Running your own business presents a lot of unique challenges, and you have to wear a lot of different hats: President, HR, Billing, Reception, and Janitor. You’re also the person in charge of legal compliance and insurance, and that can be confusing and time-consuming when you have a business to run. If you’re an employee of a small business, you might have heard differing things on whether you’re covered by workers’ comp if you get injured on the job. So, to make things a little easier here’s what you need to know about workers’ compensation insurance for small businesses.

Sole Proprietorships

Many small businesses are sole proprietorships, that is, they’re owned and operated by just one person. If this is the case for your small business, in Illinois you’re not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, could still get injured on the job, so you should ensure that you have adequate personal liability and medical coverage.


If you run a small business and you’re not a sole proprietor, you may not be required to carry workers’ compensation if all of the employees are partners in the company (i.e., a partnership)

Family Businesses and Farms

In Illinois, the law on workers compensation is that you need insurance for any employee who is not an owner unless they are family members who are corporate officers or they work for your small agricultural business (e.g., a family farm.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

If your small business is an LLC, you may not be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Illinois, unless you’re in construction, trucking, or another hazardous industry, as classified by Illinois law.

If you work for a small business…

…and you’re not an owner, partner, corporate officer, or family member, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you get hurt on the job, and your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for you. If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, they may be subject to heavy legal fines, in addition to the compensation owed you for your injury. You should contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney to help you make a claim with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

Even if you work for a small business, if you’ve been hurt on the job, you may still be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Call the Epstein Law Firm to discuss your unique situation.

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