.Starting Your Pet Taxi Business
Want to know how to start a pet taxi business. First off, let's talk about what a professional pet taxi is. Pet taxi services provide transportation for pets on behalf of their owners to grooming, veterinary, or doggie day care appointments. Other transportation is negotiable, such as to and from the airport. A pet taxi business has relatively low start-up fees and is a practical and successful method for entering the pet service industry.
Benefits of Pet Taxi Services
A pet taxi business is an excellent solution for pet parents with busy schedules or who work extended hours, are unable to bring their pet to an appointment, or who are elderly or injured. Busy professionals in metropolitan cities without cars also find this sort of service especially worthwhile, as they can send their pets to weekday appointments without disturbing their business routines.
Tips on Getting Your Pet Taxi Business Started
The first tip for getting started is to decide whether to form your business as a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or limited liability company. There are several tax advantages of each kind. You should consult with a tax accountant or attorney for advice on which is best for your situation.
Licensing, Bonding and Insurance Requirements
You will need to research becoming bonded and insured as a professional pet taxi service provider, acquiring permits, and complying with any extra conditions from county, city, and state governing agencies.
- Licensing. The Animal Welfare Act excuses pet taxis from licensing requirements if services are for transporting private pets to groomers and vets.
- Insurance. Liability insurance covers a client’s pet if it is hurt while in your care or vehicle. Commercial automobile liability policies offer comprehensive and collision coverage for damages caused by a pet to you or your vehicle.
- Bonding. A bond protects the pet owner should you be convicted of theft while fulfilling the terms of the contract.
There are many variables associated with licensing, bonding, and insurance. The cost of coverage varies, and an independent agent can compare rates from more than one insurance company..
A vehicle is the largest start-up expense, unless you already own one that is useable as a pet taxi, such as a sports utility or van. These types of vehicles are ideal for carrying large crates, although cars work fine for transporting smaller animals. Make sure that the vehicle is clean, well maintained, heated, and air-conditioned. You should also have several crates of various sizes on hand to safely secure pets during transportation. It is also beneficial to have some dog harness seatbelts for pets whose owners specify that their animals should not ride in crates.
Creating a Basic Contract
Pet taxi business owners need to compose a standard contract that the pet owner signs before service is provided. The contract should address liability issues regarding accountability for potential injuries while the pet is in the driver’s custody. This contract should clearly spell out the terms of service, including:
- Cost and fees
- Pickup and drop off location, date, and time
- Pet’s history, including breed, age, and any medical issues
- Owner's emergency contact information
- Veterinarian’s name and contact information
How to Set Your Rates
The safest way to set your rates is to research what other local pet taxi services charge. You can base your rates on total mileage, time spent in transit, the number of pets you are transporting, or a combination of these factors. Pricing options may also include a drop-off rate and additional services, such as dog walks, trips to the dog park, removal of deceased pets, dog training, and on-site pet medication administration. Other factors to consider include:
- Stay and wait rates
- Long distance travel
- Providing treats or water
- One-way and round-trip services
- Fees for last-minute cancellations
- Fuel, insurance, and credit card fees
The best advertisement is customized magnets or permanent lettering directly on the vehicle you use to provide the pet taxi services. You should also create a business card or flyer to leave at pet service locations such as dog grooming facilities, veterinary clinics, doggie day cares, and boarding kennels..