Florida Work Comp Rules

If you are a contractor in The State of Florida, you are required to have Workers Compensation even if you are the only employee.  However if you are a corporation – even if you still have only one employee, and that employee is the owner, then you may file with the state to classified as an “exempt” employee from Workers Compensation.
You may have up to 3 exempt owners but they must qualify in the following ways:

  • Officers of Florida corporations registered with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, can choose not be covered under the company’s worker’s compensation plan. Proof of eligibility is required.
  • Construction industry corporate officers – including LLC’s can apply for an exemption from workers compensation insurance requirements if the individual owns a minimum of 10% of the corporate stock as evidenced by a Florida corporate stock certificate.
  • If your construction company is an LLC you can show a notarized statement of 10% corporate ownership as proof.

Keep in mind that depending on type of corporate entity you have, your payroll as an owner is capped so that when you have a really good year, it does not affect your premium.
One question you may want to ask your self is “do I want to be exempt”?  If you are exposed to the same hazardous work environment as your employees, then it is probably not a good idea.  Many contractors assume “it will never happen to me” and then it does.  The nice thing about work comp benefits is that you can actually collect for not only your medical injuries, but most likely portion of your lost wages too.  Yes it can be expensive for a small contractor, but so can the costs of not having any.
In practice, many small contractors and owners decide to exempt themselves from work comp.  In our office however, we have on occasion decided to refer clients elsewhere for their insurance if we felt the risk was extreme to the owner  and they were foolish to decline coverage only to save a few hundred dollars.

Click here for The State of Florida page on work comp rules and regulations.

Florida has recently told us they will no longer be accepting paper applications for exemptions.  This is the link they have asked us to give you to begin the process online