving license with a P endorsement change anything?
Expert:  GWarren For Business & Nonprofits replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your review and reply.

The CDL and passenger "P" endorsement and experience should certainly qualify you as a for hire driver and should assist you in your discussions with insurance agents or brokers to obtain adequate insurance perhaps at a better premium. Despite those qualifications and experience you may want to consider the protections available through a corporate form (that would limit any exposure for liability to the assets of the company rather than exposure your personal assets (vehicle, home, savings) in the event of liability. You may also want to protect yourself by signing any documents involving your for hire van service with your name "by and on behalf of" then indicating your business' name.

However, the for hire van will need to be appropriately permitted with Broward County and separately by the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood, Florida airport.

"All operators of Taxicabs and Luxury Sedans must hold a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for each taxi and luxury sedan they operate. All for-hire vehicles, Taxicabs, Luxury Sedans, Luxury Limousines, and Transport Vans (vehicles holding up to 19 passengers), must be permitted. Limousines serving the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport must also hold a special permit for the airport."

The link to the above requirements as well as other resources is provided below:

http://www.broward.org/consumer/regvfh_mn.htm

As to the passengers you transport, you should always encourage them to wear seat belts.
GWarren For Business & Nonprofits, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience: 30 yrs Counsel, AVP Corp Governance Fortune 100 finance/ins, Nonprofit Bds, law firm. OH NJ license
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