Should I get Workmens comp if i don't have employees?

I recently had a potential job lined up and they asked for the usual docs COI and they asked for Workmens comp certificate. I had signed up for a exemption and sent them that, because I don’t have employees. Well I didn’t get the job.what should I do about that?e

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I’m in the same position. I’m moving in and expanding my business. I have been operating 10years without workmens comp. You don’t need it. If you don’t have the money and need help, hire them as a subcontractor. But beware of that as well, unless he has his own insurance. Anything happens that subcontractor will come for you if he gets hurt or something happens with the account and a customer slips on some water. Now the company is getting sued and there going to come after you cause the subcontractor is working under your good name. Hope this helps. Good luck :+1:

Can You use a temp service? They provide all that… I’m against using people as subcontractors unless they really are.

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Yes that’s an option. Temp agency. And I was thinking that as well. I have been struggling for years with this. Dealing with Craigslist hiring lowlifes ect. I now have a business coach and know what I need to do.

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Temp would be the way to go. Now that you mentioned that I will be looking into options starting next week after the holidays.

Around here the temp agency’s want double what the guy earns, but at least him and you are covered.


Do you know for a fact that’s why you lost the bid?

Yeah. It’s the same where im at. After all, the agency’s need to get there’s. But this eliminates those who don’t have the desire or will to learn something new. This eliminates all the fly by nighters I call them. Here and gone tomorrow. Knowing that, they could make more on a permanent position which inspires them to want more. If not, theywould just send another person in there place. No worries.:+1: The way to go.I’ll be looking in to that note that you’ve mentioned it. The work it’s there but help isn’t.

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I wondered the same thing at one point. But when I started to lose bids because of not having it I got it in a quickness and my business changed.

You can always try to explain how you are legally exempt, but most managers won’t bother to ask their boss if what you are saying is correct. Some companies know this already and its in the contracts, but the majority assume or will ask you to have it.

Here’s how it works.

Go to your insurance agent, tell him you need workmans comp.

He’ll get your quote, its gonna be stupid high.

ESPECIALLY for your first year.

We’re at a crazy high percentage too, but the only thing you need to hear from him/her is what the premium is.

They may even let you make payments on that.

How much your premium will be is calculated by how much money your company makes per quarter/year.

It’ll be a couple grand more than likely, save up and get it.

You will be sent worksheets by them and EDD where you have to fill out how many people you got working for you and how much money you gave them.

If you got nobody, you pay NOTHING.

In fact, at the end of the year, you’ll get a good chunk of that deposit back.


You have workmans comp and can produce a cert saying you have it. It puts you in a different league.


When and if you decide to hire, don’t even think about hiring people as subs and telling them they are covered in case they get hurt, unless you intend to “hire” them when they get hurt (which is a felony and you WILL go to jail).

If you hire someone, workmans comp is freaken RAPE to an employer and your pricing will need to go up in order to pay for it. State Fund here in california is at 23 percent!

Thats JUST for workmans comp. You will still need to pay employers tax to the EDD and a buttload of other stupid taxes that will keep you broke if you are honest.

Thats the nasty.

The benifits tho, outweigh the risk because if you DO hire subs, and they REALLY ARE SUBS you still pay no workmans comp on them cuz they ain’t your employees. You will get audited every year tho, so make sure you got proof they’re subs.


Yeah because when I emailed the manager the exemption all he said was ill ask the company if you can work for us. Few days go by and didn’t hear from them so I asked if that exemption would work and all he said was we went with another company :frowning:

Thanks that’s really helpful

For what it’s worth (I’m not an attorney, but my wife was a paralegal)…

We use subs, but through our insurance company, we provide workmen’s comp (a percentage based on wages) and extra business liability (specifically for Uninsured Subcontractors).

It’s all expensive, but it’s good to have. Why don’t we switch them to employees? Winter unemployment, basically. Although, we probably will be switching to that next year.

I also only use subs who I personally know, so I know they’ll be honest with taxes. A couple guys do have their own cleaning businesses, and they just pick up some extra work with us.

I would not ever just bring someone in off the street under the same arrangement. If I don’t know them, I don’t trust them. And that’s the biggest issue with subs, for me.

In review, workmens comp is a good thing To have for anyone on site with you. However, I do exempt myself as the owner.


In Ohio, you can be registered with the BWC and not have employees. You receive a certificate that shows you " Are Insured ", although since it is just the owner you are not covered unless you specifically want to cover yourself ( but that is very costly here ). I do not cover myself. This is what I did for the few years when I was starting and was using subs. It worked fine then and was accepted by any potential job who requested it. We now only do employees because of the risk and exposure using Subs. Our cost fluctuates between 7-9 % of payroll. If you ever do need help I highly recommend to put them on payroll ( even with the hassle of paperwork do it right ). In Ohio they are doing audits on small businesses to ensure that contractors are not cheating the system - using a Sub when they definitely fit the IRS criteria for an employee. I was audited by BWC three years ago and they were very thorough. Got somewhat off topic - but hope this helps you.

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