The world of Uber’s business practices is truly a complex one. We talk about “Uber” as if it’s one company, and the company itself promotes that image in the way it markets itself to passengers and drivers. Through the magic of smartphones and skimmable “Terms and Conditions,” it even appears that Uber is just one company.
The reality, however, is far more complex. “Uber” is actually a complex web of subsidiaries and holding companies. Most people will never even notice or care that this is the case. If you’re an Uber driver, however, you may have noticed that the payments show up in your bank account as being from “Raiser LLC,” “Rasier LLC,” or any other number of mysterious companies.
In this short guide, we’re going to take a look at what Raiser LLC is, as well as how it affects the way you interact with Uber as a driver.
Raiser LLC (or “Rasier LLC” in some areas) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Uber Technologies, Inc. Uber is the holding company for Raiser. Legally, what this means is that while Uber owns Raiser, Raiser is a separate company for legal and tax purposes. So what exactly does Raiser LLC do?
They do a lot of things, but the most important thing for our purposes is that they handle and process all payments to Uber drivers. While you may refer to yourself as an “Uber driver,” you actually drive for Raiser in a legal sense. Why would Uber set things up this way? Why not just pay and deal with drivers directly?
The string of class action suits and other legal controversies involving Uber over the past several years has shown why Uber founder Travis Kalanick created a separate company for dealing with drivers and payments. When someone accuses Uber of treating drivers like employees without providing them with benefits or for using a pricing model that cheats drivers, Uber is protected through direct litigation because of Raiser LLC.
This all sounds convoluted and perhaps even illegal, but it’s both very common and very legal for large corporations to structure their business this way. Amazon, Apple, Google, and many other companies do similar things, allowing them to operate across the world while avoiding taxes and complying with local regulations.
Indeed, Raiser LLC is just one of Uber’s many subsidiaries. Here are a few other examples:
- Rasier-CA LLC, which serves the same function as Raiser
- Uber B.V, which Uber uses for doing business outside of the U.S.
- Uber International C.V., a Dutch company that owns Uber B.V but is registered in Bermuda (a popular tax haven)
- Neben LLC, a company registered in Delaware that controls Uber International C.V.
Confused yet? It’s a very complicated web of companies, and this is just a small glimpse of it. We won’t bog you down with any more details, as Uber’s legal structure doesn’t really affect you that much on a daily basis as a driver or rider.
All the strange business dealings occurring in San Francisco, California, and around the world can seem unimportant to you as an average UberX driver (or any kind of Uber driver, for that matter). But Raiser LLC does affect you in that they’re the company that pays you. If you were ever to have a dispute with Uber over payments or business dealings, you would technically have to take it up with Raiser.
This makes it quite difficult to take legal action against Uber, even assuming you have the financial and legal resources to do so. Uber can just say, “Oh, sorry to hear that, but your contract is with Raiser LLC, a separate legal entity, so you’ll need to talk to them about any wrongdoing.” Just reading about the complexity of it all is enough to dissuade the average person from even bothering to go through the complex legal process of filing a lawsuit against them.
We should also note that Raiser LLC may come up when filing your taxes. Since you’re a contract worker for them when you drive for Uber, they’ll be the ones to send you your Form 1099 with a statement of all the non-employee compensation you received for the year. You probably don’t care too much about the details of who is paying you, but it’s worth at least recognizing “Raiser LLC” in case the IRS ever audits you.
To close out this guide, let’s address some common questions about Raiser LLC for rideshare drivers.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Raiser LLC: The Company That Pays Uber Drivers
We hope this article has helped you understand the truth behind Raiser LLC and how Uber uses it to pay drivers. It’s a convoluted legal structure, but there’s nothing illegal about it. Remember, if you have support issues related to driver payments or anything else to do with Uber, your best option for getting help is to contact Uber support. Attempting to contact Raiser LLC will only waste your time.