10 Regulatory Steps You Must Follow When Hiring Your First Employee – Part 2

My last post delved into the somewhat overwhelming topic of hiring your first employee and navigating the ensuing terrain of employment regulation and all those forms!

With the help of some free government resources, I outlined some simple tactical steps that you can take to make the transition from being your own boss to being someone else’s boss a seamless and compliant process.

Yesterday’s post introduced the first five steps in the process; here are steps 6-10:

Step 6: Register for Unemployment Insurance Tax

Now that your business has employees you may be required to pay unemployment insurance tax. Business.gov’s State Taxes page can help you determine whether this applies to your business and includes links to help you register with your state’s workforce agency.

Step 7: Check Whether you are Required to Purchase Disability Insurance

Some states require employers to provide partial wage replacement insurance coverage to eligible employees for non-work related sickness or injury. Currently, if your employees are located in CA, HI, NJ, NY, RI, or Puerto Rico, you must purchase disability insurance.

Step 8: Don’t Forget your Workplace Posters

Laws require that your business prominently displays posters that inform employees of their rights and your responsibilities to them under labor laws. See this resource for information about Workplace Posters.

Step 9: File Your Taxes – It’s Different When You Have Employees

It sounds common sense; of course you must file your taxes. But if you are new employer, there are different and new federal and state tax filing requirements that apply to you.

Take time to read the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide to understand all your federal tax filing requirements and visit your state tax agency for specific tax filing requirements for employers.

Step 10: Get Organized and Keep Yourself Informed

Now that most of the form filling bureaucracy is out of the way, you can focus on creating a fulfilling, safe, and fair workplace. Here are some further steps you should take after you’ve hired your employees:

  • Start Keeping Records – From tax and labor recordkeeping requirements, through secured personnel performance and training records, organized recordkeeping is a must.
  • Adopt Workplace Safety Practices – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Quick Start tool can tell you what applies to you.
  • Understand Employee Benefit PlansEmployee Benefit Plans must adhere to minimum standards.
  • Learn Management Best Practices – The SBA offers lots of free guidance on hiring, motivating, and directing employees.
  • Apply Standards that Protect Employee Rights – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) offer lots of guidance on required standards.

If you are in the process of hiring your first employee, it’s also a good time to consider the financial grants and loans available from the government to help you expand. Check out the new SBA Business Gateway Program’s grants and loans tool. It’s an easy way to find out what funding programs are available from federal and state agencies.

Stay tuned for another post after the holidays. Happy Thanksgiving.