The sun has risen and set on your employee’s first day. All your careful preparation is paying off, and your new teammate is beaming with excitement. What’s next? You and you new hire will need to take care of a rainbow of forms that tell others about the step you made, and then, keep your employee getting paid like clockwork. Some forms you’ll simply stash away, while others you’ll mail off to the government, insurance carriers, or other entities.
This chapter will explain exactly what you have to do with the laundry list of documents coming your way.
A few words of advice
To start? Take care of all your onboarding forms right away. As soon as your employees start, it’s important to just knock these items off your to-do list so you don’t have to waste time hunting down deadlines. A good rule of thumb is to give your new employees a checklist of what they have to fill out before their first day, so they can arrive with all the documentation they need.
Depending on the onboarding service you use, you may need to round up the following pieces of information to get things moving:
- Emergency contact details
- Routing numbers for direct deposit
- Home address
- And more
You may want to create a single internal onboarding form that collects all of these nuggets so you don’t leave anything by the wayside.
What you have to do
Make sure both you and your employee have easy access to all of their essential documents.
Double-check that your employee filled out a job application
In most cases, you can check this off in a heartbeat. But if your employee was hired without filling out a paper or digital application, you don’t have a list of their qualifications, employment history, educational background, and other crucial elements you need. Additionally, you can use the signature on the job application to get permission for checking references, conducting a background check, and sometimes even reviewing drug tests. However, this varies by state, so be sure to check your state’s labor website. If someone on the team dropped the ball on this front, just have them fill it out before you do any of the reviews above.
Sometimes it can feel like you have to do the whole nine yards just to get your employee in the front door. With the I-9, you don’t have to stress. It’s a document that helps you determine whether or not your employee is able to work in this country. You’ll have to keep the form on hand for either a year after they leave or three years after their start date — whatever timeframe is longer.
In a pinch? Use the IRS’s E-Verify tool to get your answer in a jiffy.
Once your employee joins, tell your state the good news. Specifically, tell your state labor office their name, address, and Social Security number. This is used to figure out if people owe child support to the state. You’ll have anywhere from a few months to a couple of days to send off the information, so be sure to check with your state to make sure you get it in on time.
If you have a contractor, did they earn over $600 from you this year? If that’s the case, fill out a 1099 to report how much they made over the course of the year. Both you and your contractor will need this form for taxes, so keep an eye on it.
- Mail the form to your contractor by January 31st
- Mail a copy of the form to the IRS by February 28th. If you process the form online through the FIRE system, you have until March 31st to send it in.
What your team has to do:
Complete any benefits enrollment forms
If you offer your team health coverage or life insurance, they’ll have to give you details about the family members they’d like covered, any beneficiaries they have, along with their decision on which plan they want. Spend ample time going over their options so they’re not in the dark on such an important area of their life.
This form is for your new hire to complete, and is used to calculate their tax withholding. Similar to the I-9, it doesn’t need to be mailed anywhere. However, be sure to hold on to it for at least four years. Having trouble remembering that part? Check the name of the form in your hand.
This document is used to make sure your contractor is exactly who they say they are. Specifically, it captures their name, address, business entity, and most importantly, their Taxpayer Identification Number. Once you receive it, double check that they excused themselves from withholding taxes. That’s because they should file taxes on their own since they’re self-employed. After you verify the form, keep it somewhere safe for at least four years.
In no way, shape, or form do you have to let new hire forms get you down. The documents above are the main ones you have to be aware of during onboarding, but be sure to mosey on over to your state’s labor website to see if there are any extras you need to add to your list. Use this article as your starting base, and you’ll be in tip-top form with all the forms you need to handle.