How do I start a private cab business, not the metered type?

How do I start a private cab business, not the metered type?


As with any business, your first step should always be to do thorough research. This is necessary so that you can get a good understanding of how the industry operates, who your competitors are and whether there is a need for your business. It is advisable that you put together a comprehensive business plan to help guide you through the early stages. Please refer to our section of Starting a Business for advice on this.

To operate a taxi service you will need to apply for a permit. The issuing of permits is handled by the National Transportation Commission, but it would be best to contact your local municipality to obtain the necessary documentation. Before approving any applications, the following is taken into account:

  • Whether the proposed service is necessary or in the public interest;
  • The requirements of the public in the area or along a proposed route;
  • Existing and proposed alternative transport, including railway services;
  • The ability of the applicant to provide the service, and whether he or she has any convictions in terms of the legislation.

Further to this you will also need start-up capital to purchase roadworthy vehicles, drivers with the correct licences to carry passengers and of course you need to register your business.

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