Under Florida law, certain businesses have to provide workers compensation to their employees. But some employers may choose to file for an exemption.
In the construction industry, businesses with at least one full-time or part-time employee must provide workers comp insurance to all their employees. They must also ensure that subcontractors:
- have workers compensation coverage or
- have valid workers comp exemption
Non-construction industry employers with at least four full-time or part-time workers must also provide workers compensation coverage. The same is also true for agricultural employers with at least 6 regular employees and/or 12 or more seasonal workers who work for more than 30 days.
Employers who want to opt out of this must signify their intent by applying for a workers compensation exemption.
Do You Qualify For Exemption?
Before you apply for exemption, make sure that you qualify for such. The processing fee will be forfeited if your application gets denied due to ineligibility.
Whether they’re into construction or not, businesses must be registered and listed as active with the Florida Department of State. They can’t also be affiliated with an active Stop Work Order (SWO) or Working in Violation (WIV).
No more than three officers of construction companies may elect to be exempt. Non-construction LLCs, however, may exempt up to 10 members. These officers must also prove they own at least 10% of the business.
How to Apply for Exemption
There are two ways to apply for workers’ compensation exemption in Florida. You can either mail the application to the Division of Workers Compensation or complete the online version.
If you choose to apply by mail, 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
For online applications, go to the division’s exemption page. Choose whether you’re business is under the construction or non-construction industry. Review the eligibility information and click apply or renew.
Applicants also need to provide either their state driver license number or Florida ID number.
What to Keep in Mind
Remember that exemptions are only valid for two years. Should you fail to renew such, your insurance provider may include the owner’s payroll amount in their audit. This will increase your company’s workers compensation premium.
Also, officers granted an exemption won’t be able to claim workers compensation benefits. If you’re one of those seeking exemption, make sure you have other sources of contingency funds should you get hurt while on the job.