When you set up a payroll structure for employees in your small business, there are several pieces to the puzzle. Your system for payroll includes how employees log in to record time worked and how wages are distributed for time worked. What might seem to be a simple process at first needs to include sick day calculations, holidays, vacation days, and varying rates of pay for overtime. The job can be stressful, especially if you have no experience setting up small business payroll. You need to pay employees on time, withhold the correct amounts for Medicare taxes and Social Security as well as state, federal, and local taxes. You are required to report all tax liabilities to your employees and the appropriate agencies as well. The Small Business Administration provides useful information on their site on the Hire and Manage Employees page. Here is some info to get you started.
As an employer, you need a unique employer identification number from the IRS. And, you need to get this number before hiring anyone! You can contact the IRS online or by calling them. You may or may not need ID numbers for your state and local authorities as well. If you are not sure about this, feel free to contact us at Exigo Business Solutions for help.
When you bring on a new employee, you need to have them fill out a W-4 form to know how much to withhold for federal taxes. Do this on the first day of employment. Other necessary forms include the I-9 to verify that the person is authorized to work within the USA and a W-2 form which needs to be filled out when Medicare, Social Security, or income tax is withheld.
Whether a person that you are paying is an employee or an independent contractor, make sure to document the hours that they work. This will be especially important if the IRS decides to audit you!
Most businesses pay their employees twice a month. No matter what system you set up, stick to it over time.
When you set up your payroll system and run it efficiently, you will use a system that helps you organize the process. Small business bookkeeping systems like QuickBooks work well in this regard. You will have records and files that are easy to access, especially when reporting to the IRS. As your business grows and becomes more complicated, you may benefit from outsourcing your payroll as well as your bookkeeping. Talk to us at Exigo Business Solutions if you need help.
It is important to know and abide by local and state policies in regard to labor laws. For example, if the law requires that you pay time and a half for overtime, you need to track this accurately, make the right payments, and record it correctly. Employees that qualify for an Earned Income Credit or have a child who qualifies are entitled to get payments throughout their fiscal year. You need to get these details right and should consult an expert in payroll if you have any questions.