Ready to Hire! A Guide to Required Paperwork for Small Businesses

By Allan Thompson | Chief Operating Officer

This is the third part in Jet Capital’s series on hiring the best talent for your small business. The first part of the series covers recruiting and the second part covers interviewing.

After a thorough search, you are ready to hire! You have finally found the right person for the job, have worked out just the right compensation and are ready to extend the offer. However, don’t get lost in the excitement before you finalize a long-term commitment. There are a few final steps that smart business owners follow for wise and organized hiring.

Background Checks

Most businesses will conduct a formal background check before finalizing a new hire. Getting legal advice or a specialized background service to run background checks for your business is recommended. This will protect your business from liability and ensure you are getting the appropriate information.

There are many special rules for background checks based on federal and state laws, and even industry specific requirements. There are privacy and anti-discrimination laws to consider, both through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Outsourcing background checks to a reputable service not only makes sure these important laws are followed, but can also ensure that background checks are done consistently across your hiring.

You may be tempted to do a few quick Internet searches, but this will not find the kind of data that a full background check will discover. Furthermore, you might not know how to use the information you find, especially with respect to evolving privacy laws. Hiring a service is a smart way to proceed with background checks.

Even when you use a service to perform the background check, you are required to get written permission to perform a background check from the candidate you are investigating and will also need to inform the candidate of their rights. The individual you are checking is also entitled to the report and any adverse action notices.

Once you have the background check, remember that this is just one part of your candidate’s backstory. If you find something that might affect your hiring decision, communicate with your candidate. Additional information might clear up your concerns.

Click Here for more detailed information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for Employers.

Tax Paperwork

Small businesses must stay organized when it comes to taxes. When you are making a new hire, it is important to double-check all of the required paperwork for the IRS, state, and local governments. Keep in mind that the IRS would like you to keep records of your employment taxes for at least 4 years.

If you are hiring your first-ever employee, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. You can apply online HERE.

Once you are ready to hire, you will need to fill out several tax forms.

  • Form W-4, Federal Income Tax Withholding should be filled out and signed on or before the first day of employment.
  • Form W-2, Federal Wage and Tax Statement
  • State Tax Withholding - Check your state HERE.

Also, you will need to submit a Copy A of each employee’s W-2 to the Social Security Administration by January 31st. Other quarterly deadlines apply, including your IRS Form 941, which is the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return.

Other Hiring Paperwork for Small Businesses

Above and beyond taking care of taxes, there are a few more important forms to submit. While you may have additional optional paperwork for health care, life insurance, and retirement benefits that are part of your new hire’s compensation package, this section includes necessary paperwork for all hires.

  • Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification should be completed within three days of hire. You are required to keep this form on file for three years or one year after the termination of the employee.
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance, All businesses are required to cover their employees through a private or state-run Worker’s Compensation program. Check your existing coverage to add your new hire.
  • The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires that all new hires are reported to a state registry within 20 days of their hire. These state-run registries were created to help follow through with child support programs. Find your state’s registration website HERE.

Once you have covered these basics, you can follow through with direct deposit paperwork, insurance coverage for medical, disability, and life policies, retirement planning, and any other paperwork required for your employee’s benefits package. If you plan to hire frequently, creating a checklist of forms to fill and actions to take will save time and effort in the future.

Additional Resources for Small Businesses

As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on labor and tax laws. Check in with these government websites regularly for information and updates on changes to regulations.

Department of Labor - www.dol.gov This site covers labor laws including hiring requirements, wage and overtime rules, and news about new government programs to protect employers and workers.

Internal Revenue Service - www.irs.gov This is the original source of all tax rules and regulations. You can find all the tax forms, video tutorials, and news on new tax rules that  apply to small businesses and employers.

The U. S. Small Business Administration - www.sba.gov This website is designed and tailored to your needs as a small business owner. For excellent, updated resources about hiring, visit their page devoted to hiring.

Following through on all of the required paperwork protects you, your new employee, and your business. Jet Capital understands that hiring is an exciting, but sometimes costly part of moving your small business forward. If you need fast working capital to take advantage of a key hire, visit localhost/JC and apply today! We wish you all the best of luck in building your team!

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