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3 Federal Forms Every Business Owner Needs When Hiring Employees

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

As a small business owner, there are several federal employment forms you should know about regarding hiring employees.

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Here are the top three federal government forms that every small business owner should know about and may eventually need to use.

1. IRS Form SS-4: Application for Employer Identification Number

Before hiring your first employee, your business must apply for a federal employer identification number (EIN) issued by the IRS. An EIN is a unique tax identification number for businesses. Sole proprietors, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and Corporations can apply for an EIN.

Important Note: You may also need a state employer identification number. Check with your state.

Helpful Resouces:

1. Get help obtaining an EIN from a professional online filing service such as Swyft Filings.

2. Learn more about Form SS-4.


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2. IRS Form W-4: Employee's Withholding Certificate

Employers are required to withhold federal taxes from an employee's pay. Form W-4 is used to determine how much you will need to withhold. An employee will need to complete this form, and you will need to input this information into your payroll system.

Important Note: You may also need a state employee's withholding certificate. Check with your state if it requires employers to withhold state payroll taxes.

Helpful Resources:

1. Setup and run your payroll with Gusto, an online tool that makes running payroll quick and simple. Gusto also offers additional features to help you better manage your employees.

2. Visit the IRS website to learn more about Form W-4.


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3. USCIS Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification

The federal government requires employers to verify if an employee has the authorization to work in the United States. Employers must use Form I-9 issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Both the employer and employee need to complete this form.

Important Note: Some states require all or some employers to use the E-Verify online system, which is an additional verification process. Learn more about E-Verify and check if your state requires it.

Helpful Resources:

1. Visit the USCIS website to learn more about Form I-9.

2. Use Gusto to electronically store your I-9 forms for every employee.


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