Florida’s SB 1718: Investor Information and Resources

May 10th may have been a typically warm and sunny day throughout most of Florida. But,f around the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, storm clouds were brewing. Governor Ron DeSantis had just signed into law the controversial Senate Bill 1718 immigration bill. “Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1718 to combat the dangerous effects of illegal immigration caused by the federal government’s reckless border policies,” said the Governor’s press release.” We’re here to help you with Florida’s SB 1718 investor information and resources!

Supporters of the new law believe it will help keep unauthorized immigrants from coming to Florida. They also believe it will open up job opportunities for workers who are legally in the United States, help stop human trafficking, and provide a more accurate count of the number of people using Florida’s health care systems, among other benefits.  

Others see it differently. The Florida Farm Workers released a statement calling the bill “one of the cruelest immigration bills ever passed in the state of Florida.” Some organizations, including the ACLU, filed a lawsuit. Non-supporters of the bill joined labor strikes, marches, and other protests. The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the U.S., put out their own press release titled, AFL-CIO Rejects Politics of Division and Hate. It stated, “Immigrants and refugees are — and always will be — a source of vitality and strength for our communities and our labor movement … as we already are seeing, it also will have a crippling effect on the workforce and economy of the Sunshine State.”  

There are provisions within the bill that impact Florida contractors and investors. We will break down what the Bill requires from Florida employers. We’ll also offer helpful investor information and resources to navigate the changes it brings.

What is in Florida’s SB 1718 Bill: Investor Information

Here is a list of the bill’s primary provisions, published by the Florida Governor’s office: 

  • Requires employers to use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of employees. Fines employers who fail to use E-Verify $1,000 per day. 
  • Suspends licenses of any employer who knowingly employs illegal aliens. Makes using a fake ID to gain employment a felony. 
  • Enhances penalties for human smuggling, including making knowingly transporting five or more illegal aliens or a single illegal alien minor a second-degree felony subject to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison. 
  • Provides $12 million to continue the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program to relocate illegal immigrants to sanctuary jurisdictions. 
  • Bans local governments and NGO’s from issuing identification documents to illegal aliens. Invalidates all out-of-state driver licenses issued exclusively to illegal aliens
  • Requires hospitals to collect and report healthcare costs for illegal aliens. 

Exactly What Florida’s SB 1718 Says in Relation to Investors and Contractors and Investors

Here is the bill’s pertinent information for contractors and investors. This information comes directly from the Florida Senate’s summary of the bill prepared by the Rules Committee. 

The bill (Chapter 2023-40, L.O.F.) amends various Florida statutes to address provisions related to individuals in this state who may be unauthorized aliens.

  • Beginning July 1, 2023, requires private employers with 25 or more employees to use the E-Verify system for new employees (the bill retains the current law requirements for public employers and contractors and subcontractors thereof to use the E-Verify system). 
  • Alters the defenses for employers using the I-9 Form or E-Verify system. And, beginning July 1, 2024, amends the penalties for an employer’s noncompliance to register and use the E-Verify system, including imposing a daily fine of $1,000 and allowing for the suspension of employer licenses after multiple findings of noncompliance; 
  • Creates penalties for employers who knowingly employ unauthorized aliens, effective July 1, 2024, including quarterly reporting and the suspension or revocation of employer licenses in certain circumstances.
Florida’s SB 1718: Investor Information and Resources: picture of hard hats

The Breakdown: What SB 1718 Means for Investors and Contractors

Important Dates 

May 10, 2023: SB 1718 signed into law. 

July 1, 2023: E-Verify requirement goes into effect for Florida employers. 

July 1, 2024: Employer noncompliance penalties and fines go into effect. 

What is E-Verify? 

E-Verify is a free, federal, online system, created in 1996. Employers can use it to verify that a newly-hired employee is authorized to work in the U.S.  

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) operates E-Verify in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The system checks an employee’s I-9 information against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). 

Employers who input I-9 information should receive an immediate response from the system, like “Employment Authorized” or “Tentative Non-Confirmation” (which requires more action by the employer). (Click here for a full list of Case Result responses and required actions.) 

You can check out the following websites and guides for more information on using E-Verify:

General information: https://www.e-verify.gov

Employer sign-up and log in: https://www.e-verify.gov/employers

E-Verify FAQ’s: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/Documents/eVerifyFAQs.pdf

E-Verify 3-Page Guide: “How Do I use E-Verify?”https://www.e-verify.gov/sites/default/files/everify/guides/E4en.pdf

Verification Process information including Case Results and what they meanhttps://www.e-verify.gov/employers/verification-process

Link to free E-Verify webinars for employers: https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/e-verify-webinars

Additional employer resources: https://www.e-verify.gov/employers/employer-resources

Florida’s SB 1718: Investor Information and Resources: picture of hard hats on construction site

Who is Required to Use E-Verify? 

SB 1718 requires all private employers in Florida with 25 or more employees to enroll in E-Verify. 

  • Employers must use E-Verify for all employees hired on or after July 1, 2023.  
  • Employers are not required to use E-Verify for employees hired prior to July 1, 2023.  
  • Employers must certify their compliance in using the E-Verify system on their first Florida tax return filed in a calendar year.  

Previously, use of the E-Verify system for newly hired employees has been mandatory for public employers and for private employers contracting with federal, state, or local governments (or for those receiving government financing incentives), but voluntary for private employers in Florida.  

Now, Florida joins several other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee, in also requiring private employers (some dependent on the number of employees) to use the E-Verify system. 

Employers can enroll with E-Verify at https://www.e-verify.gov/employers 

What if a Required Employer Does Not Register for E-Verify? 

Starting July 1, 2024, employers can be penalized and fined for noncompliance (including not registering for E-Verify and/or not using the system as required).  

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) may fine employers up to $1,000 per day and/or put the employer on probation for noncompliance.  

Employers may also have their business license revoked or suspended for continued noncompliance and may lose, or be required to pay back, economic development incentives given to them by the state of Florida.  There are also penalties for knowingly hiring, employing, referring, or recruiting noncitizens.  

The Future of Florida’s SB 1718: Links to Investor Information and Resources

The positive and/or negative impacts of SB 1718 on contractors and investors in Florida remain to be seen. As investment lenders in the State of Florida, we are 100% committed to continuing to support our construction projects, contractors, and current and future investors there. The following resources provide more discussion on the potential economic and fiscal impact of this legislation: 

  • Florida Policy Institute 

“An independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Floridians.” 


  • The Florida Senate 

“Bill Analysis and Fiscal Impact Statement (based on the provisions contained in the legislation as of April 24, 2023)” 


  • KFF 

“An independent source of health policy research, polling, and journalism.” https://www.kff.org/policy-watch/floridas-recent-immigration-law-could-have-stark-impacts-for-families-and-the-states-economy/

We hope this breakdown and list of resources regarding SB 1718 has been helpful! 

The i Fund Cities Team 

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