Your business is growing, and it’s time to look to the future. If you want to keep growing, you need help. It’s time to hire your first employee. Up to this point, you may have worked alone, outsourced, or used freelance, and contract help. There’s a lot to consider whether you’re hiring your first employee or your 20th. The recruiting process alone is demanding. Deciding what qualifications fit your needs, how much you can afford to pay, and what new equipment you need is daunting. Then there’s the legal end of it. What do you need to know, what forms will you need?

New Employee Forms Checklist

Before hiring your first employee, you should be familiar with the basic federal and state forms. You’re required to record Federal tax withholding for four years, send W-2’s to employees by January 31th of the following year, and file employment eligibility forms for three years. Each State has regulations. Here’s the short list.

____Employee Tax ID form SS-4

____Federal withholding W-4

____Federal Wage and tax W-2

____State Tax forms

____I-9 Employee eligibility

____State New Hire Reporting Form

Other Requirements

Forms aren’t required for all regulations. The US Department of Labor and State Labor Boards have specific requirements; depending on your business you may need to meet OSHA standards. The federal government requires worker’s compensation on most employees.

____ Post required Labor Laws

____Workers Compensation Certificate

____ Share OSHA regulations

Other Considerations

Regulations don’t cover every aspect of recruiting and maintaining competent employees. For example, I turned down a lucrative position for several years until they were able to offer me a similar benefits package to the one I had. Informing employees with policies, procedures and a handbook isn’t only efficient it may protect you. Sharing information and training how to use it, or the lack thereof, can and will affect the bottom line.


_____Policies and procedures

_____ Health and safety initiatives

_____ Training

_____ Employee handbook

A wise man once told me there was no such thing as stagnant—you’re either on the way up—or on the way down. He also told me business is always a problem—there’s not enough, or there’s too much. Smart man. Hiring employees to sustain growth is one of those business problems that you want. Think about it; it sure beats the alternative.

This post is a simplified new employee to-do list; it doesn’t share how,  where, or why. But never fear. If you want the details, the SBA (Small Business Administration) lists them in this article, Hire Your First Employee. What were your biggest challenges when you hired your first employee?