The 2016 Session of the Florida Legislature began on January 12th and adjourned on March 11th. The Legislature considered a number of business-related bills, and some of these proposals are summarized below. All but one of the bills listed below have died in committee, which means they will not become law. The only exception is House Bill 7099, which creates a back-to-school tax-free shopping period – this bill is expected to be signed into law.
Senate Bill 6 (Bullard) and House Bill 109 (Torres) would have increased the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Senate Bill 120 (Abruzzo) and House Bill 45 (Raschein) would have created the “Florida Competitive Workforce Act” to prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on an employee’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Senate Bill 186 (Clemens) and House Bill 635 (Dudley) dealt with social media privacy and would have prevented employers from accessing an employee’s or job applicant’s social media accounts. The bill would have allowed employees to sue their employers in civil court for violating the prohibition.
Senate Bill 294 (Thompson) and House Bill 205 (Williams) would have required employers to provide employees with paid or unpaid earned sick or safe leave, depending on the size of the employer. Employers with 10 or more employees would have been required to provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than 10 employees would have been required to provide the same amount of leave but it would not have to be paid leave.
Senate Bill 384 (Bullard) and House Bill 603 (Cruz) would have created the Florida Paid Family Care Leave Act requiring employers to allow an employee to take paid family care leave upon the birth of a child or adoption.
Senate Bill 448 (Clemens) and House Bill 353 (Powell) would have prohibited an employer from asking about or considering a job applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application.
Senate Bill 1096 (Braynon) and House Bill 737 (Stafford) would have allowed for victims of domestic violence to voluntarily leave their job and qualify for reemployment assistance benefits (formerly called unemployment benefits).
Senate Bill 116 (Hukill) and House Bill 247 (Fitzenhagen) would have reduced the sales tax on commercial leases that many employers pay to rent their business space.
Senate Bill 1236 (Garcia) and House Bill 721 (Fant) would have created a Small Business Sales Tax Holiday on November 26, 2016, allowing qualifying small businesses to sell any single item $1,000 or less tax-free on this day.
House Bill 7099 (Gaetz) creates a sales tax holiday for clothing and school supplies from 12:01 am August 5, 2016 to 11:59 pm August 7, 2016. The holiday would exempt certain clothing from sales tax valued at $60 or less. The exemption would also include certain school supplies valued at $15 or less.
Attention Corporations and LLC’s: Reminder to File Your Annual Report
This is just another reminder that it is now time for all Florida Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC’s) to file their Annual Report with the State of Florida. To maintain an “active status” with the Department of State, corporations and LLC’s must file an Annual Report with the state Division of Corporations by May 1st.
The Annual Report is not a financial statement; its purpose is for you to update or confirm basic information about your company on the Division of Corporations records, and you must file an Annual Report even if no changes need to be made to your company’s information.
You will not receive a notice in the mail from the State of Florida about your Annual Report. The only reminder that the state will send is an email to the email address the Division of Corporations has on file for you. The email comes from the Florida Department of State and the subject of the email is “Official 2016 Annual Report Notice for: [your company name].” There is a link in the email that takes you directly to the state’s official website at sunbiz.org.
All Annual Reports must be filed online; paper reports are not allowed. To file, go to sunbiz.org. Make sure the page displayed on your computer has the State of Florida’s flag in the upper right corner and says “Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations” in the upper left corner. Click on the box in the middle of the screen that says “File Current Year Annual Report or Amended Annual Report.” If you are not familiar with filing an Annual Report, you can click on the box that says “Get Online Annual Report Filing Instructions” to read detailed, step-by-step instructions.
For more information about how to file your Annual Report, you can email the Florida Division of Corporations at email@example.com. Or, you can call our offices and ask for Karen, Lance or Erin. Even though the Annual Report is a requirement from the State of Florida (not us), we will try to answer any questions you may have.
Is Your Business Insured Through FUBA Workers’ Comp?
If your business gets its workers’ compensation insurance through FUBA Workers’ Comp, there are 3 ways to pay your monthly premium payment.
FUBAworks, our online payment program, is completely secure and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the quickest and best way to make payments. With FUBAworks you can set up an online account using your bank account information that will authorize us to debit your account for the amount of your invoice. It is easy to get started – just visit FUBAworks.com and click on “Sign up for an account.” Please note: Enrolling in FUBAworks does not mean your bank account will be automatically debited every month. You will need to go online and initiate a payment each month.
We accept check payments by phone. Call our offices at 888-262-4483 Monday through Thursday 9 am – 5 pm, and Fridays 9 am – 4 pm. We need the following information: 1) whether the bank account is a business or personal account, 2) if a personal account, the first and last name on the account, 3) name of the bank, 4) nine-digit routing number, 5) bank account number, 6) payment date and 7) check number.
Payments can be mailed to FUBA Workers’ Comp, Post Office Box 1303, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1303. The address to send payments overnight is 116 S Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
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