San Francisco Demands Uber and Lyft Drivers Get Business Licenses

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From Entrepreneur, David Murphy reports that San Francisco is stepping up the enforcement of a requirement that businesses, including for-hire drivers, have a business license.  One of the aspects of being an independent contractor is to have a business license if required. San Francisco is requiring Lyft and Uber drivers to have one.  David writes:

If you work in the city for seven days or more each year, which likely covers most of the drivers, then you’ll have to pay a $91 fee for an annual business license (if you pull in $100,000 or less for your driving). Even better, when you get a notification in the mail telling you to pay up, you’ll also be charged retroactively for any previous years that you didn’t pay for a business license — including penalties and interest.

“We have a very broad and comprehensive business registration requirement. This has been a law that has been around for many years. It’s very clearly spelled out on our website — the law here in San Francisco requires you to register your business with the city. If they missed that requirement, they are still obligated to do that,” San Francisco City Treasurer Jose Cisneros told SFGate.

Though Cisneros didn’t indicate a specific reason why now, of all times, the city is cracking down on license-free drivers, San Francisco did finally get an online business registration system operational last month. That likely makes the registration process much, much easier than having to submit raw paperwork in person at City Hall.

Additionally, San Francisco is likely cracking down now since it finally — via methods Cisneros didn’t share — has a list of many of the Uber and Lyft drivers who have been operating in the city. Cisneros’ office mailed out slightly over 37,000 letters yesterday to drivers who will now have to register as a business and pay up or tell the city that they haven’t been ferrying passengers around at any point in the past 30 days.

Read the full story at San Francisco Demands Uber and Lyft Drivers Get Business Licenses

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