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Never done payroll before and don't know where to begin? If you are just getting ready to hire help for your growing business, we can help you lay the foundation and get started.
Before the first employee is officially hired and on-boarded, we will help you apply for an Employer Identification Number or EIN from the IRS. This is basically the Social Security Number of your business and is necessary when reporting information to the IRS and state governments.
Many states and local governments require businesses to obtain an ID to process state and local taxes. We will check state and local requirement so that the proper process is followed for your local compliance.
Once all the necessary identifications are taken care of, the next step is to define pay periods. You may have a pay period in mind but must consider that pay periods are usually dictated by the state, which guide the amount of time between expected paychecks.
Next in the process is to define terms of employee compensation. We can assist you in the evaluation of compensation terms that fits your business maturity level and appeals to the talent you are seeking to attract. Is the work best suited for an employee or contractor? Will the positions be salary or hourly? Full time or part time? Will you offer paid vacation? Overtime? How will you track hours worked? What about healthcare benefits and retirement plans which will need to be deducted from checks and paid to the corresponding providers? What about worker's compensation insurance? All of these questions need to be answered and documented for your business beforehand.
Upon hiring, collect from employees a set of required documents needed for the setup of their payroll. There is a significant amount of sensitive information and records to keep track when hiring help for your business. Below are three essential forms to know about.
Federal Income Tax Withholding Form (or W-4) when they begin so you know how much federal income tax to withhold from their pay. You must have a W-4 on file for all active employees, and for three years after an employee has left the company.
Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification Form (or W-9) to help accurately estimate the taxes owed by contract workers in a given tax year. It’s a request for information about the contractors you pay as well as an agreement with those contractors that you won’t be withholding income tax from their pay — contractors must pay their own taxes on this income. If your business pays people or other small businesses more than $600 each for completed work, and those people aren’t employed by you, you need to collect a W-9 for tax purposes.
Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.
While there are some business owners who are able to manage everything themselves, many others find it to be a relief and convenient to outsource payroll activities to specialized accountants.