The hiring of brand new employees is a big step for small businesses—it marks a significant growth milestone for your company, as well as some extra responsibilities for your company with regard to finances and management.
The logistical process of onboarding a new employee can be complex, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before with your small business. However, having a good idea of what’s all involved with the process before you go through it can make it less daunting.
With this in mind, here is a simple checklist of steps you’ll need to take when hiring new employees to your small business. The first half of these steps will be specifically for companies hiring their first employee, and the second half are for all hires at any company.
- Get an employer identification number (EIN): The IRS uses EINs for tax administration purposes. If you don’t already have an EIN, you’ll need to get one before you can hire an employee.
- Register with Government of the Virgin Islands : Make sure your business is properly registered with the Government of the Virgin Islands, particularly with the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Labor. You’ll get an ID or number you’ll need when you submit your payroll taxes.
- Post required workplace notices: Some industries and regions require you to post certain labor law notices in your workplace. Make sure you follow all regulations with regard to such notices. Common examples include anti-discrimination laws and ADA compliance information.
- Get workers’ comp insurance: You’ll likely be required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance with the Virgin Islands Department of Labor. Make sure you’re fully set up with this before bringing on an employee.
- Determine the unemployment tax rate: U.S. Virgin Islands unemployment insurance tax rates vary each year, depending on salaries and wages. You’ll get your SUI tax rate each year in the mail.
- Perform all necessary pre-screening: Background checks and employee screening isn’t always mandatory, but you should still absolutely make it a priority even if it’s not required for your business.
- Get signed W-4 forms: Your new employee must fill out and sign a federal W-4 form either on or before their first day of employment with the company. Keep this form on file for your records. Local W-4 forms are also required for states and territories that collect income tax.
- Get a completed I-9 form: The Form I-9 demonstrates the employee is eligible to work in the United States. Again, keep this form on file for you records—you do not need to submit it to the federal government, but you should keep it on file for at least three years.
- Register with the new hire reporting program: Report your brand new employees through the New Hire reporting program. This registry is designed to help the federal government enforce child support payments. You’ll find your specific registry on the Small Business Administration website.
For more information about hiring new employees to your small business, contact an experienced employment attorney in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ravinder S. Nagi is Assistant Managing Attorney and Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at BoltNagi PC, a full-service business law firm based on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.