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Do your employees use company vehicles, or perhaps your personal vehicles, while they are working for you? Are you considering having them do so? If so, or if you think this may fit into your future business plans, here is a six-step process that you should follow:
- Understand your liability for having employees use your vehicles and do what you can to reduce it.
- Understand the tax consequences of having employees use your vehicles. You'll need to keep appropriate records to substantiate business use, and report certain information to the IRS when it is required.
- Obtain vehicles for your employees to use, if you don't already have them.
- Obtain adequate insurance for your business, your vehicles, your employees, and yourself. More importantly, be sure you have sufficient coverage to protect persons and property that could be harmed by an employee who has an accident while driving one of your vehicles.
- Establish policies on vehicle usage.
- Consider reimbursing employees for using their own vehicles as an alternative. It may be cheaper in both time and money. Please understand that you may be held liable if an employee is involved in an accident while doing work for you, regardless of who owns the vehicle he or she happens to be driving. For this reason, you should thoroughly understand vehicular liability and insurance as explained in steps one and four even if your employees use their own vehicles.