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How to Start a Limousine, Limo or Taxi Business 1-2-3

According to Limos.com, businesses spend upwards of $20 billion annually on limousine and towncar service for their employees. This is a huge market, and this doesn't even include customers who book limos for events, recreation travel and running errands.

With such a large customer base, the field is also very competitive. Entrepreneurs need to learn the tricks of the trade to stand a chance of being successful.

Expert Alexander Williams has put together a downloadable start-up guide for people interested in starting their own limo or taxi cab businesses.

It's an inexpensive way to get started in the taxi/limo business for entrepreneurs without experience. This 4-star guide in its 5th edition and in downloadable format can save users over 60% off the retail price.

Limo/Taxi Service Checklist:

1. Choose a name for your taxi or limo company and register your business name with the county clerk. Licensing requirements vary by location, but typically, drivers will need to obtain a taxicab license or "for hire vehicle" license for their city/county, a business license and a drivers license. Some counties also require applicants to pass an oral exam, complete a training program, pass a physical exam and be over the age of 21.

2. You will need insurance. Requirements vary by state, so you will want to discuss this with your local insurance agent. You can also ask questions and get information on business insurance online.

3. Set up a business bank account and get a system that allows you to accept credit cards from riders.

Wireless Merchant AccountsA wireless terminal that prints receipts can give your customers what they want and make it easier for you to make more money. These can cost several hundred dollars, but you can get a free terminal and low rate plan through GotMerchant.com.

Alternatively you can get limousine software that lets you manage your business from anywhere, enables you to accept customer payments in real time and then create invoices in a few simple clicks.

4. Taxi drivers will need taxi meters and toplight signs for their vehicles. The federal government regulates the equipment and rates charged on meters. Meters will need to pass inspection and be sealed. You can get a taxi meter and toplight kit with instructions through Taxi Cab Electronics.

Taxi Cab Supply is another resource for toplights and meters. They also sell decals, ad carriers, security systems, radios and more.

5. Arrange a meeting with an accountant to discuss tax strategies and ways to maximize your business tax deductions. You can often get great referrals from other business owners you know.

6. Set up a phone system for your company. Whether you use a toll-free 800 phone number, a multi-line phone system, VoIP or simply add an additional phone number to your existing service, you'll want a designated line to establish a professional business image.

7. Order business cards. One of the cheapest ways I know of to advertise a business. See how you can design your own professional business cards online, plus simple tips for increasing your sales. (See also: design your own logo).

8. Get a website. Save money by creating your own website using a free website builder, or outsource the job to an affordable website designer. Even if you just use a website to display information about your auto service company, it's important to take advantage of this low-cost marketing resource that can present an impressive image and help you get more customers.

Limousine Business Resources:

Limousine Marketing: Finding Limo Clients

  • Search Engine Local Listings
    Advertise locally and reach people on their smartphones, iPads and computers. Google, Yahoo and Bing. This gives you a listing on the map, and you can provide contact information and additional company details in the listing. Webvisible.com is another service that lets you advertise your limousine service online. They take care of all internet marketing tasks and can target local customers for your business - so all you need to do is take incoming customer calls.
  • MiNeeds Merchant Network
    Use this online ad network to post your limousine company for people who need limousine service. Set up a company profile for free, and MiNeeds notifies you when you have an interested customer. The website also lets customers post reviews, so you can build a "portfolio" of happy customer testimonials to help sell your limo service to others.
  • Design Your Own Promo Items
    Partner with local restaurants, clubs, bars and other event venues and leave free promo items for people (like keychains). Make sure your contact details are easily visible on the pieces. Design promotional items that spark intest and offer value.

Limousine & Taxi Associations

Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association
The TLPA is a non-profit organization that helps support transportation professionals by providing education, protecting industry rights and disseminating industry information to the field.

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