How to Start a Taxi Company in Ohio
Ohio’s taxi regulations may make opening a taxicab business challenging for start-ups in the Buckeye State. According to The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions, larger cities, such as Cleveland, won't issue a license to cab operators with fewer than 25 vehicles in their fleet. Additionally, cities such as Akron, Canton and Dayton require that taxi operators provide full-time, 24-hour cab services seven days a week.
Obtain a federal employment identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). According to the Ohio Business Gateway website, most state agencies identify a Ohio business by its EIN. You also need an EIN to register your business name with the state. You can obtain an EIN by completing an application at the IRS website.
Obtain an application for a taxi or public-transport driver's license from your local municipal office or department of public safety. These forms may also be available online at either office's website. Complete the form with your name, business name, contact information and any other required information.
Obtain fingerprints from your local sheriff's office. Most cities conduct background checks on public-transport license applicants to ensure prospective taxi drivers don't have felony convictions. According to Toledo's License Bureau and Gun Control, convictions for assault, theft, bad checks, shoplifting, drunken driving and drug convictions are grounds for an application denial.
Schedule a complete physical and eye exam from a reputable physician. Ohio taxi regulations require that cab drivers be free of any illnesses that would make them an unsafe public transporter. Take the doctor's statement form included in your application packet to your medical exam. The doctor must sign the form, and you must submit it with your application.
Sign and date your application in the presence of a notary. Enclose all required documents and mail your application to the address indicated on the form. Pay the license fee and wait for a response for your licensing status. If you are approved, most Ohio cities will contact you and provide a date to have your photo taken for your taxi license.
Cleveland and Dayton require taxi cab companies to establish a separate location for their dispatch office, so a taxicab company cannot operate solely over the phone in these cities, according to The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions.
Cincinnati and Toledo require that new cab companies demonstrate a public need for their services before applying for a license.
Cities such as Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Youngstown require that taxicabs only pickup customers at designated cab stands, which can limit a cab operators ability to respond quickly to customers.