Owner of Prestige Limousines, Inc., in Boca Raton, Fla.
I own a limousine company in Florida and I service three areas: Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County. All three counties have their own charter and their own regulations for limo companies.
We will start with Miami, which is Dade County. You have to buy a permit, which costs anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. Once you acquire that permit, you have to find a vehicle to put that permit on. And it has to be no older than five years old. Once that car is five years old, you have to go out and buy a new one, no matter what kind of condition you keep it in.
You have to get the car inspected every year. And you have to renew the luxury sedan permit every year. It would be better if you could buy just one permit for your entire fleet. But you have to buy one for each car and each car permit costs $675.
In addition to county regulations, I also have to deal with federal ones, which come from the Department of Transportation. I have a bus and the driver has to get certified under the DOT. The driver also has to get a commercial driver's license, which costs $300.
Keeping compliant is a full-time job for me. That is what I do. That is all I do. There is a huge responsibility when it comes to the regulations here in South Florida.
It is not something that you can pass on to staff members because if they mess up, you can get fined for not being in compliance. And the fines are very, very steep. The DOT can also shut you down.
We asked 10 small businesspeople what would they ask President Obama to do to make it easier for them to hire.
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