New Florida laws business people need to know about

Every year, the Florida Legislature passes a raft of new laws that affect businesses, and this year is no different. The good news in 2012 is that, of the thousands of bills introduced this year in the Legislature, only 292 became law.

Associated Industries of Florida tracks all legislation affecting business, pushes for reasonable treatment of business and tries to tone down or eliminate harmful legislation.

“We have taken the time to analyze all the bills that were signed into law by the governor,” says Jose Gonzalez, AIF’s vice president of governmental affairs.

What follows are the laws that, according to AIF, seem to have the broadest impact on Florida’s business community. If you’re in business, better look them over and see which ones affect you.

A new law repeals two regular assessments levied by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. against certain Florida property and casualty policyholders, and extends the time period some companies have to pay another type of assessment.

The Corporate Income Tax Exemption on net income has been increased from $25,000 to $50,000 for all Florida employers, a big help for small businesses.

Florida’s PIP (Personal Injury Protection coverage) law, which covers no-fault motor vehicle insurance, has been changed. It now provides up to $10,000 in medical benefits for emergency treatment and up to $2,500 in benefits for non-emergency treatment and requires motorists to go to the doctor within 14 days of an accident.

Businesses may now submit construction plans, specs and final documents electronically to building officials or building code administrators. This legislation does not require electronic submission, or the use of electronic signatures and seals.

Private property owners who make their property available to the public for outdoor recreational opportunities are now more protected from liability in tort actions.

Recently discharged military veterans who start their own businesses now get a waiver of initial licensure fees.

Timeshare brokers and advertisers must now provide full and fair disclosure of all terms and relevant information during unsolicited telemarketing, mail and email campaigns.


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