Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate (ICEC) – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of an ICEC?
- To assure all independent contractors in Montana are in compliance with Montana workers' compensation laws.
Who is required to apply for an ICEC?
- A person who regularly and customarily performs services at locations other than the person's own fixed business location and who has not elected to be personally bound by the provisions of workers' compensation plan 1, 2, or 3, shall apply for an ICEC.
- “Person” means:
- a sole proprietor;
- a working member of a partnership,;
- a working member of a limited liability partnership, or;
- a working member of a member-managed limited liability company; or
- a manager of a manager-managed limited liability company that is engaged in the work of the construction industry as defined in 39-71-116.
- This requirement includes all persons in the trucking industry regardless of their business structure.
- Persons who regularly and customarily perform services at their own fixed business location may elect to apply for an ICEC even though they may not be required by law to do so.
Why would I want to apply for the ICEC?
- The ICEC is a required alternative option for independent contractors engaged in their own independent established business that choose not to cover themselves under workers’ compensation insurance.
- The ICEC does not relieve the owner(s) of a business from the mandate to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for all of the employees of the business.
- We encourage all independent contractors to consider covering themselves under workers’ compensation insurance.
What is the risk of hiring a worker without an ICEC?
- If a hiring entity hires an individual without an ICEC (or workers’ compensation insurance), the entity is taking a risk of the worker being treated as an employee and assuming the liability for workers' compensation should the individual be hurt on the job.
Can I be penalized if I do not obtain an ICEC?
- Independent contractors can be fined up to $1,000 per violation for:
- Performing work without an ICEC
- Performing work with a revoked or suspended ICEC
- Transferring their ICEC to another person
- Misrepresentation of the independent contractor status
Where do I obtain the application forms?
Is a test required to obtain an ICEC?
- No test is required. The ICEC is not a license and does not ensure quality of work.
What do I need to apply for an ICEC?
- Completion and notarization of the appropriate ICEC application and waiver form that corresponds to the structure of your business.
- Photocopies of business documentation for the 15 point requirement.
- A $125 non-refundable application fee.
Why do I need to submit 15 points of business documentation with my ICEC?
- The review of the business documentation allows the Department to verify that those applying for an ICEC are truly independent contractors, free of control by the hiring agent, and engaged in an independently established business.
Should I register my business name with the Montana Secretary of State’s office?
- Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and Corporations must be registered with the Montana Secretary of State’s office. You may contact their office at (406) 444-3665 or visit their website at www.sos.mt.gov.
What if I am an independent contractor in the construction industry with employees?
- You must complete a Construction Contractor Registration (CR) application.
- Provide proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage for the employees.
- Submit a $53 non-refundable application fee.
What is the difference between an ICEC and the CR?
- The ICEC exempts the owner of a business from being required to cover themselves under workers’ compensation insurance.
- The CR monitors workers’ compensation compliance and ensures a fair playing field for all businesses in the construction industry that are competing in Montana.
Can my spouse or child take over my ICEC?
- No. The certificate is issued to the individual whose name is on the application and cannot be transferred.
How do I renew my ICEC?
- We will mail you a renewal application approximately 60 days before your ICEC expires to the last known address on file.
- The renewal application forms will be preprinted with the information you provided the last time you applied.
- Please cross out any errors, make the correction in ink, and initial the change.
- The application fee is $125 non-refundable.
- You may be required to send in additional business documentation for the 15 point requirement.
Do I need to notify the ICCU to update my ICEC if my phone number, mailing address, occupation(s), business structure, or business name(s) changes?
- Yes. There is no additional application fee to make any changes to an existing ICEC certificate.
- Phone number - You must mail, email or fax us a request in writing to make those changes.
- Mailing address - You must mail, email or fax us a request in writing to make those changes.
- Occupations (remove or add) - You must recomplete an ICEC application form that includes the existing and new occupation(s), or just be sure to list all occupations you wish to have listed on your certificate. If the occupation(s) is/are not in the same industry as the existing occupation(s), you must provide 15 points of documentation for the new occupation(s) only.
- Business Structure – You must recomplete an ICEC application form with the new business structure selected. If changing to a partnership, you must provide a partnership agreement.
- Business Name – You must recomplete an ICEC application form that includes your new business name(s) and provide 15 points of business documentation for the new business name(s).
How long does it take to process my ICEC application?
- If you mail the application, processing time can take about 5-7 business days, sometimes longer depending on the volume of applications at the time.
- You can overnight the application to our physical address (1805 Prospect Ave., Helena, MT 59601) using FEDEX or UPS to speed up the mailing time.
- Do NOT use the US Postal Service to overnight your application because your application will be mailed to our Po Box which results in delayed mailing times.
- You may visit the Helena office to have it processed in person IF you have all required materials available, same day processing not guaranteed.
Where do I send my completed ICEC application?
- Send the original and notarized application and waiver form, photocopies of business documentation, and the $125 non-refundable application fee to our mailing address:
Independent Contractor Central Unit
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
Physical location (for overnight mailing and walk-in customers, same day processing not guaranteed):
1805 Prospect Ave (2nd Floor, East Side)
Helena, MT 59601