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The short answer is yes, under Labor Code Section 3700 you must have workers compensation insurance as long as you have at least 1 employee. If you fail to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance for your employees, it can be expensive as the DLSE is required to issue and serve a stop order/penalty assessment prohibiting further use of employee labor until you do purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
You can end up paying a fine which is twice the amount you would have paid in workers compensation insurance premiums, or a fine per employee, whichever is greater. The only way you would not have to have workers compensation insurance is if you were the only one at the company.
Or if you only hired independent contractors and not employees
(which would not work given the nature of your company)
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