Gig Economy Local Government Requirements

Goals

To identify insights on common local government requirements for gig economy workers (especially Uber, Lyft drivers, Airbnb hosts, or others) and all the relevant information on it.

Early Findings

Uber

Minimum Requirements for Uber Drivers

The following are the minimum requirements to drive with Uber:

Required Documents

Local Government Requirements

  • Additional requirements imposed by the local government or local Uber management may vary.

New York City Example

  • To be an Uber driver in New York City, a "Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) driver license is necessary. To qualify for a TLC license, a 24-hour For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) course needs to be completed and undergo a fingerprint-enabled criminal background check, a driving record check, and drug testing."
  • TLC plates are also necessary for the vehicle being used.

Paperwork

  • Self-employed Uber contractors need to pay federal, state (if any), and local (if any) income taxes.
  • Independent contractors also need to pay a self-employment tax to cover Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • Uber sends its drivers the 1099-K and 1099-MISC electronically. "The 1099-K is an official IRS tax document that includes a breakdown of a driver's annual on-trip gross earnings."
  • Uber only sends a 1099-K if a driver and delivery people meet the following criteria: They earned more than $20,000 in customer payments and provided at least 200 rides or deliveries in a given year, and had backup withholding applied on any payment taking place in 2019.
  • Uber also sends the "1099-MISC to drivers and delivery people who received at least $600 in payments at the year-end. The 1099-MISC is an official IRS tax document providing a summary of promotion, referral, and other miscellaneous payments received in a year. "

Summary

  • For the initial hour, we tried identifying as much of the requested information as possible. We were able to find some early insights on Uber. We found that the general requirements to be an Uber driver are often similar around different states, but with some variations on local government requirements, such as in New York City, where they need to have a "Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) driver license. Additionally, most of the required paperwork appears to be more tax-related, since Uber drivers are classified as independent contractors.
  • We recommend continuing the research to identify insights on the other requested gig economy platforms. We also found some insights on TaskRabbit, another gig economy platform, which might be of interest.
  • Feel free to select or add an option below.

Proposed next steps:

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We recommend continuing the research to identify 2-3 insights (each) on the paperwork or requirements (example: business licenses etc) for Lyft drivers and Airbnb hosts. We will try to identify which cities or states have local government requirements or require specific paperwork for either drivers or hosts to operate. We can also try to identify any commonly asked questions from hosts or drivers for them to work in these platforms or any challenges they experience in U.S. states or regions.
We can also continue the research on Uber and identify 2-3 additional insights. Where available, we can identify any insights on other local government requirements for Uber drivers, or regional or state differences in terms of requirements (ex. licenses/ permits) or paperwork for Uber drivers in the United States. We can also identify 2-3 insights on the U.S. gig economy, particularly on how it is changing the workforce or insights on gig economy labor laws, which might also be of interest. Finally, we can also identify 2-3 insights on paperwork or requirements (example: business licenses etc) to be a TaskRabbit "tasker". We will try to identify which cities or states have local government requirements or require specific paperwork to work as a "tasker" in TaskRabbit. We can also try to identify any commonly asked questions or challenges they experience.