I'm self-employed. Can I opt in?

  • Who can opt in?

    Federally recognized tribes and self-employed individuals are not required to participate in Paid Family and Medical Leave but may opt in to the program to receive access to benefits. 

    You are self-employed if you are:

    • A sole proprietor
    • A joint venturer or a member of a partnership
    • A member of a limited liability company
    • An independent contractor (as described in RCW 50A.04.010 (7)(b))
    • Otherwise in business for yourself.

    Corporate officers are not self-employed.

    I own an S-Corp. Am I required to participate in Paid Family and Medical Leave?

    Maybe! An S-Corp is a federal tax designation and isn’t enough information for us to know if you’re required to participate. In Washington, S-Corps are either a corporation or an LLC.


    If you receive compensation from your corporation in exchange for service provided to it, you are required to participate as an employee of that organization. Corporate officers are required to participate.

    Limited Liability Companies (LLC's)

    Members of an LLC are exempt from the program even if they are taking a wage from their LLC. Owners of a sole-proprietorship or partnership and LLC members are not required to participate but can elect coverage.

    If any of these organizations have employees, they have employer responsibilities. See our employer page for more details about these responsibilities.

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