Have the looming time and financial constraints of a being a business owner put the brakes on your entrepreneurial dreams? You can be your own boss and make a pretty penny driving as a Lyft driver.
Here's what you need to know about the service and how to work for Lyft.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Lyft is an on-demand ride-sharing service that has used technology to revolutionize the transportation industry. Through an intuitive mobile app, Lyft lets locals in 300 cities virtually hail a ride from a local driver. You can get to any address up to 60 miles away from your pick-up location. That makes Lyft a stellar transit option for short to medium-distance road trips such as your daily commute, a quick coffee run or even a trip to the airport.
Need a ride from Lyft? As long as you live in a region that Lyft services, you can download the Lyft rider app and then use it to register an account and supply your payment details.
Once you're all set up, enter your pick-up and drop-off location. Then, request a ride with a single tap. The app will match you with a nearby driver from Lyft's network of drivers. That driver will then pick you up at your desired pick-up location and drop you off at your desired destination. The app will provide details about the driver, his or her car and his ETA so that you know exactly who to expect and when. Because Lyft charges your stored card at the end of each ride, there's no need for riders or drivers to carry cash or fuss with coins.
Lyft, as it exists today, depends on a fleet of paid part- or full-time drivers to transport riders to and from their destinations. If you're interested in setting your own hours and earning extra money as a driver for Lyft, head to the Lyft website and click "Driver." Enter your cell phone, and then click "Apply to Drive." The website will take you through a series of prompts to determine your eligibility. Lyft driver and car requirements include, but are not limited, to:
Once you're approved as a driver, you'll be able to download the Lyft driver app, turn on driving mode and accept your first ride.
Lyft drivers are considered independent contractors. Because they are not employees of Lyft, they are not entitled to Lyft employee benefits or subjected to payroll tax withholding as employees are. You will be responsible for paying federal and (if applicable) state income taxes and self-employment tax (which consists of Medicare and Social Security tax) on your net income from Lyft.
Being a Lyft driver means that your livelihood depends on the upkeep of your car and your phone. You can deduct these and other reasonable expenses that come with the job. The key tax deductions that Lyft drivers can claim include: