One of the greyest areas in the transportation business has been the area of being a driver service. I have had many drivers phone me over the years saying that they have been asked by a company to set themselves up as driver services in order to be hired on. So I thought I would attempt to take away some myths about being a driver service.
First of all in order to be a legitimate business you must have customers. You must bring certain experience and tools to the workplace in order to offer a service. You also must go to other customers and be able to prove you have other customers’ at other locations. You must be in control of your own calendar, taxes, expenses, and the like. This doesn’t just pertain to trucking, but is true for any legitimate business. Where the grey area lies in trucking is that many carriers tell drivers to set themselves up as business contractors even though the driver will go to the same place and drive the same truck owned by the company.
Companies that are doing that are just trying to avoid paying taxes and truly you are an employee of the company. The only reason some of the carriers doing that have not been caught is that fact the CRA has not performed an audit on them. I have done the exercise in my past position as a supervisor for a contract person that we had. He was doing what most people do and writing off his pickup truck as a work vehicle. We did a test and the company found he was more like an employee because we used him many times over 20 hours per week so we had to stop the contract with him or hire him on as a part time employee. Afterwards I found out that he had another client but he hadn’t told us that at the time. Even so he was still deemed a part time employee. Don’t get caught in that grey area in your position.
So if you want to be your own driver service what do you need to do? First start your business independently. Register it and show you are an independent contractor. I suggest you work on getting at least three customers and that you have an agreement with those customers showing the work to be performed. Document everything and remember your log book now becomes your support material for your business. Starting a driver service is no different than starting any other business you just have to do it properly. The test is to prove that you are truly independent and have control of your business on your terms. If you don’t you may not be in business. Start by getting a good book on business and going through the steps. Make sure you test your business. The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) will do it for you, but you may not like the results.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant with over 30 years of experience and author of the books Driven to Drive and Running by the Mile. He is also the host and producer of the Lead Pedal Podcast for drivers in the transportation industry. To learn more about Bruce and his work visit his websites www.outridgeenterprises.ca and www.theleadepedalpodcast.com