What forms do I have to fill out on my employee’s first day?

Your employee is about to start, and you can’t contain your excitement. But how exactly do you onboard them compliantly while playing it cool? Simply follow these steps below:

Ask them to bring ID on their first day.

Before they begin, make sure they pack an ID to bring in on day one. A driver’s license and Social Security card, or just a passport will do the trick. Check out this list for more acceptable forms of ID.

Have them fill out an I-9.

Form I-9, along with their valid form of ID, verifies whether your employee can legally work in this country. Store the form for at least three years after your new hire starts or a year after they leave, whatever chunk of time is longer.

Have them fill out a W-4.

This form helps your employee figure out their tax withholding amount. You don’t have to send this off anywhere, but hold on to it for at least four years.

File a new hire report.

Within around 20 days of your employee’s start date, contact your state labor department to file a new hire report. Basically, this tells your state all of the essential information about your new employee, and they use it to find anyone who may owe debts. Use this list of state labor departments to find out where to send it off.


This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business.