Is it necessary to carry worker’s compensation for a Miami Florida business that has only 5 employees?

Feb 18, 2020 3:05 AM ET

Worker’s compensation is required to protect workers in situations involving accidental injuries that are job-related.  It could be illegal for a small business owner in Miami Florida to go without worker’s compensation insurance, depending on the type of business and the number of employees working there. Florida State requires employers to provide worker’s compensation insurance for their employees and the coverage requirement is tailored to the type of industry, the number of employees and the business structure of the entity.  For example:

Construction businesses must have insurance if they have 1 or more employees, including business owners who are officers or limited liability company (LLC) members.
Non-construction businesses must have insurance if there are 4 or more employees, including business owners who are officers or limited liability company (LLC) members. Sole proprietors and partners are not considered employees unless they want to be included on the business’s insurance policy, in which case they need to fill out a special form and send it to the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation
Agricultural business entities must have insurance if there are 6 or more regular employees and/or 12 seasonal workers who work more than 30 days but less than 45 in a calendar year.
Out of state workers have specific requirements based on the type of work they will perform in Florida, and if they have insurance, they must notify their home state insurance carrier who may use an extraterritorial reciprocity clause to cover out of state employees while working in Florida. If they have no insurance, they must apply for a Florida policy.
Contractors who use sub-contractors must make certain that they have worker’s compensation before beginning a project in accordance with Florida’s Administrative Code.  If a sub-contractor does not have their own insurance, it is the responsibility of the contractor to pay for benefits related to injuries, illness or death. 


Serious penalties if not exempt.

Exemptions are available based on a business entity meeting Florida State requirements to opt out of insurance coverage. However, if a business is inspected and cannot show proof of Workers’ Compensation coverage, the owner will be subject to a penalty equal to 1.5 times the amount the business should have paid in premiums within the preceding three-year period based on the entity’s Workers’ Compensation code. The fine is usually required to be paid within 90 days and sometimes payment plans are available. A Stop-Work Order may also be issued if:

An employer understates or conceals payroll
Misrepresents or conceals employee duties
Otherwise, attempts to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums.


These actions could also result in criminal charges and penalties. If issued a Stop Work Order, a business will be shut down immediately until the situation is resolved.


Employees who are injured on the job want to be careful not to settle workers’ compensation claims too quickly, because it may be for an amount that is less than the worker is entitled to. It is important to keep in mind that a settlement will be final and cannot be changed later if it is discovered that an injury was more serious, further impacting performance of job-related duties or securing alternate work opportunities.

Seek legal counsel.

It may be unwise to enter into any settlement without consulting an experienced professional attorney such as Attorney Mario Trespalacios, who can help value your claim and make certain that you do not waive any important rights in a Miami Florida workers’ compensation claim


Mario Trespalacios P.A.

9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173

P: (305) 261-5800

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Contact Information:
Mario Trespalacios P.A.
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173
P: (305) 261-5800

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