Workman's compensation for solos?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Toro 44, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    Ohio does not require a sole proprietor to carry Workman's compensation. How many solo guys here carry worker's comp?

    To cover themselves some potential clients (primarily commercial) require proof of such coverage along with bids. How do you handles this if you don't have workers comp?

    There are also long term disability insurance policies that a guy can take out to cover himself that take the place of the workers comp. Some feel that they get the same coverage more economically this way. Of course this is an option that only solo guys have. Has anyone gone this route? Is such a policy a satisfactory replacement for workers comp in the eyes of potential clients?

    This is just a topic I need to learn more about. Thought I'd see if anyone has experience to share. Again, I'm in OHIO and the laws probably vary from state to state, so . . .:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

    Thanks in advance.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,526

    when i was solo i carried worker's comp. i had to have it for a job i did a few years back and for the price if your solo it wasn't that big of an issue couple hundred a year and i got a couple thousand dollars in work. a couple places would only accept your bid if you could show coverage even though it's not required by the state they can still require it for you to be on their property.
  3. gil

    gil LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    as far as I know if you are the sole proprietorship you don't need to have worker's comp. but once you hire your first employee you must have workers comp for your employee but not for you. What you must have is liability insurance.
  4. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    I agree totally and I do have liability coverage.

    I wish worker's comp was a couple hundred a year. When I called about it here in Ohio, they said they'ed get 14% of every gross dollar I make. That's right, before taxes and expenses. They didn't say anything about going easy on me because I'm a sole proprietor. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

    Any one know what I'm doing wrong?
  5. CAG

    CAG LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Posts: 344

    it would be a waste of money for yourself..but I'm sure that managements co have herd contractors tell them they are solo worker when they were not and I'm sure they wont go for it.. my rate is 14.28% and it does rack up, then they have the nerve to what an estimate of payroll and a check up front..
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    WC for a solo owner/proprietor is not rated the same as for the employees. I know in NJ the rate is 4x more.:dizzy:
  7. bearcatlawn

    bearcatlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    It depends what kind of business you are. If you do not take a paycheck or are not on payroll, then you don't have to have worker's comp. You can still get worker's comp and pay the minimum if you have no payroll. An example is if you are an LLC and take draws from your account, then you don't have to pay that percentage. If you get worker's comp, join a group such as a chamber or something so you can get a discount
  8. T. Matthews

    T. Matthews LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    Gil, as a sole prop. and you hire people,but send them a 10-99 do you still need workmens comp due to the fact they are considered outside labor?
  9. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    BearcatLawn, I'm not taking a paycheck or payroll so I know I'm not required. For the sake of getting work that requires it, I'm thinking about worker's comp. What is the minimum price you speak of, the way to avoid the percentage?

    I have a friend in Loveland / Indian hill, and he had some form from the BWC that he submitted with bids, but he didn't have to make percentage payments. Maybe that was because he didn't have any payroll to take a percentage from. Hmmmmmm, Maybe I'm on to something here. Maybe he only had to pay some sort of initial minimum. What more can you tell me about this? Much obliged :drinkup: :drinkup:


    P.s. I'm not so lucky as to have started in Indian hill. I'm on the westside.
  10. gil

    gil LawnSite Member
    Posts: 92

    T.Matthews, I just sent you a message.
    If it's an outside labor, meaning that you don't delegate or give instructions in how to do the job to that contractor, then he/she is considered an independent contractor and you don't need workers comp. You don't need a 10-99 if he/she is making less than $600 in one year.But just imagine, you are planting a shrub by yourself and you ask the indepent contractor to help you out moving the shrub and he/she hurts in the back, at the moment he/she started helping you out, he/she becomes your employee and now you can get sued because you don't have workers comp.

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