FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What types of insurance does Opolis help me access?


By structuring your employment as a W2, you have access to new forms of insurance. You’re seen legally as an employee of a corporation, even though you’re the only employee. As a W2 employee in the Employment Commons you will gain access and be required to hold several of these types of insurance. See details below and reach out to hello@opolis.co with any questions. a. Group Medical + Vision Insurance [Optional]
b. Dental Insurance [Optional]
c. Unemployment Insurance - State & Federal [Required]
d. Workers’ Compensation Insurance [Required]
e. Disability Insurance (Short & Long Term) [Required]
f. Term-Life Insurance [Required] a. Group Health, Vision Insurance [Optional] Opolis gives you access to group health insurance which covers you in most US states. In most cases, purchasing health insurance as a group is more cost effective than seeking insurance on your own. Read about Opolis Health Insurance Access in the Opolis Benefits Guide. Cost: Varies by coverage level selected. Review the Opolis Benefits Guide for details. How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. b. Dental Insurance [Optional] Opolis gives you access to group dental insurance which covers you in most US states. Purchasing health insurance as a group is often more cost effective than seeking insurance on your own. Read about Opolis Dental Insurance Access in the Opolis Benefits Guide. Cost: Varies by coverage level selected. Review the Opolis Benefits Guide for details.
How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. c. Unemployment Insurance - State & Federal [Required] As a W2, you’ll now have access to unemployment insurance, a coverage that isn’t available to independent contractors. This coverage temporarily replaces a portion of your wages while you look for work, for up to 26 weeks in most states. Additional time extensions and coverage levels may become available during recessions and other financially disruptive events such as the recent Coronavirus outbreak. You’ll pay into this system each pay period, but the majority of funding is covered by your primary state of residence. Being eligible for this type of coverage is especially important when disasters strike that you could have never planned for. Review specific eligibility requirements for your state, but you’re typically able to receive help if you meet these conditions: 1) have lost a job through no fault of his or her own 2) be “able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work;” and 3) have earned at least a certain amount of money during a “base period” prior to becoming unemployed. Cost: Varies by state and by employer (sample rates) How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. d. Workers’ Compensation Insurance [Required] As a W2, you’ll now be required to hold workers’ compensation insurance, a coverage independent contractors can access but many don’t have. If you get hurt on the job, this mechanism will pay for your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. If you are forced to miss work due to the injury, workers’ comp can also provide partial lost wages. Cost: Varies by type of employment and by State (i.e. approx 0.50% for clerical roles) How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. e. Disability Insurance (Short & Long Term) [Requirements Vary by State] Your ability to work is your most valuable asset and everybody who relies on a paycheck should protect it. If you can’t work for an extended period of time because of illness or injury, this coverage will pay a portion of your income. This is optional in all but five states that have state-mandated disability insurance requirements for W2 employees: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Short-term Disability Insurance: Typically replaces approx 60% of base salary and can pay out for several months, depending on the coverage selected, up to a maximum benefit amount. Note: Pregnancy qualifies as a short-term disability (for person carrying baby only), with specific details varying by policy coverage selected. Long-term Disability Insurance: Typically replaces approx 60% of base salary up to a maximum amount per month, until the disability ends. If the disability continues, benefits end after a certain number of years, depending on the coverage selected. Cost: Varies based on income (depends on policy coverage and state, but estimate approx .8% of income in Colorado, including both short and long term). Review the Opolis Benefits Guide for details. How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. f. Term-Life Insurance [Basic Required] Access term life insurance through a group plan that is more cost effective than many alternatives you can access on your own. You aren’t required to do a physical to get term life insurance up to a certain level. Premiums for the first $50,000 in term-life insurance coverage will be treated as a business expense (under a Section 125 Cafeteria Plan), deducted pre-tax, before you’re paid. Many people make the mistake of paying with post-tax dollars. Note: If you choose to have term-life insurance with Opolis, you must also have short/long term disability insurance. These three options are connected in the onboarding process. Cost: Varies by coverage level selected. Review the Opolis Benefits Guide for details.
How to Register: Opolis will help you set this up during onboarding, arrange automatic payments, and ensure state/federal compliance. You can register for basic insurance in the standard onboarding process. If you would like additional coverage, reach out to Opolis support for additional options.




Does obtaining insurance/benefits/services through the Commons make it more affordable for me?


By joining other freelancers, you’re able to access group health insurance which in many cases is more favorable (value and cost) than finding insurance on your own. This group insurance coverage is classified as PPO, which gives you access to insurance coverage in most US states rather than only in your home state. Opolis also helps you organize yourself as a W2 and automates the process of signing up for several types of insurance you may not have had prior to joining the Commons. Within your Guild, you can decide on additional services you think would be especially beneficial to people in your same profession (i.e. Creatives Guild members may opt to seek a discount on graphic design software by purchasing as a group, similar to a corporate discount).




Can I customize my insurance or benefits package?


Members of the Employment Commons are required to have the following coverages/insurances that are detailed in the Opolis Benefits Guide: a. Unemployment Insurance - State & Federal [Required] b. Workers’ Compensation Insurance [Required] c. Disability Insurance (Short & Long Term) [Required] d. Term-Life Insurance [Basic Level Required] Members have the option to customize the following: e. Group Medical + Vision Insurance [Optional] - Individual, Individual + Spouse, Individual + Children, Full Family - Several Tiers of Coverage - FSA or HSA Access f. Dental Insurance [Optional] - Note: Adults must elect dental if desired. Pediatric dental is automatically included with Medical insurance packages including children.




How does General Liability Insurance work and why am I required to hold it?


Opolis requires you hold general liability insurance in order to protect yourself, your business and the people you do business with. Each plan varies, but general liability typically covers accidents such as: injuring a client, property damage, advertising copyright infringement, medical payments, and more. You may also want to purchase a policy that includes “Errors and Omissions” insurance, which covers claims against you for offering poor advice. Whether the person suing you has just cause or not, consider that defending yourself can result in court costs of $70,000+ per incident. Having general liability insurance coverage is important for any business professional. Opolis requires a policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000 per incident and $1,000,000 per year. This basic level of coverage can be accessed for $25-100/month for most professionals. Cost: Varies by coverage level selected, but is available in many basic cases in the $25-100/mo range.
How to Register: Search online for “General Liability Insurance” and select a provider that you trust. Be sure to select coverage of $1,000,000 per incident and $1,000,000




Are all insurances tax deductible?


The following insurances are typically paid by your company and booked as business expenses so you aren’t paying from a personal account with post-tax income (be sure to check with a tax specialist if you have specific questions regarding your particular tax situation): a. Group Health, Vision & Dental Insurance [Optional] b. Unemployment Insurance [Required] c. Workers’ Compensation Insurance [Required] d. Disability Insurance (Short & Long Term) [Requirements Vary by State] e. Term-Life Insurance [Optional]: Premium costs can be covered by your business for up to the first $50,000 in coverage. f. General Liability Insurance: You will coordinate this insurance directly with an insurer of your choice and can apply this tax deduction when completing your business taxes at the end of each year.




Why are separate personal and business bank accounts requested?


Opolis requests: 1) a business account you’d like payroll funds drawn from and 2) a personal account(s) you’d like funds distributed to, after taxes/benefits/etc have been deducted. It’s best practice to hold separate business and personal bank accounts. This creates clean accounting records, avoids comingling of funds, and gives you peace of mind that what reaches your personal account is available to spend. If you don’t want to set up a business bank account, we suggest at minimum to provide two separate personal accounts to keep records straight.

  • Business Account - gross wages/taxes/benefits/etc will be funded from this account. Must come from a single account.
  • Personal Account - net pay will be dispersed to this account (multiple accounts are okay, as well as cryptocurrency wallets)
You will designate funds to be pulled from your business account and Opolis will draft that amount via an ACH (Automated Clearing House) electronic funds transfer. After tax and benefit payments have been withheld, another ACH will electronically deposit the remaining amount in your personal account on your designated “payday”, twice a month. Technically you can operate with a single account, but we don’t suggest using a single account under any circumstances. When you keep accounts separate, it’s easier for you and it simplifies your accounting. From a business credibility/viability standpoint, this will keep your finances organized and help you feel confident that the money in your personal account is available to spend.




Can I use more than one type of bank account?


You can receive payroll to a bank account, a cryptocurrency wallet account, or split a percentage between multiple accounts. Traditional Bank Accounts: All United States based bank accounts are accepted as long as they allow ACH transfers. We suggest using a personal and a business account, or at minimum, two separate personal accounts to keep records straight. Cryptocurrency Wallet Accounts: You have the option to pay yourself from, or be paid to, a cryptocurrency account (DAI, USDC, Bitcoin or Ether currently). You can direct a percentage or the entirety of payments to this option.




When will I be paid each month and when will money be deducted from my business bank account?


Opolis processes payroll twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Fridays. Payroll is funded from your business account approximately 6-7 business days prior to each pay day. Opolis transfers funds from your business account to your personal account, based on the income and benefit selections you make during onboarding. You’ll see benefit/insurance/tax estimates during the onboarding process and have an opportunity to confirm everything before finalizing. You’ll also receive an invoice every pay period 1-2 days before funds are automatically drafted from your business account, showing a breakdown of payroll/taxes/insurances/etc. Payment Processing Schedule:

  • 8-9 business days prior: Invoice sent detailing amount to be deducted from business account for payroll and how much will be deposited in personal account on Friday of the following week.
  • 6-7 business days prior: Funds are transferred from the member's business account.
  • 1st & 3rd Friday each month: Funds arrive in the member's personal account.




How much do I need to pay myself each pay period and how do bonuses work?


There are two payment types:

  • [Required/Consistent] Semi-Monthly Standard Payroll (every 1st & 3rd Friday): You are required to pay yourself on a consistent basis.
  • [Optional/Periodic] One-Time “Bonus” Payments: You can trigger a bonus payment anytime throughout the year from the Opolis Dashboard. When triggered, your bonus will be paid in the pay cycle immediately following the current pay cycle.
It’s up to you how much you choose to pay yourself, but as a general rule, the US government expects to see you pay yourself at least a reasonable/comparable wage for your line of work. As an absolute minimum, you’ll need to be paying yourself at least the exempt employee minimum wage in the geography in which you live. You’re required to pay yourself consistently, twice a month. If you’re doing well and want to pay yourself more in a particular pay period, you can do so by paying yourself a bonus. Both normal wages and bonuses are treated as expenses which lower net income for your business. You may wish to speak with a tax professional to discuss the best way to take bonuses within each calendar year. You can assign a bonus to yourself from the Opolis Dashboard and the bonus will be paid in the period immediately following the current pay period.




I earn income on an inconsistent basis, every few months. Can I still use Opolis?


Yes. We understand that it’s common for freelancers and gig workers to receive large periodic payments upon completing a contract (i.e. every few months). You can use Opolis as long as you maintain assets in your business account to consistently fund your payroll and benefits expenses. Opolis can also help you plan how much needs to remain in your business bank account over an interval.




How do I change/update my payroll accounts?


You can change bank accounts in your dashboard anytime, but for security reasons, we require several days to verify the change. Account changes are typically processed in the payment cycle immediately following the current cycle. Contact Opolis support if you need to make an account change more urgently than the pay period following the current period.




How long does it take to get my bank account verified?


You’ll need to verify the bank account where money your money is coming from. Depending on the gross amount deducted from your account per pay period, the time it takes to verify an account can vary:

  • Under $5,000 Gross, Per Payroll Period: Bank account verification is instant.
  • $5,000-10,000 Gross, Per Payroll Period: Bank account verification takes 1-3 business days.
  • $10,000+ Gross, Per Payroll Period: Contact Opolis to discuss.




How do ACH transfers work and how does Opolis process these securely?


Opolis partners with ACH (automated clearing house) partner Dwolla to ensure that automated payments are securely transferred between your business bank account(s) to Opolis and on to your personal account(s). Opolis can directly support questions related to ACH transfers.




What does ‘Financial Automation’ mean and what does it include?


Financial Automation is used to explain the services Opolis provides that save you time you’d otherwise have to spend on tasks that our software and staff take care of for you. These are tasks that are taken care of for you when you’re working for a company as a W2 employee, including:

  • Payroll Deductions - Opolis automatically deducts your elected tax/insurance/benefits payments and ensures they are treated correctly for tax purposes.
  • Tax Compliance - Opolis ensures you’re paying your quarterly personal income taxes correctly throughout the year. Note that Opolis does not complete your yearly personal or business LLC/Corporate taxes, but you can pull a report from your dashboard to provide to your tax accountant. Opolis can recommend partner tax accountants if requested, or you can use the data to file yourself through an online program.
  • Benefit & Tax Remittance - Opolis remits benefit payments & tax payments (directly to the state and federal government) on your behalf.
  • Budgeting - We help you plan better. You don’t have to set money aside and worry about doing it right. Once funds hit your personal account(s), the money is yours to spend however you choose (just like a corporate W2 employee).




How does Opolis protect my data?


Opolis requires personal information in order to provide benefits, estimate/remit taxes on your behalf, and more. We use Fernet encryption suite to store sensitive data securely. Fernet internally uses 128-bit AES symmetric encryption in a CBC mode with PKCS7 padding and HMAC using SHA256 for authentication. Read more here: Employment Commons Privacy Policy




Can I modify or stop benefits and are there any time restrictions?


When you start benefits for a calendar year, they will remain active at the selected benefit level through the end of that calendar year. It’s typically not possible to stop or change your benefit level within a calendar year until the next enrollment period. Each pay period, Opolis deducts the appropriate amount to ensure benefits are paid for the coming month, ensuring that you have active coverage through the end of that month. Should you ever choose to leave the Opolis Commons, please provide at least 5 business days notice before the end of the current month. Amounts not yet paid toward the following month's benefits will be returned to you. If benefit payments have already been distributed for the coming month or Opolis is unable to cancel your benefits for the coming month for any reason, your benefits will remain active through the end of the period they have been paid for.




Does Opolis have cryptocurrency options available?


Opolis defaults to USD payments but you also have the option to assign cryptocurrency accounts as:

  • Your business account where funds will be drawn from
  • Your personal account where you will be paid
  • A percentage of your income each pay period can be paid to a cryptocurrency account (up to 100%)
  • Opolis can process payments in: DAI, ETH and BTC.
  • You can fund your payroll in cryptocurrency and Opolis can convert this, paying you in USD or cryptocurrency with all taxes properly accounted for.
  • Opolis will send the IRS the documentation needed to prove your crypto-payroll was processed in a compliant manner. Once the money hits your personal account, you are free to spend it without fear of being improperly double taxed for crypto-USD conversion.
  • If any crypto-USD exchange fees apply, Opolis will state this in your monthly invoice. At the time of this writing, Opolis does not charge any exchange fees.




What is a Guild?


Guilds (or "Districts") are groups of members of The Employment Commons who choose to affiliate with each other based on skills, geography and/or political and social viewpoints. Once live, each Guild has the latitude to define its features and services and membership requirements.




What is co-employment? Do I lose control over my employees?


The Employment Commons was designed to help freelancers become companies of one, with full control over their employment. If you have a small company with a few employees, consider helping each of your employees become self-sovereign members of the Employment Commons who work ‘with’ you. Benefit costs can be built into their contracts. They’ll feel even more empowered and more like partners.




Who carries the liability for my company’s employees?


You will have a company consisting of one equity holder (member of a limited liability company or shareholder of a corporation, as the case may be). The Commons takes no operational risk for your company. You are responsible for following all regulations mandated by your local government. The Commons is responsible for management of employment compliance including: tax withholding, 401k, and maintenance of required benefits and insurances. If your employees join the Employment Commons, in most cases you no longer have any employment liability. They will have their own company and it will become a B2B (business to business) relationship.




Do I need to join the Commons public benefit limited cooperative association to gain access to benefits?


Yes. All members of the Employment Commons must purchase (1) voting share of the Cooperative’s common voting stock and pay member dues, as applicable. One of the core principles of a cooperative is one member, one vote.




How much does health insurance cost through the Employment Commons?


You can learn about the cost of health insurance and more in the Opolis Benefits Guide here. Details begin on page 5 and premiums are listed on page 15.





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