Common driver obligations

Working as a self-employed person

There are a number of rules and regulations to keep in mind if you're self-employed.

The matters mentioned below are not exhaustive but are a good starting point for all drivers who are self-employed – no matter what type of vehicle you drive (taxi, limousine, or ride-booking).

Registrations

If you plan to be a self-employed driver, you will need to complete a number of registrations.

Goods and services tax (GST)

The fares you charge for services are GST inclusive.

You must regularly pay the GST you collect to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The GST registration threshold does not apply to self-employed drivers.

Most Australian businesses must register for GST if they have a GST turnover (gross income) of $75,000 or more. Businesses that provide taxi travel or ride-booking services must register for GST regardless of their GST turnover.

You will need to register for GST from the day you start driving, regardless of how much you earn, and will be responsible for completing business activity statements.

Find more information about GST obligations, or phone the ATOs business infoline on 13 28 66.

Tax file number (TFN)

Make sure you are aware of your tax obligations before you start to drive.

You will need to ensure that you have a TFN appropriate for your operations:

  • drivers operating as a sole trader must use their individual TFN
  • drivers operating as part of a partnership, trust or a registered company will need to apply for a separate TFN.

For more information about applying for a TFN:

  • sole traders can phone the ATO on 1300 720 092 to request a paper application
  • partnerships, trusts and companies can apply online.

Australian business number (ABN)

You may require an ABN if you're carrying on an enterprise or you intend to register for goods and services tax (GST). If you are a self-employed driver, you must apply for an ABN.

An ABN is a unique way of identifying your business when dealing with a range of government departments and agencies.

Find more information about registering for an ABN, or phone the Australian Business Register's information line on 13 92 26.

Superannuation

If you are self-employed, you do not have to make super fund contributions for yourself. However, you may want to consider this as a way of saving for your retirement.

If you are an employee, it is compulsory for your employer to make superannuation contributions on top of your wages.

Find more information about superannuation guarantee obligations, or phone the ATOs superannuation infoline on 13 10 20.

Types of insurance

Self-employed people are generally responsible for their own insurance cover. In some instances, the owner of a vehicle you bail, lease or rent may hold insurance policies that provide certain types of cover. You need to be aware of the different kinds of insurance you may need for the type of driving that you do (and whether an operator has taken out insurance that provides you cover).

Drivers who are self-employed may need to consider the following.

Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance

CTP insurance is mandatory in all states and territories and provides compensation for physical injuries caused by vehicles.

Vehicle owners must select the correct CTP insurance class for the service they are providing, or the vehicle they are using. Different CTP insurance classes may apply to:

  • taxis
  • limousines
  • private or leased booked hire vehicles
  • booked hire vehicles subject to rental agreements.

CTP does not provide cover for any damage to the vehicle.

For more information about CTP insurance, you can:

Vehicle insurance

In addition to Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance there are other non-mandatory types of vehicle insurance which you may wish to consider if you own a vehicle.

  • Comprehensive insurance
    Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your own vehicle and other people's property, as well as theft and some other risks, plus legal costs.
  • Fire and theft
    Fire and Theft insurance provides cover if your car is stolen, damaged by fire, or damaged by an uninsured vehicle.
  • Third party property only
    Third party property insurance covers damage to other people's property and legal costs, but not damage to your own vehicle.

For more information about vehicle insurance, contact your insurance provider.

Workers' compensation and workplace personal injury insurance

If you have a business in Queensland and employ workers, you are required to insure them against work-related injuries with WorkCover Queensland.

If you are self-employed, you are generally not considered a 'worker' and should arrange your own insurance.

Whether you are covered by your employer-funded workers' compensation insurance or need to arrange your own workplace personal injury insurance will depend on your agreement and personal circumstances.

Personal accident insurance may be covered in your bailment agreement. You should read the conditions of your agreement carefully and consider what insurance is needed to ensure that you are financially secure should any accident or illness prevent you from working.

Find more information on workers' compensation and personal injury insurance, or phone WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is designed to protect you against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for:

  • death or injury
  • loss or damage of property
  • monetary loss resulting from negligence or the provision of unsafe services.

Whilst public liability insurance is not compulsory, the costs of being found liable or negligent can be extremely high. Where this is not included within your agreement, you should consider liability insurance to ensure you remain financially secure in the case of an incident.

For more information about getting the right insurance:

Other insurance

If you are self-employed, you should talk with a number of insurance companies or insurance brokers to find the most appropriate insurance for your business.

Insurance requirements vary considerably from business to business, and your individual circumstances and needs may benefit from other types of insurance.

Contact

Small business hotline: 1300 654 687

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)