Hiring your first employee is a significant milestone, and in addition to finding the right person for the job, you will need to comply with a number of state and federal requirements. Every person you hire will have to complete some paperwork, including tax forms and employment eligibility documentation. You will also need to consider what safety and workplace regulations you need to have in place before your first employee actually begins to work.
You will have to take some initial steps to get formally set up as an employer. From applying for an EIN number so that your employees can be paid, to complying with your state and local regulations, and even posting some important (and required) documentation in your workplace, you will need to have some things completed before you can hire your first employee.
Once your business is ready to accept employees, you will need to set up an onboarding process that includes some required paperwork and forms. From the I-9 which proves your workers are eligible to be employed, to the W-4 which outlines your withholding responsibilities, you will need to repeat this process with each new member of your team. For each new hire, you need to complete the following things:
From complying with the safety rules outlined by OSHA to creating a handbook that employees can refer to, thinking about the following topics and details before you hire your first employee ensures you are truly ready and that your business is secure.
Not only does creating a safe workplace protect you and your new employees from harm, but it keeps you in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations, too. Every employer needs to comply with requirements outlined by OSHA. From creating a safe workplace, to properly training your employees to perform their jobs safely, and providing the appropriate gear, complying with OSHA regulations can help prevent accidents and costly fines.
While it is not required by state or federal law, an employee handbook can help you in a variety of ways. It is easy to outline your policies and what you will and will not allow in a clear and comprehensive handbook. By clearly defining your expectations and requirements, you can be sure that your team understands what you need from them and what actions you can take if they fail to comply. If you have locations in more than one state, you will need a separate handbook for each state, since employment laws will vary. Some topics to cover in an employee handbook include the following:
Each year that you have employees, you will need to file a few forms or documents with the IRS. The IRS Form 940 reports your federal unemployment tax, and you will need to file this form any year that an employee worked for you for at least 20 weeks of the year. You will also need to file this form if you pay $1,500 or more in wages in any quarter of the year.
From complying with federal reporting and tax laws to setting up a detailed handbook, the process of hiring your first employee may take longer than you think. The good news is that once you have gone through the process for the first time, you will have everything you need already in place when you are ready to hire additional employees. By tackling all of the details in the beginning, you can ensure you are truly ready to hire and that your business complies with all federal, state, and local regulations.
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