On-demand rideshare apps like Uber have changed the way people travel in this country. That especially includes people who travel for business.
Uber first took advantage of this by building a feature that allowed people to make separate business accounts within their personal Uber app. They’ve now gone a step further — offering comprehensive business travel solutions direct to companies.
Uber for Business is a service that allows companies to provide ground transportation to employees and clients directly through Uber.
For companies whose employees travel often or those looking to impress clients and simplify expense reporting, it can be a powerful tool for your business.
In this article we’ll dive into the product, giving a full guide to Uber for Business, how it works, and how it can help your business.
We’ll also show you how to set up a personal business profile for your individual account. And we’ll answer some frequently asked questions.
A Brief Guide to Uber for Business
Uber is popular with business travelers for good reason. Travelers can land in a new city and not have to research black car service or the best taxi company there. They can simply load up the Uber app and start booking rides immediately.
Uber first took advantage of this by building in a feature that allows you to add a business profile to your personal account. (More on that later in the article.)
But then Uber went a step further and built an Uber for Business travel program that allows clients or employees to use Uber on a company’s terms.
In 2019, they expanded their B2B model beyond that, unveiling the new Uber Vouchers program which allows businesses to provide vouchers for employees or clients, on their terms, which can be redeemed for rides through the Uber app.
Uber for Business allows you to schedule in advance, book, and pay for Uber trips directly for your clients or employees, all from a central online hub. The travel expenses are all maintained and organized for you, saving your employees the hassle of filling out and processing expense reports.
And with the Uber Vouchers program, you can now set up ground transportation services for your team while giving them the freedom to book when they need rides. (You can also set limits on ride types, rides per month, and more, to make sure your expenses stay under control.)
If you have regular ground transportation needs for your business, Uber for Business can be an interesting solution.
Organizing Your Business Travel Through Uber
Uber for Business allows a company to book, pay for, and process expenses for ground transportation, all in one online hub. Let’s dive in to some features of the program.
The Uber Central hub acts as your Uber Business dashboard, allowing you to track everything that’s happening with your account.
You can dispatch cars, monitor real-time trip activity, get trip reports, and see expenditures over time — all in one central dashboard.
Some companies will use the Uber Central hub for everything, including booking individual rides.
The hub allows you to do this — arranging pickup times and scheduling them in advance — for your employees or customers.
If you’re hosting a conference or organizing a site visit, this is an extremely useful tool. You can directly book as many cars as needed through the Uber Central dashboard, have them waiting for your guests, and then have those cars drop them off at the final destination.
The rides will automatically be charged to your Uber for Business account, so guests won’t need to worry about payment.
For companies looking to rent shuttle vans and drivers for an entire weekend, it may be much more economical to just organize Uber rides through the Central hub.
Another way to use Uber for Business is through their new vouchers program.
Uber Vouchers allow employees or clients to book on-demand rides through the Uber app themselves. People can organize their own pick-up and drop-off, take their ride, and the trip will automatically be charged to your organization’s account.
For frequent business travelers, it’s a vastly simpler way than asking them to book company cars or get receipts and submit expenses for reimbursement.
And for the vouchers, you can set rules on trip distance, car type (UberX or UberBlack), monthly expenditures, and more. Your team will get to book and pay easily. And you get peace of mind as a business owner.
Simplifying Your Expense Reports
One of the major benefits of Uber for Business is it contains all your ground transportation expenses in one central place, automatically and easily.
Expense reporting is expensive and time consuming. Employees using programs like Wave Accounting have to print out or screenshot receipts, file expenses using the right project code, and submit them. Managers and expense specialists must then approve, file, and reimburse these employees for the expenses.
This all takes time, valuable time that could be better spent. Uber cites a report that says each expense report eliminated earns a company $58 in cost savings.
Uber for Business allows you to organize and track travel expenses for employees and corporate customers in one place. You set the rules, spending limits, and more.
You’ll also get access to the Uber Business support team for any questions you may have or issues that may arise.
How to Set Up Uber for Business for Your Team
Interested in signing up? It’s easy to get started with Uber for Business. First head to their enroll page. It looks like this:
You’ll be asked for your company name, work email, phone number, and company location.
On the next page, you’ll be asked to link the company account to a personal account. If you don’t have one, you can create one quickly.
Next you’ll finish setup by providing a payment type and billing address, along with making a few decisions on how you want to offer travel. After that, it’s simply about inviting team members, and you’re off and running.
Creating a Business Profile for Your Personal Account
If you’re a business traveler and your company hasn’t quite bought into the idea of a full Uber for Business account, you can still keep your business travel organized easily through Uber.
Uber allows you to create your own business profile. It’s connected to your personal Uber account, but allows you to book within the app while keeping expenses separate. It also allows you to pay with a separate credit card.
To create a business profile, open the Uber app, then click on the menu icon in the top left hand corner.
Once the menu pops up, select “Payment.”
Scroll down until you see “Ride Profiles.” There you’ll be able to tap on “Business.”
Once there, you can create a special work account where you can link your account to a work email, provide a corporate card, and save separate settings. This will allow you to keep trip receipts organized in a separate Uber business account without having to sign out every time from your Uber account.
Want to use your Uber business account when booking a ride? Easy. Before booking, look above the “Confirm Ride” button and you’ll see the account that is selected for that ride. Select “Business” when booking, and you’ve done it.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve talked about the Uber for Business program, what it offers, and how to get your company enrolled. Let’s get to some frequently asked questions.
1. Is it smarter to use vouchers or book directly through the hub?
It depends on how much work you want to do on the business end. Vouchers allow you to set parameters, and then your employees or customers can book trips themselves, minimizing the work on the business end.
If you feel more comfortable booking rides or don’t want to make customers download the app, you can do it directly through the hub.
2. Will my customers be safe with Uber?
Uber drivers are given background checks and must demonstrate a clean, safe driving record before they ever go to work for Uber. Likewise, all vehicles must pass safety standards if they are to be used by Uber.
If you feel comfortable with clients or employees taking taxis, you should probably feel comfortable with Uber.
3. Does Lyft have a business program?
It does. If you feel more comfortable with the Lyft app or the service is better in your area, you can enroll your company in Lyft Business.
Business Travel Through Uber
Uber for Business is a new way to provide ground transportation solutions for your employees or customers. Whether for a short conference or as a long-term solution to employee ground travel, Uber for Business can help you manage your business travel more effectively.
Through vouchers or direct booking, you have the control to use Uber for Business as you see fit, in a way that makes sense for your company.