Starting a taxi service may seem quite enticing because you feel that you are able to work the hours you want, without the prospect of a boss hanging over you at all times. But you would have to run the taxi during the hours that there is a demand for it, thus negating any idea of your choosing your own working hours. The cantankerousness and demanding nature of fares that engage your taxi may also negate any freedom that you felt about not having a boss.
Besides that, driving a taxi at all times of the day and night may be very demanding as you have to be always mentally and physically alert while you transport your taxi and its fares to the various destinations. But in spite of this, if you have decided that that is the way you want to go, just do it.
First make a survey of the various taxi services in the area that you want to operate. You may not find the responses very forthcoming as the existing drivers and services see you as a competitor, but you will soon gather enough information to let you make up your mind if the taxi service is the right thing for you.
The next step you would have to take is to obtain a license to drive a taxi from your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Having a license to drive one would be better even if you are intending to start a fleet of taxis and hiring drivers. You never know when you can be short of staff and may have to take out one of the taxis yourself.
Your local City Hall should be visited next to determine the licenses or permits necessary to run taxis in the area where you want to operate. The fees on these licenses can be quite stiff, and if you are not too sure of the business, it may even be a good idea to see if you can rent a license from an existing holder and use it to run the taxi service until you are fully convinced that that is what you want to do. Then apply for your own permit or license.
While you are going through all these processes, do your homework on the type of vehicle you want, the costs of running it, the taxes and insurance and other costs such as signage, association fees etc that can increase your cost. Once you have done this exercise, approach a bank or financial institution to see whether you can get the necessary finance. Having a good credit report will greatly help you when you reach this stage. You also need to factor in likely maintenance costs and repairs. Insurance costs on taxis are generally quite heavy and you would need to be aware of this.
Now you are ready to start your taxi business. Do not get disheartened when you come across the first obstacles. Any new business requires some time for you to familiarize yourself with its own peculiar needs and traits. A taxi business is very likely to run during any recession, as the need for people to move around is ever increasing, and is likely to continue.