The state of Florida has its own laws when it comes to employers who are expected to carry workers’ compensation insurance, coupled with the sort of workers who are covered. Generally speaking, any business with fewer than four employees is exempt from workers’ compensation insurance in Florida.
Business establishments with four or more employees, whether those employees work part-time or full-time, will have to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers all employees. Workers’ comp more or less covers medical bills related to work-related injuries, lost wages as well as other related expenses.
The insurance ensures that employees stay afloat and make ends meet as they recover from their injuries. It also guarantees that employees won’t encounter any financial stress owing to their injury. The insurance provides medical benefits and wage replacement for the employee depending on the nature of their injuries while also shielding the employer from lawsuits related to the incident that caused the injury at work.
Note that you may be exempt from paying workers’ compensation in several situations. Numerous businesses and companies qualify for exemption from providing workers’ comp coverage. Others may be exempt from paying compensation in specific situations.
It is pertinent to know on time whether or not you qualify for workers’ comp exemption. If your business is not exempt and you do not provide coverage, you may have to deal with heavy fines. Even if you are exempt, you are expected to meet certain rigid requirements. The exemption stands as long as the requirements are sustained.
Businesses that Qualify For a Workers’ Compensation Exemption in Florida
According to experts, you may have to apply for an exemption if:
- You are a corporation in a non-construction industry. However, if you are applying for exemption, you will have to be defined as an officer of the corporation in official records.
- You are a corporation in the construction industry. You will need to show a minimum of 10% ownership in the corporation and register as one of its officers. An application fee of $50 will also need to be submitted. Most often, only a maximum of three officers of a corporation can qualify to seek workers’ comp exemption.
- You are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered and listed with the Division of Corporations in Florida. As an application for exemption, you will be expected to have at least 10% ownership of the LLC. Generally, a maximum of 10 officers of an LLC can apply for workers’ compensation exemption.
- If you are an LLC in the construction industry, you may have to deal with additional regulations. In this situation, have it in mind that no more than three officers of the LLC can apply for an exemption. You will also have to submit a fee of $50 along with the application.
As long as you meet the requirements above, your company can apply for workers’ compensation exemption. You will be expected to personally file the application, sign it, and review it later. Online applications for exemption can be accessed at the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation website.
How to Obtain Exemption from Workers’ Compensation in Florida
Applying for or renewing an exemption from Florida’s workers’ compensation law is carried out online. The applicant will have to personally sign the application for exemption. Failure to do so is a third-degree Felony. To obtain an exemption from worker’s compensation in Florida, here are steps to take;
Determine Your Eligibility
The first step to take when looking to obtain an exemption from workers’ compensation requirements in Florida is to verify that you are eligible to do so in the first place. Note that if you are not, you will lose out on the processing fee once your application is rejected. To qualify, the applicant will need to:
- Have a Florida ID or a state driver’s license number.
- Belong to an LLC or corporation that is registered and active with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. For corporations, the officer will need to be listed in these records as well.
- Not be affiliated with an active Stop Work Order (SWO) or Working in Violation (WIV).
LLCs have a couple of unique requirements when applying for workers’ compensation exemption:
- The LLC should not have more than ten (10) exempt employees.
- The applying member will need to own at least ten (10) percent of the LLC.
Apply for Exemption
In order to apply for a workers’ compensation exemption, the applicant will be expected to complete and submit a Notice of Election to be Exempt online via the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. The exemption application process is quite straightforward as long as you are certain that you have met the qualifications.
Just head over to the portal used for applying for an exemption from Florida workers’ compensation requirements for Members and Officers who don’t work in the construction industry. Note that applications will be expected to provide the following information:
- Your first name, last name, and middle initial.
- A Florida ID Card number OR a state driver’s license number
- The last four digits of your social security number
- Your date of birth
- Your current email address. Ensure that it is checked often because this is how the Division will let you know if your application has been approved. It’s also how they will forward you your Certificate of Exemption.
- Business name, Federal Employee Identification Number, phone number, and street address.
- Business DBA, if it has one.
- The service provided or work done by the business
- The business’s document number, along with the numbers of any licenses obtained through the DBPR.
- Any affiliations with another entity or entities. If you do, then you will need to list the name(s) and employee identification number(s) of each.
- The name of its worker’s compensation insurance carrier, if it has one.
- You will also need to attest to the Fraud Notice at the bottom of the application.
Note that once you have completed the form and double-checked all your information, you will be ready to hit the submit button. Howbeit, you might want to go ahead and triple-check as you won’t be able to make any changes on the next page.
Obtain the Certificate of Exemption
Once you have completed your form and paid the processing and services fees and all the information in your application is correct, note that the final step will involve waiting for the Division to email your Certificate of Exemption. Note that this may take around thirty (30) days.
If a month passes and you still haven’t heard back, it is recommended you contact them yourself. Immediately you receive the certificate in your inbox, ensure to comply with every instruction inside and also print it out. State law mandates you to print it out and keep it in a place you can find it if you need it.
The aim of filing an exemption is for an officer of a corporation or member of a limited liability company to be exempted from workers’ compensation laws. Note that once a Certificate of Election to be Exempt has been issued, the officer or member is no longer considered an employee and may not obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
However, to apply for or renew an exemption from workers’ compensation law, the exemption applicant will have to submit a Notice of Election to be Exempt application online to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation. The applicant will also have to personally sign the application and attest that he or she has evaluated, understands, and acknowledges the information as stated on the application.