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Old 11-21-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
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Preparing to purchase my first bus

So I'd like to start by introducing myself! I'm a 26 entrepreneur with a lot of skills/interests and no finalized plans. I gave up a great job bartending for a crap management job at a nightclub in Minnesota. Here lies my dilemma..
I took a large paycut with the job change and am trying to make something of myself. So I got the idea to run a bus 3-4 times a month from outside of the clubs area to draw in customers that wouldn't otherwise go. I need a bus that can facilitate this! I've started researching the differences between busses and information for starting..but I don't have a lot of freetime and I could spend 5 hours a day reading on busses for a month before actually getting to know what I need to.

Most of the business will be from outside the Minnesota state, meaning I'll be driving between MN and WI. So I must be registered with both states.

Funding will be an issue. I make $10/hr which doesn't allow a lot of savings. I have a 1998 Trans am that is currently in rough shape but I won't take less than $5,500 for it. This leaves me with roughly $7000 if the car is sold or traded. If not financing is available while i wait to sell the car.

Decisions I'm unsure about are:
How big of a bus? I was thinking of starting small and buying a second if I'm successful. Or is it wasteful because I can easily fill up a 50 person bus with the shows that we have. It cannot be less than a 20 person bus or I wouldn't make enough profit to pay a driver, insurance, fuel cost, and half of the ticket costs for shows.
Party or non? It looks like MN doesn't allow drinking on an actual bus..Wisconsinites aren't going to be happy.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Welcome to the site!

There are a ton of implications that come with using a "party" bus in conjunction with a business - at least here in the State of Iowa. If you are thinking of using a party bus service with a bar, you need to make sure that you can obtain affordable liability insurance through a business policy for the bus. There have been several lawsuits in the last year involving party buses and people either fighting on the bus (bodily injury ensues for which the bar, the owners and the driver could be liable), or accidents involving the bus in which plaintiffs put forth the rowdy environment on the bus as a reason the driver hit another vehicle, person, etc. The precedence seems to be that bar owners, drivers and passengers will be judged financially liable if there are injuries. Here's a good example of a bar currently facing a lawsuit - even though they DIDN'T own the party bus:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/articl ... ck-lawsuit

From a business perspective, it seems like the majority of your revenue would come from drinks / food served within the bar. Statistics show that having at least two drinks at one establishment raises the percentage drastically for additional drinks / food at that establishment, so it might be a better leverage of your revenue to keep drinks within the bar instead of starting on the bus. Plus, you would have to pay close attention to the legal implications in more than one state which might be labor-intensive. I don't know what the implications are as far as a liquor license when you are driving a bus between states. That could be tricky too.

I used to manage a bar and grill in Georgia and we proposed a similar idea, but the expenses associated with the bus didn't seem to equate when we factored in liability, inventory, and other expenditures such as maintenance, fuel, driver fees, etc. People seem to tip bus drivers really well when they are teetering on the brink of inebriation, but less so when they are sober.

If you are looking for a service that ensures patrons aren't drinking and driving after their night at your establishment, (bus without the alcohol), Illinois State University has a good system. Granted, this applies mostly to a group of 21+ students all concentrated in a very small, localized area, but it might be applicable to your business, too. The bus shuttles people throughout an 8-mile radius periodically through the evening with a cost of $3/person each way. I don't know if the city subsidizes a portion of the cost, and I don't know if this bus service shuttles to several different bars, but it is a great idea and students in the area appreciate the service.

That's my $.02 worth. I'll let the experts tell you about their awesome bus conversion ideas!
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Sara way to go with almost the perfect answer, cheers mate
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

As I have gotten older, it seems I'm less concerned with fun and more concerned with protecting my assets. Let's be honest: party buses are awesome. Lawsuits aren't. Haha.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Thank you for the awesome reply! To be a bit clearer I'd be working in collaboration with the promoters of the shows put on. The nightclub itself has no connection to me. The revenue comes from part of the ticket sales for bringing in new customers and charging an average $25 fee to ride the bus. The trips are roughly an hour long..drop off would be roughly 3 am since the shows end at 2am.

When the bus is not in use for the shows at the club I'd like to use it whenever I can for other services. Weddings, parties, games, etc. I haven't decided if I'll allow drinking but chances are it'll happen.

I'm trying real hard not to loose motivation for a project and this is the only thing I think I can make work right now. Renting a bus to the location and back is $1300 coach. If I did it Id spend roughly $100 in gas, $100-120 for the driver at $15 an hour, insurance is roughly (based on 5k from my reading/yr) $400 a month (so $100 per show at the least). $320 total leaving the rest for payment of the bus. I'm sure I'm missing something but I'm in a rush atm.
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Sell the trans am for it's real value $2000 or less, and buy a small Honda car for $1000. The savings on gas will pay for your bus over the next year.

I have a 86 Trans Am in almost mint shape, never been winter driven. If I sell it, I would be lucky to get $4000.

Gas pigs get almost given away. Because they dig their owners into a financial hole.

Nat
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
The nightclub itself has no connection to me.
The liability portion of this project might just be worth the fee to consult an attorney - just to make sure you bases are covered. People will sue whoever they can for whatever reason exists - even if it doesn't seem practical. (9 times out of 10 they will win, too.)

This could be a great service if it was marketed successfully. What kind of capacity are you looking for? How big is the demand? I have been on a few party bus bachelorette parties and it seems like around 20 guests is an average mark for some of my friends. Are there any laws about how seating has to be designed within the bus? If you wanted something that gives you that true transport utility along with the option for more of a "party" bus kind of design, you have a ton of options I would think.

I have to respectfully disagree with getting rid of your Trans Am. Nothing says "awesome" more than a classic vehicle - albeit a gas hog. (I don't have to be practical... I'm a woman.)
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Woooow this is proving difficult. 9 calls later I'm stuck with no information about insuring a NEW transporting business utilizing a bus. I did get a suggested quote of $10k-12k for a 5 million dollar coverage policy. They require 25% down right away as well. Does anyone have suggestions on companies that may offer insurance for me?

To answer your questions sara:
I may consult an attorney when that becomes available but right now I'm limited to a budget of $8000 ROUGHLY.
I'm thinking of a 30 pax bus. Check out the link below for examples. The demand is large enough that I think I can sell all seats on the bus continually throughout the year. I have other promoting companies that can assist me with this.
I'm unsure about seating..I'll save that research for tonight.

I knoooo getting rid of the trans am is a burden but it is a must if I'm to be successful in the world. Business leaders have always starting at rock bottom somewhere...I have to take the risk
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:39 AM   #9
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara
Welcome to the site!

There are a ton of implications that come with using a "party" bus in conjunction with a business - at least here in the State of Iowa. If you are thinking of using a party bus service with a bar, you need to make sure that you can obtain affordable liability insurance through a business policy for the bus. There have been several lawsuits in the last year involving party buses and people either fighting on the bus (bodily injury ensues for which the bar, the owners and the driver could be liable), or accidents involving the bus in which plaintiffs put forth the rowdy environment on the bus as a reason the driver hit another vehicle, person, etc. The precedence seems to be that bar owners, drivers and passengers will be judged financially liable if there are injuries. Here's a good example of a bar currently facing a lawsuit - even though they DIDN'T own the party bus:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/articl ... ck-lawsuit

From a business perspective, it seems like the majority of your revenue would come from drinks / food served within the bar. Statistics show that having at least two drinks at one establishment raises the percentage drastically for additional drinks / food at that establishment, so it might be a better leverage of your revenue to keep drinks within the bar instead of starting on the bus. Plus, you would have to pay close attention to the legal implications in more than one state which might be labor-intensive. I don't know what the implications are as far as a liquor license when you are driving a bus between states. That could be tricky too.

I used to manage a bar and grill in Georgia and we proposed a similar idea, but the expenses associated with the bus didn't seem to equate when we factored in liability, inventory, and other expenditures such as maintenance, fuel, driver fees, etc. People seem to tip bus drivers really well when they are teetering on the brink of inebriation, but less so when they are sober.

If you are looking for a service that ensures patrons aren't drinking and driving after their night at your establishment, (bus without the alcohol), Illinois State University has a good system. Granted, this applies mostly to a group of 21+ students all concentrated in a very small, localized area, but it might be applicable to your business, too. The bus shuttles people throughout an 8-mile radius periodically through the evening with a cost of $3/person each way. I don't know if the city subsidizes a portion of the cost, and I don't know if this bus service shuttles to several different bars, but it is a great idea and students in the area appreciate the service.

That's my $.02 worth. I'll let the experts tell you about their awesome bus conversion ideas!

Ummm...what she said. I mean Sara. If I were smarter, I probably could have come up with something like that, but since I'm not, I will give it too you in Cal-speak. I have been in the transportarion business for over 30 years and what you have in the making is a SHITSANDWICH without the bread. Driving drunks is not fun. Even one can be a pain in the ass. There have been several incidents in the last few years involving party buses and limos that have involved deaths as well as criminal and civil actions against the owners. The most recent that comes to mind is the limo fire on the San Mateo Bridge that killed 5 women. Another one that I remember was a woman falling or being thrown out of a limo bus.

You need have all your operating authorities in order and insurance up the ass because you will need it. Your bus needs to be in top mechanical condition. In California, buses need a mechanical inspection every 45 days. Your bus will be put out of service by DOT for certain mechanical issues. Your driver will need to have a commercial class B licence. Our state requires random drug testing. You will need workmans comp. You will need to collect payroll taxes. Your bus is now an inspected commercial vehicle. You can't drive it without a class B license, even for personal use.

For your reading pleasure...

https://www.google.com/#q=limo+fire+san+mateo+bridge

https://www.google.com/#q=woman+fall...bus+santa+cruz

I guess it doesn't just happen in California.

https://www.google.com/#q=woman+falls+from+party+bus

Oh, I almost forgot, good luck with your new business venture.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #10
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Word of the wise....

Get yourself away from the intoxicated people work environment, Get a trade or two in the construction world of work, and keep your Trans Am. Making good trades money, you will be able to afford to drive it.

It's simple realy. The environment, or energy that you place yourself in is what you become over time. Do you want to wreck your life in that scene?

Plumbing is a good trade. It's like Lego. I realy like it.
Electrical is one more of the cleaner type trades. Needs more brain power than plumbing.
If you want to sit on your butt, there are many other driving jobs around.

Good luck

Nat
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:58 PM   #11
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

This isnt going to an actual bar scene guys. Its a music venue with a bar attached to it. I understand that there are many risks involved but I don't think I should be blowing the business away because of a few intoxicating situations.
I've already spent two months planning for this. I'll take all comments into consideration but I've been told no...don't do it all my life. I'm so pestered by the thought that I can't form my ideas into something. I have a book of inventions I'd love to produce provided I receive income...something working a job won't do right now. I've gone yo school for 6 years and have no degree because I don't know what to do in life.
My assumed solutions to these are strict rules, emergency planning, a willingful attitude to call authorities when needed, and a member on the bus acting as crowd control and security.
Where can I find more laws pertaining to seating and standards. Keeping up with bus maintenance so far doesn't seem to be much of an issue. I've included a minimal deposit amount of $450 /month for maintenance.
Questions still pending:
Which type of bus fits best? Seats facing in, school bus, top of the line bus, open booth seats? I'm assuming since seats can be purchased from 1- any amount that a group of 30 people facing eachother might be sort of awkward.
It MST be diesel because I'd like to make the conversion to bio fuel very quickly.
Insurance companies... not a lot out there in mn so far? Anyone have more suggestions?
If I'm not making a business out of this and just "transporting groups of friends" can I get away with making money from it?
Additional trip ideas include music festivals around america, Spring break trips, leisure activities, etc. I don't plan to make a career out of this..1-2 years and I'll sell the bus for someone else to do unless its extremely successful..I can also sell the business.
I think I'll talk more about the business aspect on another forum since this forum deals mostly with conversions which seems like I May not even be doing,
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:08 PM   #12
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

I should also mention that while some of the shows will be your alternative and rock shows, the majority of them will be electronic dance music. The scene around this music is built on fun/positive be who you are and we accept you type attitude. I'd hope it stays that way. This isn't just 21+ its 18+. A lot of them do not drink that much and as a manager of the club I don't anticipate high toxicity. Anyone that seems to be too intoxicated may be asked to stay the night at a hotel and picked up by friends later ( I don't have any other solutions yet) I will reccoment that if friend notice a friend that's too drunk to ensure they slow down n hour prior to the bus departure. I will also mention that clear signs of underage drinking will be turned over to the mlps PD conviently right down the road.
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:59 AM   #13
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

I have read this thread and am kind of shaking my head but not in a bad way. I just turned 44 last December so I like to think I have a few years of lifes beating under my belt.

First off I applaud you for wanting to take on a business. I think its one of the great things about this country that makes it so great. Lots of great ideas and services have came about cause someone thought outside of the box. I do have to say that a lot of others have mentioned some very good points. Having been a wilder person in my youth I would like to think I had a lot of experience in the drinking dept but drunk people are the best and worse of things to deal with. Yes they spend money freely but they also create a lot of their own issues. I think we live in a sue happy society so you more or less have to plan for the worse in almost any case. Its how insurance companies calculate their risks. Theres a reason why they make money.

To throw my 2 cents on on trying to help you find solution.... As for what bus. I think get what you can afford. You are working on a pretty serious limited budget. If you have a good successful business it will make money and you will will expand to get more and better buses. I would SERIOUSLY look in to the laws that govern passenger travel in both states. I have heard in Texas they are considering making charter bus companies put seat belts in buses at some point in time. So if your states require or do something like that.... well your seating arrangement may be decided because of this. I am not sure if your going to have people roam free on the bus well that may affect that.

Question are you planning on having a toilet on board? Last time I checked people who drink go to the room a lot. Remember liquor/beer/wine is not owned when you buy it... its just rented. So one thing I would say is make sure you have enough capacity to handle people and waste they can and will create.

I would imagine your biggest issue is going to find someone to insure you. This will be a HUGE cost. I dont know of any business that is involvement with alcohol with super low rates and commercial insurance on a passenger vehicles is usually their 2nd or 3rd largest expenses. So I hope you have enough business to hopefully over come those impasses.

Good luck on this. I hope it takes off. Wishing you the best and I will keep looking here to see how it does
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:10 PM   #14
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
Insurance companies... not a lot out there in mn so far? Anyone have more suggestions?
You will have to look around for a nationwide company (they usually have the financial resources to take on specialized risks like this one), but calling an independent insurance agency in the greater Minneapolis area will get you on the right track. Usually insurance companies can point you in the direction of another company if they can't write the business themselves. You can narrow the field down by searching for insurance companies that specialize in business insurance; a lot of companies like Allied, Nationwide, Farmers, State Farm, etc. will not write insurance for a business that sells alcohol or requires a liquor license. They will usually refer the potential customer on to a specialized commercial insurer. Make a few calls and if it isn't something the first insurance company wants to insure, ask them for suggestions on where you should go. Someone will give you a good recommendation!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
If I'm not making a business out of this and just "transporting groups of friends" can I get away with making money from it?

Additional trip ideas include music festivals around america, Spring break trips, leisure activities, etc. I don't plan to make a career out of this..1-2 years and I'll sell the bus for someone else to do unless its extremely successful..I can also sell the business.
I would think you could "rent" your transportation services to a group. I spent a lot of years caravan-ing around the countryside and going to shows; there was always a small group of more financially secure people that would rent an RV or a bus so that they wouldn't have to sleep in hammocks outside like the rest of us. You could look into that avenue of things as well. You would have your LLC or whatever you choose to do, and that company would rent your bus. In a sense they would also be renting you as you would be driving. You would have to work out your expenses ahead of time (cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.) and do a lot of the trip-planning on your own I would think, but it seems like it might be an easier hill to climb than insuring it as a party bus.
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Old 01-13-2014, 12:19 PM   #15
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

with the proper motivation, money, and perseverance I think you can run a successful bus business.

However, In michigan, the required permits, inspections, insurance, and special commercial drivers license required equates to several thousand dollars per year.

I wanted to get into the party bus business on the side, but felt there isn't any money in it here in Michigan unless that is your full time job. Then you factor in purchasing the vehicle, fuel, maintenance, and repairs and in my opinion, you're pretty much working for free.

How many times do you need to rent the bus out to cover the minimum 10 or 20 thousand dollars in annual expenses?
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:55 AM   #16
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Hey look at that..your only halfway through life Thanks Bapos for the response! Alcohol is definitely one of the main proponents that determines my success in this. I don't think the allowance of drinking on board will determine the amount of sales I do, but it is impossible to disallow the use of it outside and then on the ride home. The first bus I'm purchasing will not have any restroom services on it although I can make a quick 10minute stop on the way back almost halfway through as I cross the border. I think my largest concern will be people who are sick (puking their brains out). I mentioned that I will have a semi trained staff/security on board so they can be taken to the front to be taken care of. The waste can be in nice scented bags and double bagged to ensure that the bus doesn't stink.

@sara- What's really cool is I've done the trip planning all of my life! From rerouting my study abroad to stop in Amsterdam, to spring break trips for all 5 years of college
So like the Vegas trip I would write up a trip report and receipt of all charges and be the sole driver. This is overall what my original intent was. To provide people with a unique experience for an accepting rate. Travel the world and see what you've never seen! Be a caravaner, a traveler, a festi hopper, and get where you want to be!

I do have a job on the side and plan to maintain that. I think once this begins I can do my job and still manage the company for booking mostly from home. All sales are online, customers will purchase, I'll assign a driver and a pick up location, they'll be picked up, meet me downtown Minneapolis, get into the venue, get them on the bus and head home. Just a lot of planning on my part. It's good that i've become proficient in this area.

I quantified my costs at a per trip basis for the venue trip ONLY. I have the amount written down for maintenance, cleaning, etc at a per mile basis. I'd have to run and grab it but it's small. I believe my normal operating expenses will be roughly $590. Sales will max at roughly $1400. MORE SHOWS-LOWER COSTS. MORE TRIPS-More MONEY. To answer your question. Total trips at minimum-10 sold out trips (28 seats)
Gas-$120 round trip
Insurance- @ 2 trips a month ($250 per trip) based on the 6k
Driver $100-120 roughly for driver- based on 6-8 hours of total time. Drivers with experience and no accidents will be paid more


As far as insurance goes, I was finally quotes from someone at around $6,000 if I'm working with hired hands with experience. I'm looking at needing 5 million coverage. This makes it a lot easier than the $12,000 I was quoted before. I think I can work with it. That makes my bus purchase and insurance the two largest payouts (at the same price). $12,000 roughly to start with as long as the insurance isn't needed right away. I'll continue to call once I have Drivers with information to give to the insurer.

Without reading more into either of these, how would a business insurance differ from solely the bus insurance? Most costly? Covers more assets (I dont really have any)?

Another concern I have is the personal use of the vehicle. If I want to take it to vegas this summer with a group of friends, if something illegal were found or underage drinking was happening (not saying it will nor be prevented-but it happens) how that can affect my business. I feel like without the extra side income from friends and trips that I may not make enough...or even if I am the extra will be nice to pay for costs. This can all be determined later.

The bus I'm currently looking at is attatched. Im unsure how I feel about the layout since I'll be getting groups of 1person-5 people coming to these shows. Strangers facing eachother might be awkward. I'm thinking of having amatuer comedians, a mime that appears 20minutes prior to arrival? or some sort of entertainment for the first few trips until I can pay off the first one and purchase another bus that can be worked on-IF THIS IS A SUCCESS.
If this flops...I've simply traded a trans am for a bus and still hopefully made a bit of extra cash.


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Old 01-22-2014, 02:58 AM   #17
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

There were a lot more options back in Novemeber...I'm getting limited!! YIKES

Here's the post information about it

PARTY BUS - $6,000 (Ellsworth, WI)
1999 International (VIN)- 1HVBEABM5XH213550 : 30 Passenger Shuttle Bus. Turbo Diesel Engine , Allison Automatic Transmission.This bus runs & drives great.It is in good condition. Driver side rear tire had blow out, figer glass has been fixed, just hasn't been repainted, see pic, It has been very well maintained & regularly serviced by International. Has almost new tires, new belts, CD player, AC unit, seats are in great shape. Has air ride and air brakes. This bus has 329,029.62 miles on it. Downsizing company, call 715-497-3894 more info or to come take a look and test drive. Been getting $800 per night for rental.

Other options
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/c ... 86299.html ( I really like that this has 12 seats plus I can add in 3 booths towards the back for more of a group seating option.
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/c ... 82149.html (This is a little more than I want but it works!)

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/c ... 92220.html (Looks awesome...too good to be true?)
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/c ... 30697.html (OMG I WOULD LOVE TO CONVERT THIS)

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/c ... 90540.html
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:35 AM   #18
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
@sara- What's really cool is I've done the trip planning all of my life! From rerouting my study abroad to stop in Amsterdam, to spring break trips for all 5 years of college So like the Vegas trip I would write up a trip report and receipt of all charges and be the sole driver. This is overall what my original intent was. To provide people with a unique experience for an accepting rate. Travel the world and see what you've never seen! Be a caravaner, a traveler, a festi hopper, and get where you want to be!
I think it's something everyone should do; there is no substitute for a good adventure. It seems like you are well-prepared for the fun (and work) that comes with a good adventure!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
As far as insurance goes, I was finally quotes from someone at around $6,000 if I'm working with hired hands with experience. I'm looking at needing 5 million coverage. This makes it a lot easier than the $12,000 I was quoted before. I think I can work with it. That makes my bus purchase and insurance the two largest payouts (at the same price). $12,000 roughly to start with as long as the insurance isn't needed right away. I'll continue to call once I have Drivers with information to give to the insurer.

Without reading more into either of these, how would a business insurance differ from solely the bus insurance? Most costly? Covers more assets (I dont really have any)?
The biggest difference between business insurance and insurance on just the physical bus itself involves the liability exposure that comes with a business. Most insurance companies that insure a bus for personal use are worried about the things that could happen to the bus itself (physical damage coverage) and the liability you present to other drivers. Your insurance company has a duty to protect you from unforeseen occurrences. Insurance companies know that risks are present every moment of the day. But what about those things you don't think will happen to YOU? (It's why insurance is sometimes a hard financial pill to swallow when you think, "...but that's never going to happen to me." The point is... what if it does? That's why you have insurance.) In the case of a business, your insurance company has a duty to protect your assets just as if it was a personal vehicle, but they also want to make sure that you are able to continue with your livelihood if something does happen. You might not have any assets now, but you will when you start your business. You will be surprised!

Society sees a business and thinks, " Yay! Deep pockets!" If someone has the opportunity to sue you personally or to sue your business, guess what? They're going to sue the crap out of your business. If your insurance policy does not provide adequate coverage for your assets, the person suing you could take EVERYTHING. If it is related to the business, their attorneys are going to claim they have a right to it. If you claimed square footage of your house or apartment on your taxes for "work purposes", guess what? They will probably figure out a way to say it's a piece of business property and they have a right to it. Your equipment, your profits, your bus, your computers... your business property in general... all adds up to a total of assets. And that's what people will try to take from you. That's why business insurance provides high insurance limits and additional coverages. Of course, this extra protection means you are going to have to pay more to make sure more of you is protected. Does that make sense?

It's also a very good idea to establish a business identity for yourself. Starting your business under an LLC - for example - will help keep your personal finances separate from your business finances. In the event that you do have someone try to sue you, they are entitled to your business assets (if they win the suit) but do not get to touch your personal finances.

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Originally Posted by Ucwarrior1
Another concern I have is the personal use of the vehicle. If I want to take it to vegas this summer with a group of friends, if something illegal were found or underage drinking was happening (not saying it will nor be prevented-but it happens) how that can affect my business. I feel like without the extra side income from friends and trips that I may not make enough...or even if I am the extra will be nice to pay for costs. This can all be determined later.
This could be tricky if you do everything possible to make the bus a business expense (nice rewards and write-offs on taxes) as opposed to a personal vehicle. There might also be some insurance considerations if you are using it personally instead of as a business vehicle. That is a good question for an insurance agent and an attorney.

I am super weird about insurance - especially when businesses are concerned. I worked for a national insurance company for a long time, not just in sales but also in claims. I also did work in their legal department and holy crap. People can be awfully greedy sometimes. I wish I could impress upon people what happens when they haven't prepared enough. It is sad to see families and businesses ruined because they didn't want to pay for an extra type of coverage. Then again, when budgets are tight and our economy is in the crapper, sometimes you have to roll the dice and self-insure some of these exposures. It just depends upon what makes you comfortable.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:52 AM   #19
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

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Lots of really smart stuff.
Well, If I ever decide I want to start a business, I know who I'm contacting first
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:19 AM   #20
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Re: Preparing to purchase my first bus

Yeah I feel you on the liability issues. It's obviously my largest concern! I havn't called about business insurance yet however and I'm afraid that may be too costly to start up with. Would I then be looking for a company to both insure the bus and the business? Or is the business covering all assets?
I'm assuming an LLC would only be beneficial if I reach a certain amount of revenue and for the first year I don't anticipate reaching over $50k. Not to say I can't do it..but I'm already a month behind

I was preparing to setup a sole-proprietorship rather than an LLC being that I am the only one currently running the business. I currently have no assets except my trans am and a small savings and about $800 in investments. I don't have much to lose I can consider an LLC but I think I may have to read more into that...which is really difficult because with my fulltime job serving..I have 3 business books, a web design book, the web design job, and a lot of advertising to get done over the next 2-3 weeks. I'm time crunching!

Sarah you rock with that descriptive post!

Anyone have suggestions on the buses? If you were to pay for a ticket to go to a music venue, which bus would you want to be on? Why? What fits best?
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