Does a Sole Proprietor Need Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia?
If you recently chose to open a sole proprietorship in Georgia, it’s important to learn whether or not you need coverage. So, do sole proprietors have to have Workers’ Compensation to protect themselves in Georgia?
No, sole proprietors do not have to maintain Workers’ Compensation if they work alone in Georgia. It is important to note that sole proprietorships can and often do employ additional workers, which might impact their insurance requirements. Sole proprietors that work in Georgia can choose to opt into the Workers’ Compensation system to get insurance. This can be wise, as sole proprietors injured on the job would otherwise be personally responsible for covering their damages. Because the factors that most heavily impact Workers’ Compensation premiums do not apply to sole proprietors, these individuals might be able to find less expensive coverage more easily in Georgia.
To learn more about coverage for sole proprietors, call the small business workers’ compensation insurance brokers in Georgia at NPN Brokers at (866) 340-9120 today.
Do Sole Proprietors in Georgia Have to Get Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Sole proprietors are some of the few people that are automatically excluded from Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation system. This means they are not required to maintain coverage of any kind and won’t face consequences from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation for going without coverage.
Like many states, Georgia does not mandate that sole proprietors get Workers’ Compensation coverage. In fact, they are initially automatically excluded from the system. This is because only companies with three or more workers need insurance in Georgia. Sole proprietors do not have to get a policy for themselves if they work alone. Similarly, partners in a company and farm labor employers do not need Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
However, sole proprietorships can employ other workers in addition to the sole proprietor that owns the company. Those employees might have to be covered by Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. People typically start sole proprietorships when they want to work independently and do not want to be independent contractors. However, as a sole proprietor, there is no legal distinction between yourself and your business. This is a primary reason why sole proprietors are not legally required to be covered by Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
Can Sole Proprietors Choose to Get Workers’ Comp Coverage in Georgia?
Although sole proprietors do not have to have Workers’ Compensation coverage in Georgia, they can. To do so, sole proprietors need only inform the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
If you want to purchase Workers’ Compensation as a sole proprietor in Georgia, you must take active steps to do so. Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can help sole proprietors find a policy if they choose to get coverage. Because sole proprietors are automatically excluded from the Workers’ Compensation system, they have to file Form WC-10 with the Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. To complete this form, you must provide your name and the name of your sole proprietorship.
Sole proprietors can also use Form WC-10 to revoke a previous election of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
Why Should Sole Proprietors Get Workers’ Comp Insurance in Georgia?
Despite the fact that sole proprietors that operate in Georgia are not legally required to have Workers’ Compensation, they should get a policy. Otherwise, they might be financially liable for their own injuries if hurt on the job.
Depending on your industry, you might think that there is little to no chance of you sustaining workplace injuries as a sole proprietor in Georgia. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Workplace accidents can and do happen in any industry. If sole proprietors do not have Workers’ Compensation insurance, they cannot get benefits to cover their damages in Georgia.
Moreover, there is no legal separation between the sole proprietorship and the owner. This means that you, and you alone, will be liable for your injuries if hurt at work. You cannot sue your company for not having Workers’ Compensation because you are not separate from the company. Sole proprietors that employ additional workers face a similar situation if they do not have Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.
Because of this, it is wise for all sole proprietors to buy Workers’ Compensation policies in Georgia. Although you will face no penalties from the Board of Workers’ Compensation as there is no need to comply with policy requirements, you might face financial issues should you be injured in a workplace accident.
Should Georgia Sole Proprietors Go without Workers’ Comp Coverage Because of the Cost?
Getting Workers’ Compensation for sole proprietors can seem like an unnecessary expense. In reality, the fact that there are fewer employees on your payroll can work to your advantage regarding Workers’ Compensation policy premiums.
Workers’ Compensation policies for sole proprietors can be relatively inexpensive. One of the biggest influences on premiums is payroll. Typically, the more people a company employs, the higher that company’s premiums will be. If you are the only employee of your sole proprietorship, your premiums should reflect that.
Finding Workers’ Compensation can be more or less challenging for people in sole proprietorships, depending on their industry. Sole proprietors that operate in less dangerous industries might see less expensive premiums, as there is a lower risk of them getting injured on the job. Those in more dangerous industries might see the opposite initially. Sole proprietor mechanics, electricians, HVAC installers, and construction workers might be considered a higher risk to insure.
Previous Workers’ Compensation claims also have an impact on premiums. If you are the only employee of your sole proprietorship and have never sustained a work-related injury, this factor should not heavily influence your Workers’ Compensation premiums. In general, being a sole proprietor might make it easier for you to find comprehensive and affordable Workers’ Compensation insurance in Georgia.
Get Insurance for Your Sole Proprietorship in Georgia Today
To find a policy now, call the Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers at (866) 340-9120 today.
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