Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
When you’re signing up to become an Uber driver, agreeing to terms and conditions only takes one click. But if you ever stop to dive deeper into your contract, you may notice the name of one unfamiliar company hidden in the legalese: Raiser LLC.
With new industries often comes new questions, and many Uber drivers are no strangers to just how volatile the rideshare industry can be. Uber is constantly facing regulations and even lawsuits that are shaping how they operate. Naturally, the company has come up with interesting ways to protect itself over the years — one of which was the formation of Raiser LLC.
Raiser isn’t just a random part of Uber’s massive business structure. The LLC can actually affect drivers like you. In this article, we’ll explain exactly why Raiser exists, so you know more about your ridesharing contract.
- What Is Raiser LLC?
- How Raiser LLC Affects Uber Drivers
- How Can I Contact Raiser LLC?
- Other Uber Subsidiaries
- Raiser LLC FAQ
What Is Raiser LLC?
Formed in 2013 by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Raiser LLC is a subsidiary of Uber Technologies, Inc. that primarily exists to manage legal processes on Uber’s behalf.
For example, Raiser has historically been involved in:
- Class action suits
- Government licenses and renewals
- Airport operations agreements
In select markets, Raiser LLC is actually known as Rasier LLC (a slight change in spelling) or by a location-specific name (for example, “Rasier-CA LLC” in California). However, regardless of the name, its basic function remains the same.
It may seem strange that Uber has a separate LLC to essentially act as Uber, but this structure actually isn’t all that uncommon in the United States, especially in the transportation industry. By handling legal issues separately, the San Francisco-based company is able to protect itself from any major damages that may arise from its operations.
What makes Raiser’s role unique is the fact that Uber uses the LLC to manage millions of Uber driver contracts and tax forms, too.
How Raiser LLC Affects Uber Drivers
It’s a well-known fact that Uber drivers are independent contractors, meaning that you are your own business, not employed by Uber. However, Uber doesn’t just distance itself from being an employer — the company also avoids directly contracting you, too. Instead, you are actually legally contracted by Raiser LLC or Rasier LLC.
Because of this, if you ever choose to file a lawsuit against Uber or request Uber data with a non-law enforcement subpoena, you’ll likely be dealing with Raiser, not a direct Uber representative.
Of course, most drivers won’t be managing lawsuits or subpoenas, but Raiser LLC can still affect you in a few ways.
First, Raiser is technically the company that’s paying you. While Uber is the one receiving funds from customers, Raiser takes the cut that you’re owed and deposits it into your bank account. Due to this, you may see the name “Raiser LLC” instead of “Uber” in your deposit history. This is completely normal and should not be a reason for concern.
Second, when you receive your Form 1099 — which summarizes your Uber income for tax filings — you’ll once again see Raiser LLC instead of Uber.
Finally, if you’re entitled to any funds from a class-action lawsuit, Raiser LLC may deposit money separately from your earnings into your checking account.
How Can I Contact Raiser LLC?
Despite the fact that Raiser acts as an intermediary when legal issues arise, there’s actually no way to contact the subsidiary for basic driver issues like incorrect payouts or bugs on the app. If you have general questions or problems, you’ll need to contact Uber as you normally would and the Uber customer support team will take care of your needs.
If you do plan to serve legal documents to Raiser LLC for any reason, you still can’t directly get in touch with someone from the Uber subsidiary. The LLC’s current contact information is kept private, so you won’t be able to quickly call a phone number or send an email.
Any documents must instead be delivered to their registered agent, CT Corporation, at their in-state address. As a registered agent, CT Corporation is responsible for accepting service of process on behalf of Raiser LLC between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (local time) every weekday.
Other Uber Subsidiaries
Raiser LLC isn’t the only Uber subsidiary that exists. Beyond Raiser LLC and the many companies that Uber has acquired over the years, the rideshare brand acts as a holding company for a few self-created subsidiaries that serve unique legal functions. These notably include:
- Uber International C.V.: This is a Dutch company that owns several Uber subsidiaries outside the United States. The split in legal “ownership” allows any Uber earnings from international operations to be shielded from U.S. taxes.
- Uber B.V.: Uber B.V., a private LLC, was also created in the Netherlands and falls under the Uber International C.V. umbrella. This is a name that you’ll likely see in terms and conditions pages if you’re outside of the U.S.
- Uber Singapore Technology PTE LTD: This is a subsidiary that Uber specifically uses to operate within Singapore.
This is just the start of many other subsidiaries — including local companies like the location-based versions of Raiser LLC — owned by Uber.
Luckily, most drivers don’t have to worry too much about these other companies in the Uber spectrum. Raiser LLC is the only one that directly affects the vast majority of Uber drivers. The rest make up a complex internal system that helps the rideshare company manage its taxes and massive operations. With all of these companies, Uber is able to remain less liable and focus on its customer relations, research, and the like.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you know that Raiser LLC is a hidden company that you should be aware of as an Uber driver, here are some frequently asked questions to help you learn more:
1. Is Raiser LLC responsible for providing health care or other benefits to full-time drivers?
No. Even though you have a signed contract with Raiser LLC, Raiser is still not responsible for covering any benefits or job-related expenses for drivers. This is because you’re still classified as an independent contractor, so you act as your own boss and Raiser is not required to give you any employment benefits.
The existence of Raiser LLC simply protects Uber from liability. It doesn’t affect the basics of how the role works or pays in any way.
2. Is Lyft associated with Raiser LLC in any way?
No, Lyft drivers are not associated with or directly impacted by any subsidiary of Uber. Lyft does not have near as many subsidiaries as Uber, and almost all of its subsidiaries are previously acquired products or services, not brands that affect drivers directly.
3. Is Unicorn considered an Uber subsidiary?
You may have heard of Uber using the company name “Unicorn” in a past acquisition, but Unicorn is not actually a subsidiary. Rather, it’s basically a code name that Uber used for legal documents.
Though calling itself “Unicorn” may seem outlandish, using placeholder names is common practice in legal documents. Doing so can helpfully protect confidentiality within an agreement. Of course, since the use of “Unicorn” was public information, it’s unclear what exact purpose the placeholder name served.
4. Are all Uber drivers contractors for Raiser LLC?
In the vast majority of cases, yes. Regardless of whether you’re driving UberX, Uber Black, UberPool, or something in between, the terms and conditions you agree to will be between you and Raiser, not between you and Uber. This is partly why you’ll see Uber referring to contractors as “Uber driver-partners” in virtually all of its communications.
The only rare exception may be if you drive for a fleet that’s partnered with Uber. In this case, you’ll still be employed by that fleet owner, though you may still need to sign some agreements with Raiser. Again, this is a rare exception, as Uber doesn’t partner with third-party fleets for most of its services.
5. Do Uber drivers work for Raiser or Uber?
Legally, Uber drivers are independent contractors of Raiser LLC (or whatever subsidiary Uber uses to operate in your market). So you don’t work for Uber, even if you use their app and brand name.
6. What is Unicorn?
A report from “Motherboard” based on an examination of legal documents in court cases involving Uber revealed that the company often uses “Unicorn” to refer to itself when acquiring other companies. The most notable case of this was Uber’s acquisition of self-driving truck startup Otto.
7. Does Raiser LLC have anything to do with Lyft?
No, the companies are in no way related. Lyft does have its own network of subsidiaries, but it’s nowhere near as complex as Uber’s. The main reason for this is that Lyft mainly operates in the United States, with its only international operations being in Canada. This means that Lyft’s legal structure doesn’t have to be as complex. If Lyft were operating in as many countries as Uber, it would likely have a legal structure that was just as complex.
8. What is the Raiser LLC phone number?
Current contact information for Raiser LLC is difficult to find. Even if you had the company’s phone number, however, there would be no point in calling it. It’s tempting to think that you could address payment issues more directly through contracting Raiser LLC. After all, they are the ones that technically pay you.
From a practical perspective, however, this is a waste of your time. Remember, Raiser LLC exists mainly for legal purposes. If you have issues with payments, you should address them to Uber support. Learn how to contact them here.
9. What is the Raiser LLC address?
In the same vein as the above question, there’s no point in worrying about what the Raiser LLC address is. The corporate office of a company isn’t the place to go if you have support issues. For in-person support related to driving for Uber, you should visit your local Uber Greenlight Hub.
Understand Your Driver Contract
Uber drivers often assume that they’re contracted by the company they’re representing every time they’re on the road. After all, the driver application all seamlessly takes place on Uber platforms and does little to hint that you’re working with any other brand.
However, if you look into your agreements or tax documents, you’ll find that you are actually contracted by Raiser LLC — one of many Uber subsidiaries. This is a must-know for when you’re filing taxes, receiving payments, or even filing a lawsuit.
If you’re here after seeing “Raiser LLC” on your Form 1099, it’s probably time for you to do your taxes. Read our guide to Uber tax filings to learn exactly what you owe and how to proceed.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.