Here is a summary of new laws of interest to small businesses that take effect July 1, 2014:
Unemployment Compensation: Employers are now able to pay their unemployment tax in installments for a $5 fee. This option has been available temporarily; now it is a permanent option.
Telephone Solicitations: Telemarketers are now prevented from sending text messages to phone numbers that are registered on the state’s Do Not Call List. (Phone calls are already prohibited.) Florida’s Do Not Call list is maintained by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. To block unwanted sales calls and text messages to your residence or mobile phone, go to the state’s website at https://www.fldnc.com/. It is free to sign up, and registration lasts 5 years.
Taxes: Starting August 1st and running through August 3rd, certain back-to-school items will be exempt from the Florida sales tax. Tax-free items include:
Workers’ Compensation: Businesses that receive a stop work order for not having workers’ compensation insurance will be able to resume operations quicker. These businesses will now be able to pay a $1,000 down payment on their fine and enter a payment plan to receive a release from a stop work order from the Department of Financial Services (DFS). Businesses will also have 10 days, not five, to respond to DFS requests for records before being subject to a stop work order.
LICENSE FEE REDUCTION FOR CONTRACTORS LICENSED BY THE STATE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARDThe Construction Industry Licensing Board and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation have approved a $100 “fee holiday” for the 2014 and 2015 renewal cycles for certified and registered contractors who are renewing their licenses. During the fee holiday, certified and registered contractors renewing an active license will have their fees reduced by $100. Certified and registered contractors renewing their inactive licenses will have their $50 inactive renewal fee waived in its entirety. All contractors (active or inactive) will still be required to pay the $5 unlicensed activity fee and the $4 Florida Building Commission fee in order to renew their license. All fees must be paid by the renewal deadline (August 31, 2014 for certified contractors and August 31, 2015 for registered contractors) to avoid additional fees.
Please see article below for more information on the difference between certified and registered contractors. Also, please note that the tax holiday for license renewal discussed below only applies to those contractors licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board and does not apply to electrical contractors.
CONTRACTORS: STATE LICENSES HAVE TO BE RENEWED BY AUGUST 31STIf you hold one of the following state contracting licenses, your license expires on August 31st of every even-numbered year:
More information for each type of license is below.
To renew any of the state-issued licenses discussed above, visit DBPR’s website at myfloridalicense.com and click on “Renew Your License.” If you have any questions about renewing your license, please contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395.
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