Almost every business in the state of Florida is expected to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The state of Florida has specific laws when it comes to employers that are expected to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, as well as those that are considered exempt.
However, whether or not a business is expected to get workers’ compensation insurance depends on the number of employees, the industry, and whether the employee is an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or a partner of the business.
The primary aim of workers’ compensation policies is to cater to the cost of injuries that occur while employees are working. Workers’ compensation policies cover costs like medical bills, lost wages, the costs of hospital stays, medication, occupational therapy, medical equipment, visits to doctors, and ambulance rides.
Lost wages that injured employees can recover are only partial and are considered when they reach a certain amount. However, you also need to understand that workers’ compensation policies do not include compensation for pain and suffering that the employee suffers as a result of their injury.
These insurance policies may also provide death benefits in the case of a death on the job. The benefits will be accorded to the family of the deceased employee and will cover up to $7,500 for the cost of the funeral. Surviving dependents can also receive up to $150,000.
Nevertheless, in the state of Florida, a good number of businesses are known to qualify for exemption from providing workers’ comp insurance policies.
Some may even be exempted from paying compensation in certain stipulated situations. Owing to that, you must understand ahead of time whether or not you qualify for workers’ comp exemption. If your business is not exempt and you fail to provide coverage, you may face heavy fines.
How Do I Qualify For a Workers’ Compensation Exemption?
According to experts, you may be considered exempt from workers’ compensation insurance in Florida if you are one of the following:
1. If you have less than four employees. Businesses with four or more employees, whether those employees work part-time or full-time, are expected to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers all employees.
2. You are also considered exempt in the state of Florida if you are a corporation in a non-construction industry. However, when you are looking to apply for exemption, you will have to be defined as an officer of the corporation in official records.
3. You are also considered exempt in the state of Florida if you are a corporation in the construction industry. However, 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 have to be paid. Most often, only a maximum of three officers of a corporation are allowed to seek workers’ comp exemption.
4. You are also considered exempt in the state of Florida if you are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) registered and listed with the Division of Corporations in Florida. As an application for exemption, you will need to have at least 10% ownership of the LLC. In total, a maximum of 10 officers of an LLC are allowed to file for workers’ compensation exemption.
5. Note that for LLCs in the construction industry, there are extra regulations to consider. However, note that no more than three officers of the LLC can apply for an exemption. You will be expected to submit a fee of $50 along with the application.
6. If you are seeking an exemption as an officer of a company that is not considered part of the construction industry, a good percentage of the above requirements are the same; howbeit, there are a few vital differences. The limit on officers in a non-construction corporation that can receive a workers’ compensation exemption is raised to ten and there is no application fee.
How to Apply for Exemption from Worker’s Compensation Insurance in Florida
In the state of Florida, note that there are only two ways to apply for workers’ compensation exemption. Note that you can either choose to mail the application to the Division of Workers Compensation or complete and submit the online form.
If you decide to apply by mail, then you will have to download and complete this form first. Have the completed form notarized then mail it to:
Division of Workers’ Compensation
200 East Gaines Street,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-4220
However, if you choose to apply online, visit the division’s exemption page. Select whether your business is in the construction or non-construction industry. Take your time to go through the eligibility information and click on apply or renew. Applicants are also expected to provide either their state driver’s license number or Florida ID number.
Workers’ compensation exemptions offer business owners and officers the opportunity to exclude themselves from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits – keeping their salaries away from the total payroll when insurance companies calculate their premiums.
While this may seem like a smooth and convenient decision to make as a business owner or officer, it is always recommended you consult with an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney before filing for an exemption.