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Question added to topic Legal Basics For StartupsJune 2, 2008

Is workers' compensation required for my small family business?

I have a small catering business, but I only use family members as part-time help for the day of the event. Am I still required to get workers' compensation?
Generally, you need to have workers' compensation coverage for any employee you hire, even if it's just one employee or just temporary employment.

However, a number of states have exemptions for immediate family members or close relatives (and the degree of kinship may vary). To qualify for the exemption, you must file an affidavit with your local workers' compensation board -- you can't simply do nothing.

You should consult with your attorney or your insurance agent, broker or carrier regarding the specifics of your situation and your options.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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