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Startup taxi services sued by competitors

Seven taxi companies filed a lawsuit in Fairfax Circuit Court in Virginia on July 18 claiming that startup companies Uber and Lyft were operating without proper permits. The two companies allow people to download an app and then use that app to request a ride from anyone nearby offering their services through the companies. The majority of the plaintiffs are operated by Stafford Limousine, Inc., which is based in Richmond and operates in the central and northern parts of the state.

A representative from Uber says that the company cannot comment on active litigation, but the company will defend its customers and the rights of its drivers to build their own business. Lyft said that the case was without merit and that it looks forward to resolving it quickly. Both companies say that they are working with state officials to create a regulatory framework that ensures that customers are getting rides from safe and reliable drivers.

Both companies were ordered to cease operations on June 6 after negotiations between the companies and the state broke down. However, both sides have since returned to the negotiating table in hopes of reaching a deal. In recent weeks, both Uber and Lyft have filed paperwork that would allow them operating authority on a temporary basis. They have also filed for brokers' licenses to provide for-hire transportation within the state of Virginia.

Companies that do business in the state of Virginia are required to have the proper authority to do so. This means being properly licensed and filling out any and all necessary applications. If a business is operating illegally, the owners or affiliates of the company could be penalized. Any business that is being accused of not complying with the law may wish to hire a business litigation attorney for assistance.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Virginia taxi companies sue Uber, Lyft", Jacob Geiger and Carol Hazard, July 18, 2014

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