The Accidental Entrepreneur

Miami-Dade County goes after "illegal taxicab services."

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Corrected on 5/22/08: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the Institute for Justice.

How much do entrepreneurs need to fear regulation? It turns out that you can be punished for being an entrepreneur inadvertently. This is an unbelievable story out of the Miami area:

A man who said he thought he was just helping a woman in need is accused of running an illegal taxi service. Miami-Dade County's Consumer Services Department has slapped Rosco O'Neil with $2,000 worth of fines, but O'Neil claims he is falsely accused.

Hat tip: Antiplanner blog.

Miami's established taxicab services have less competition to worry about because there's a law against unregistered taxi services. That makes it expensive for new entrepreneurs to get their feet in the door. But that's not true everywhere. For example, in Denver, a small group of cabdrivers was able to found a cab company by getting the state licensing laws overturned in court. The Institute for Justice, the public-interest law firm that represented them in that case, keeps track of many of the other instances around the country where established businesses benefit from local regulations that nip start-up businesses in the bud.


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