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Home > Business > Licensing > Taxis and Private Hires > Private hire business

Private hire business

What do you need to do to set up a Private Hire business

For an operator to use one vehicle and one driver for a private hire business,  three licences would be required - one to act as a private hire operator, one for the vehicle and one for the driver. Only licensed drivers can drive a licensed vehicle. An operator/driver must be determined as 'fit and proper' to hold a licence.

You would need an operating base within the Council District from where you make provision for making or accepting bookings - an important part of the licensing requirements. This base will require facilities for taking bookings from a member of the public/business client. You may require planning permission and will have to maintain a bookings log available for inspection by the Council or Police. You should also retain all licences issued by the Council for drivers and vehicles you use as these may also need to be inspected. Some private hire operators have a waiting area where customers can go and wait for their booking although this is not essential. To check if you need planning approval for your operator base, please contact Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Council Planning Control on 0300 123 4000 (Option 5).

The Council will spot-check licensed premises/vehicles and drivers to ensure compliance and administers and enforces the licensing functions with an overarching objective of ensuring public safety. In performing this role, the Council will undertake to minimise any disproportionate regulatory burden on local businesses and will normally operate on a risk-based assessment scheme.

You can NOT lawfully operate until you hold all licences. This means that you can NOT invite or accept bookings (through advertising or other means) or take bookings with a view to passing them on to another licensed operator.