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Your Guide to Florida’s Minimum Wage

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Florida’s minimum wage is on the rise. This article tells you everything you need to know about minimum wage in the Sunshine State, and what you can do to prepare for any changes.

What is the minimum wage in Florida?

On January 1, 2020, Florida’s minimum wage increased to $8.56 from $8.46 in 2019, which is currently more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. With this change, Florida server minimum wage is set at $5.54 per hour, and they must earn at least $3.02 in tip credits.

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the Florida minimum wage increase and future ones are tied to the DEO’s obligation under Florida law to raise the minimum wage rate based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region.

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Are there plans to change the minimum wage after 2020?

The Florida minimum wage is recalculated each year on September 30 — based on the Consumer Price Index — and either remains steady or increases by a small amount.

While there are no laws in play to change the Floridata state minimum wage in Florida, some state Senate legislators are fighting to gradually increase the state’s base pay to $15 per hour by 2026.

How should small business owners prepare for minimum wage and paid leave increases?

Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to prepare. Here are a few options you may want to consider:

  • Audit your expenses: Check your cash flow in detail and create a hiring plan that you can afford. In some cases, you may find that hiring temporary workers as needed is less expensive than taking on full-time regular staff.
  • Make sure you hire and keep the right employees: Replacing an employee costs a lot. You decrease the total cost associated with recruiting and training when you hire (and then retain) the right people. Look for candidates with good track records, who come recommended, and who fit in with the company culture. Once they’re onboarded, make sure you build a relationship and provide paths for growth; it makes it more likely that they will stay in their role and help with you keeping valuable employees.
  • Increase prices: This is a great way to increase cash flow. Customers are rarely happy with a price hike, but keep in mind that your competitors will be forced to do the same. Just make sure you keep track of trends, and don’t raise prices too high.
  • Update tech: Consider automating certain aspects of the work like payroll. Square Payroll can track employee hours easily and syncs directly to your timecards and point of sale, so you know when you need to staff up or when you can save money on staffing. Plus, our hardware and software is priced for small businesses in mind. Check out Square Payroll’s new features to find other ways you can reduce production costs like learning how to do payroll yourself.

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance (such as making sure you get an EIN), we recommend that you discuss these upcoming changes to the Florida minimum wage and paid family leave laws with your accountant and lawyer.