2015 was a stellar year for small business start-ups in the UK, and this trend continued during the following 12 months. With metropolitan hubs such as Birminham leading the way in terms of business population, the opportunities and rewards for aspiring entrepreneurs have never been greater.
Interestingly, this spirit has also impacted on employees too, who have begun to consider the merits of contracting and working in a freelance capacity. From IT and copywriting, the age of innovation has created a whole new generation of sole traders.
3 Things to consider when becoming a self-employed taxi driver
There are also more traditional self-employment careers available to citizens in the modern age, including operating as a taxi-driver. This can also be rewarding both financially and in terms of work-life balance, although you will need to keep the following points in mind before making your application: –
The past influences the present
Phase one of this process revolves your application, as you must provide a plethora of data on your employment history, state of health and the length of time for which you have held a driving license. You will also need to complete an enhanced disclosure and declare any previous criminal convictions, as depending on the nature and severity of your charges you may be denied your license. The process usually takes up to 12 weeks, so be patient and strive to provide as much information as possible up-front and ahead of time.
Pass your Advanced Practical and Theory driving tests
The second phase of becoming an independent taxi-driver involves acquiring practical skills for the role, although if you are proactive you should look to start this part of the process while completing the initial application. While this will increase your initial costs, it is possible that within a 12-week period you have both the accreditation and the skills to launch your new career. Start by booking your advanced, taxi-driver theory test, before progressing to the practical examination. You cannot qualify for a license without these qualifications, so securing them early will help you to get started quickly.
Be independent and take control of your finances
As a self-employed individual, you and you alone are responsible for every aspect of financial management with regards to your career. There are two key elements of this for a taxi-driver to consider, as firstly you must focus on procuring comprehensive and specialist insurance coverage that protects you, your vehicle and your passengers out on the road. Service providers such as A-Plan are ideally suited to meet this need, as they offer tailored policies for self-employed drivers.
The second consideration is your tax bill, which must be calculated and repaid either through a lump-sum or in monthly increments every year. Unless you have the time or knowledge of financial laws in the UK, we would highly recommend employing the services of an accountant for this purpose.