Thank 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 Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Corporations
Division 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.
Second, since you indicate you will be transporting up to 15 passengers (15 passengers or more requires a Commercial Driver's License CDL) you will need a Commercial Driver's License rather than a Chauffeured Limousine Services DRIVER’S LICENSE, likely a background check for which a fee will be charged, you may also need a special VEHICLE PERMIT and a Vehicle Inspection Fee (per vehicle). (You may want to consider transporting fewer than 15 passengers if you prefer not to acquire the CDL).
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:
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.
As to the passengers you transport, you should always encourage them to wear seat belts.
Please let me know if you would like any further clarification. Best wishes on your business venture.