Businessman consults a colleague about the content of a piece of paperwork.
When you bring a new employee on board, their paperwork needs to be complete and accurate to ensure they get paid and that you're complying with local and federal ordinances. — Getty Images/fizkes

As a new business owner, adding employees to your team is an exciting part of the growth process. To keep the process moving smoothly, it’s critical to know which new hire documents business owners must complete in order to remain in good standing with labor laws. Here's a breakdown of the different types of the necessary paperwork you’ll need to complete when recruiting and hiring new personnel for your team.

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When is hiring paperwork needed?

Any time you bring a new person into your company to work with you, you need them to fill out hiring paperwork. Regardless of whether this person is a freelancer on a contract or a full-time employee, they need to fill out some form of paperwork so your business legally complies with your state’s labor laws and so they get paid. It's required to comply with state and national employment laws, and doing so can protect your company’s specific needs.

What is hiring paperwork?

New hire paperwork is the paperwork any new employee needs to complete in order to begin working for your company. This paperwork is a combination of documents. Some of these forms are government forms for income tax and legal obligations. Other documents, such as the company code of conduct and an employee handbook, establish an agreement between you and your new employee about company policy.

[Read: ​​4 Big Hiring Trends To Watch For in 2021]

Regardless of whether this person is a freelancer on a contract or a full-time employee, they need to fill out some form of paperwork so your business legally complies with your state’s labor laws and so they get paid.

Papers required for hiring paperwork

Here are some of the forms required for hiring new employees:

W-4 (or W-9) form

The W-4 form tells employers how much money the employee wants to withhold from their pay for the correct federal tax income. If your new hire is a contract employee, they'll need to fill out a W-9 form with the same purpose. This form needs to be completed as soon as the person is hired so your accounting department can know how much to withhold from their first paycheck.

I-9 form

An I-9 form is used to verify an employee's identity and eligibility to work within the United States. Both the new hire and the employer need to fill out sections within the new hire’s first day of employment. In order for this form to be completed, the new employee must provide identification documents that the employer physically examines.

State tax withholding form

Many states require new employees to fill out a separate form for withholding state income tax. When creating a hiring paperwork packet for your new employee, check with your state's employment laws to see what tax forms are required.

Employee benefits form
These forms outline all of the benefits your employee is eligible to receive, including plan summaries and enrollment instructions. These forms should make it as easy as possible for them to sign up for the benefits your company provides.

Direct deposit form

If your employee is interested in having their paycheck deposited directly into their banking account, they'll need to fill out a direct deposit form. Some companies make direct deposit mandated and do not offer the ability to collect a physical check. Others leave the decision up to the employee’s personal preference. In this form, the employee will fill out their bank information so your accounting department can deposit their check right into their preferred account.

Internal forms

Internal forms are any additional paperwork your company requires in order to establish its relationship with your employees. Depending on your business, this may include non-compete agreements, non-disclosure agreements, acknowledgment form of the employee handbook, drug test consent agreements, confidentiality agreements and other forms.

Personal data for emergencies form

Every organization should collect some personal information about their employees in case of an emergency that occurs while at work. In its simplest form, this document has all of the emergency contact information on file for the employee, including their emergency contact’s name, phone, email and relationship to the employee. Some employers will ask for the information of the employee’s primary care physician so they have someone to contact for medical emergencies.

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