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What if an employer owns and operates three unrelated businesses?
Businesses that are a “controlled group of corporations” are considered to be a single employer under the HCSO, and all employees of each entity would be counted to determine the size of the employer. If the businesses are incorporated and not members of a “controlled group of corporations” then each is considered a separate business, and the employees of each separate entity will be counted to determine the size of each employer.
Employees of businesses that are not incorporated are counted as working for one employer if the businesses are under common control. For purposes of the HCSO, “under common control” means either (a) one person (individual, estate, or trust) has at least an 80 percent ownership interest in each of the businesses, or (b) the same two to five persons hold more than a 50 percent ownership interest in each of the businesses.
Note that while some corporations may be excluded from the “controlled group of corporations” analysis for income tax purposes, they are not excluded for purposes of the HCSO. It’s best to seek the advice of legal and/or tax counsel to determine controlled group or common control status.
There may be a more recent answer to this question. Contact Claremont for an update.