Doing payroll in Florida isn’t complex, especially if you’re abreast of federal regulations—there aren’t an abundance of state-specific laws, and employees don’t have as many protections in place compared to others, like California. It also doesn’t have a state income tax, but employers are required to pay state unemployment insurance tax (SUTA), or reemployment taxes.
Despite how easy it is to do payroll in Florida, the process can still be time-consuming if you’re handling it manually. To save time and ensure you don’t pay IRS penalties, consider using software like Square Payroll. Known for its Point of Sale software, Square also offers a standalone payroll solution that’s great for many small businesses. It provides full-service payroll, automated tax filings, employee benefits, and more. You can start for free and pay flat pricing only for what you use, with unlimited payruns. Get started today.
Running Payroll in Florida—Step by Step Instructions
Florida payroll is relatively simple. Below are the basic steps, with emphasis on Florida regulations. For greater detail on general payroll procedures, consult our article on how to do payroll.
Step 1: Set up your business as an employer. For the federal level, you need your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and an account in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
Step 2: Register with Florida. Fill out the form DR-1 and submit it to a Department of Record Service Center or online. Use the guide to completing the DR-1 for help. Enroll for e-Services to submit the form and pay taxes online.
Step 4: Collect employee payroll forms. This is easiest if you do it during onboarding. Payroll forms include W-4, I-9, and Direct Deposit information. Florida has no state-specific forms.
Step 7. File payroll taxes with the federal and state governments. Follow the IRS instructions for federal taxes, including unemployment. You can order official tax forms from the IRS.
For Florida reemployment taxes: Fill out the Form RT-6. If you had 10 or more employees in any calendar quarter of the past fiscal year, you need to file electronically. Otherwise, you can do it on paper, but the forms need to be color copies. You can print them if you have a color printer. You can pay your quarterly amount all at once or choose to pay in installments for a $5 fee.
Reemployment tax reports are due by the following dates:
For Wages Paid During
Postmarked No Later Than
Jan, Feb, Mar
Apr, May, Jun
Jul, Aug, Sep
Oct, Nov, Dec
Step 8. Document and store your payroll records. It’s important to keep records for all employees, even those terminated, for several years. Learn more in our article on retaining payroll records. Florida has no additional rules for document storage, so follow federal guidelines.
Step 9. Do year-end payroll tax reports. These are the federal Forms W-2 (for employees) and 1099 (for contractors.) Employees and contractors must have these by Jan. 31 of the following year. Florida has no additional forms.
Florida Payroll Laws, Taxes, and Regulations
In general, Florida follows federal regulations. Its minimum wage is slightly higher than other states, and it has a corporate income tax. Below are the most important things you need to know about Florida tax and labor laws, but check out the Florida state website for more details.
Florida has several taxes that companies need to pay, from corporate income taxes to sales tax, but the only payroll tax is the SUTA.
Social Security and Medicare
You need to pay federal FICA taxes. They’re 7.65% of the employee’s paycheck. In addition, you’ll need to withhold the same amount from the employee’s take-home pay and remit it to the IRS with your portion.
Florida does not charge personal income taxes nor do any of its localities, which makes payroll easier and puts more money into your employees’ pockets.
Reemployment Taxes (SUTA)
Effective Jan. 1, 2021, Florida raised its minimum reemployment tax to 0.29% to rebuild the trust fund for unemployment benefits.
Florida calls its state unemployment insurance tax (SUTA) a “reemployment tax,” but it works the same. You need to pay this tax if you have paid at least $1,500 in total wages in a calendar quarter, had at least one employee for any part of a day in 20 different weeks in a calendar year, or are liable for FUTA. There are three differences:
- Agriculture: You are liable if you paid at least $10,000 in total wages in a calendar quarter or had at least five employees for any part of the same day in 20 different weeks in a calendar year.
- Nonprofits: If you had four or more employees in any portion of the same day in 20 different weeks in a calendar year.
- Domestics (household): If you paid at least $1,000 in any calendar quarter.
Workers not covered are employees of a church, sole proprietor, partners or members of an LLC, students employed by the college they are enrolled in, insurance agents, real estate agents, barbers who are paid by commission only, and persons under 18 delivering newspapers.
The state charges SUTA on the first $7,000 of an employee’s wages. New businesses pay 2.7%. After that, the state will assign your rate based on your employment history, ranging from 0.29% to 5.4%.
Note: When you pay SUTA, you may qualify for a discount on your federal unemployment insurance taxes (FUTA). This can reduce your 6% FUTA tax rate to 0.6%.
Any employer with four or more employees—including public organizations, employment agencies, and employee leasing companies—are liable for workers’ compensation. Construction workers with even one employee must provide workers’ comp insurance. Exceptions include:
- Domestic workers
- Agricultural labor of a bona fide farmer with fewer than five regular employees or 12 seasonal employees
- Professional athletes
- Labor mandated as part of a sentence
- State prisoners or county inmates
- Homeowners employing someone for construction work not related to sale or lease of the property
Tip: You can purchase workers’ compensation through private insurance carriers for approximately $1.30 for each $100 of payroll you process. Learn more in our guide to Workers’ Compensation in Florida.
Minimum Wage and Tips
Florida’s current minimum wage is $8.65 per hour, with a minimum of $5.63 per hour for tipped employees, in addition to tips. It follows federal guidelines on exemptions for minimum wage requirements.
Note: Florida is changing its minimum wage to reach $15 per hour by 2026. After that, it will adjust based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Tip credit: Florida allows employers to apply up to $3.02 per hour tip credit for tip-earning employees.
New Wage As Of
Sept 30, 2021
$6.98/hour + tips
Sept 30, 2022
$7.98/hour + tips
Sept 30, 2023
$8.98/hour + tips
Sept 30, 2024
$9.98/hour + tips
Sept 30, 2025
$10.98/hour + tips
Sept 30, 2026
$11.98/hour + tips
Florida follows federal guidelines on overtime but considers 10 hours a legal day of labor. Unless you have a written contract stating otherwise that the employee agrees to, you must pay overtime at federally mandated rates (usually time and a half) for hours worked over 10 in a day.
Different Ways to Pay Employees
You may pay employees electronically, by check, or in cash. You can even pay with coupons, punch-outs, tickets, tokens, or other devices in lieu of cash as long as those items are redeemable in full in the United States. However, employees should be able to get their wages without discount. So, for example, paying via PayPal—which charges recipients a 2.9% transaction fee—is not allowed.
Pay Stub Laws
Florida does not have specific laws concerning pay stubs for most employees. However, if you operate a labor pool, you must provide day laborers an itemized statement showing deductions made from wages. This is simply good practice for any employee, however.
Minimum Pay Frequency
Florida does not mandate how often you pay employees, only that they be regularly scheduled paydays. Once you determine a schedule and post it, you must stick with it. The most common payday schedule is semi-monthly and is most convenient for employees to pay bills.
Paycheck Deduction Rules
Florida does not have any laws specifying what can or cannot be deducted from an employee’s paycheck. It also allows you to require employees to pay for uniforms, so you could deduct that cost from pay. The most common deductions include
- Taxes and SUTA
- Garnishments mandated by legal actions
- Employee share of benefits payments
- Uniform or tool reimbursements
- Reimbursement for damages or loss caused by an employee
Final Paycheck Laws
Florida does not have specific laws about when or how you must pay final wages to an employee.
To learn more payroll laws small businesses must comply with, check out our payroll compliance guide.
Florida HR Laws That Affect Payroll
Most of Florida’s HR laws align with federal labor laws. You’ll need to pay attention to the child labor laws though, because there are some variations.
Florida New Hire Reporting
Florida requires you to report new hires within 20 days of the employee being hired. Report them using the Florida New Hire Reporting Form, which you can mail or fax to the address on the form or electronically on the Department of Revenue Child Support Services for Employers website.
Breaks, Lunches, and Time-Off Requirements
Florida’s rules for paid time off (PTO) aligns with federal guidelines, which are minimal. We give a brief overview below, but you can get more in-depth information as well help creating a time off policy in our guide to PTO.
Breaks and Lunches
Minors must have a 30-minute break every four hours. Florida does not require employers to provide breaks to workers 18 and over, but if breaks are allowed, they are usually 20 minutes and must be paid.
Vacation and Sick Leave
Florida does not have any regulations mandating PTO, whether for vacation or sick leave.
Florida follows federal law in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This law applies to businesses that have had 50 or more employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year. Employees can take FMLA leave if they have worked for the company for at least a year, with 1,250 hours worked in the previous year, and if they work at a location with at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.
To learn more about your responsibilities under FMLA, check out the Department of Labor’s guide to FMLA.
State Disability Insurance
Florida does not have a state disability program and does not require employers to purchase disability insurance. However, it is a good idea to have both for your employees and you.
Child Labor Laws
Neither Florida or federal law allows minors who are 14 and 15 to work during school hours—but they can work up to 15 hours per week, with no more than three hours a day on school days. Minors 16 and 17 may work 30 hours per week and not during school hours. There are some exceptions for educational learning, but Florida specifically doesn’t allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11 p.m. If they’ve graduated from high school or work for their parents, there are exceptions.
The only state-specific form you’ll need is the one Florida requires employers to file reemployment taxes with.
Florida W-4 Form
Florida does not collect personal income taxes, so that’s one less thing to worry about. No state W-4!
Other Florida Withholding Forms
- RT-6, Employers Quarterly Report: Use this for filing reemployment tax withholding. You must do this every calendar quarter if you are liable for SUTA, whether or not you have anything to claim that quarter. Use the RT-6a, if you need more room, and find instructions on the RT-6N.
- Florida New Hire Reporting Form
Federal Payroll Forms
- W-4 Form: To help employers calculate taxes to withhold from employee paychecks
- W-2 Form: To report total annual wages earned (one per employee)
- W-3 Form: To report total wages and taxes for all employees
- Form 940: To report and calculate unemployment taxes due to the IRS
- Form 941: To file quarterly income and FICA taxes withheld from paychecks
- Form 944: To report annual income and FICA taxes withheld from paychecks
- 1099 Forms: To provide non-employee pay information that helps the IRS collect taxes on contract work
For more information about the federal forms, read our guide on federal payroll forms.
Florida Payroll Tax Resources/Sources
- Florida Department of Revenue: Access forms, view the latest regulations, and get information on all types of taxes as well as child support resources and other employer-specific issues.
- Tutorial: Florida Reemployment Tax Basics for Employers: Covers liabilities, worker classification, filing requirements, and more.
Florida’s payroll is among the easiest of all the states because it only has the re-employment tax and most of its HR rules follow federal guidelines. Be sure to file accurately and on time, and don’t forget that there are other taxes for businesses. If you are looking to make your payroll even simpler, try a 30-day free trial of Square Payroll, or check out our recommendations for other top payroll software.