Compliance checklist

When setting up payroll for your business, there are a few federal and state requirements you'll need to take care of.

1. Fill out employee onboarding forms

When you hire a new employee, you’ll need to gather some info. First, they’ll need to fill out a W-4 form to tell you how much income tax they want to be withheld from their paychecks. Next, they’ll need to fill out the I-9 form to prove they are allowed to work in the U.S. With the I-9 form you’ll also need to check their passport or other ID, as outlined in the instructions on the form. Once these are complete, make sure to keep them in your records. If you are using Gusto, we will automatically store these forms electronically for you.

2. Report your new hires to the state

When you hire a new employee you must report some info to the state where they will be working. The state uses this information to find people who owe government-mandated debts, like child support. This report should be filed by the due date required in your state (often within 20 days of hire). If you are using Gusto, you can choose to have us file this report for you.

3. Get Workers’ Compensation insurance

Almost every state requires employers to have Workers’ Compensation insurance. Depending on your state rules, you can get this insurance through either a commercial carrier or through your state’s workers' compensation insurance program. Workers' comp provides benefits to your employees and covers your business in case of employee illness or injuries that occur while your employees are on the job.

4. Get workplace posters

There are certain posters that you must post in your offices depending on the city, county, and state where your business is located. Check out this Department of Labor’s Poster Advisor tool to find the required posters for your location and get printable versions of them. Some online companies, like the Labor Law Poster Store, also offer these posters for purchase.

5. Follow employment and labor law requirements

It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with labor laws that may apply to you, such as minimum wage, wage garnishments, termination issues, and contractors classification. A great resource for this info is the Department of Labor’s Employer Guide. We also recommend checking out the U.S. Small Business Administrations' 10 Steps to Starting a Business. The information they provide discusses everything from writing a business plan to applying for licenses and permits.

6. Health Insurance

If you’d like to offer health insurance to your team, make sure that you meet ACA regulations. If you have benefits managed by Gusto, we’ll help keep you compliant with ACA regulations by managing your pre-tax payroll deductions, offering a 1095-C to applicable companies, providing your newly hired employees with the ACA Marketplace Notice, housing the section 125 document in your account, and keeping you aligned with your current policies and insurance carrier.