In San Francisco, the on-demand ride services such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. drivers will require business licenses to operate.
Francisco gives the drivers thirty days to get their license. 37,000 drivers have been identified by the city authorities and they are being sent mails regarding the new requirement. Those businesses which earn lower than $100,000, the license will cost them $91 per year.
In a statement, San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros said "I take seriously my obligation to fairly implement San Francisco's business regulation requirements."
Companies like Uber and Lyft mainly depend on independent contractors to carry passengers. The new requirement by the city underscores the legal complexity required by the business model of these ride hailing services. The drivers who are not company employees but independent contractors have to comply with the local laws. The local laws differ in the various cities where these companies operate.
An Uber spokeswoman said "Uber partners with entrepreneurial drivers and as independent contractors, they are responsible for following appropriate local requirements."
San Francisco is one of the largest markets for both the companies and is not the first city to require drivers to obtain business license. San Jose, California also requires Uber and Lyft drivers to have city business license if they want pick up passengers at the airport in the city.
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