Compliance For Business Owners: Payroll, Benefits, And Taxes, Oh My!

Ever since we were kids, we hated the rules. Do your homework, eat your brussel sprouts, brush your hair and teeth, kiss your mommy goodnight, stay in bed. It was so monotonous, day in, day out. We wanted so badly to just roll our eyes, but we didn’t for fear of the parental wrath. We, however, persevered, and we’re now here in the corporate world —

And we’re facing the same thing all over again, only it’s all encompassed by just one word: compliance.

Yes, as a business owner, you have to comply with a lot of regulations. The penalty for ignoring such laws are steep. The worst of it is this: oftentimes we miss the mark, not for lack of trying to stay on target, but there’s often so many regulations to watch out for that some slip right by us.

We’re here to help you with this guide. Pay close attention as we guide you first through….

Managing Payroll Legally

People need to work. This is important. You have to pay attention to these factors….

  • The Minimum Wage
  • Overtime Pay (1 ½ Times the Hourly Wage)
  • Pay Stubs (With All Information: Gross Pay, Deductions, Etc. Etc.)
  • W-2 Forms
  • Final Paychecks Upon Termination

These requirements are so basic, yet so vital to ensuring you’re following the rules. You’d be surprised just how easy it is for a company to completely overlook overtime rules, and it’s even easier for an employee to do just the same. Don’t take any chances, though.

Handling Benefits

Don’t be fooled — you might’ve heard that offering benefits to your employees is an option. You’ve heard wrong. There are certain benefits that you are required to offer, such as health insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. If you happen to be a small business at least 50 full-time employees, guess what: you need to provide health insurance.

That also includes provisions for family and medical leave, protecting the security of jobs held by your workforce. It means you’re not allowed to hand over the position to someone else while your person’s currently in bed due to surgery. It’s not fair.

Without a doubt, too, you need unemployment insurance. What happens when an employee files for unemployment? The state goes to you and says, “hey, this person needs some sort of compensation now.” If you don’t have any unemployment insurance, you could be in big trouble. Ditto for workman’s comp and disability. Keep yourself covered.

Death and Taxes

However, let’s not talk about Death. Death has enough on his mind. Taxes, though, we can talk about from a corporate standpoint, as your responsibilities skyrocket tremendously.

You’ve got to keep an eye on federal income tax, social security tax, Medicare tax, federal unemployment tax and so many other taxes. Not to forget to mention this important fact: tax rates do fluctuate annually, so it’ll be your responsibility to keep tabs on it.

It Might Seem Like a Lot to Deal With….

  • The Department of Labor Employer Guide

Thankfully, you have all these resources to help you out as a business owner. Of course, always consult with your qualified business lawyer for more information.

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Matt Faustman is the CEO at UpCounsel. You can follow his business insights on Twitter at @upcounsel.