What New Florida Business Owners Need to Know About Workers’ Comp

If you’re considering starting a business in Florida, you’re in luck. Research and data indicate the state has a relatively strong economy when compared to most others in the nation.

That said, when starting a business here, you need to familiarize yourself with certain Florida laws and regulations. For example, you need to understand your duties as a Florida business owner in regard to providing your employees with workers’ compensation insurance.

A brief article can’t necessarily teach you everything you need to know about this subject. It’s critical that you research the topic in greater detail to ensure you thoroughly understand workers’ compensation in Florida. However, this general overview will cover some basic points you should be aware of.

When you need workers’ compensation insurance in Florida

Typically, if a Florida business has four or more employees, the business owner must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. That said, in certain industries, the requirements are different.

For example, if you own a Florida construction company, as long as the business has at least one employee (whether they’re full-time or part-time), you need to provide workers’ compensation. If you own an agricultural company with 12 or more temporary employees who work at least 30 days during a given season but no more than 45 days over the course of a calendar year, you need to ensure said employees have access to workers’ compensation benefits as well.

Out-of-state businesses

You may wonder whether you need workers’ compensation insurance if your business is technically based outside of Florida, but employs some workers in Florida.

In this instance, you still must purchase workers’ compensation insurance through an approved insurance company in the state. Additionally, if you’re an out-of-state contractor who already has workers’ compensation in your home state, but have begun doing business in Florida at least to some capacity, you should contact your insurance provider right away and request that “Florida” be added to Section 3.A of your policy.

Exemptions are available

There are scenarios in which a Florida business owner or contractor can apply for an exemption from the state’s workers’ compensation requirements. For example, if you own a corporation that isn’t in the construction industry, you can register with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations and apply for an exemption. This also applies to non-construction limited liability companies.

That said, it’s important to understand that applying for an exemption doesn’t guarantee you’ll be granted one. Don’t assume you’ll be able to avoid buying workers’ compensation insurance simply because you plan on seeking an exemption.

Key points

There are a few other easily-overlooked points that Florida business owners should be aware of when purchasing and managing workers’ compensation for their employees.

For example, as soon as an employee’s pay increases or their job duties substantially change, you must report the change to your insurance carrier. Additionally, along with requesting that your insurance provider add Florida to Section 3.A of your home state’s policy, if you’re an out-of-state employer who hires any workers in Florida, as soon as you do so, you must contact your insurance provider to let them know you’ve hired Florida workers.

Again, it’s also crucial that you research this topic independently. These are just a few points to keep in mind. They’ll help you begin the process of ensuring your business offers employees the workers’ compensation benefits required under Florida law.

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