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Building Your Workforce

Building Your Workforce

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Step 1: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called a Federal Tax Identification Number, identifies a business entity for business tax purposes. You will likely need an EIN to open a business bank account, for identification purposes when applying for state and local licenses, for filing income tax forms and federal payroll/employment tax forms, and for identification purposes when filing electronic returns using the Electronic Federal Tax Filing System (EFTPS).

You can apply for your EIN through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The following criteria must be met for eligibility:

  • You may apply for an EIN online if your principal business is in the United States or U.S. Territories.
  • The person applying online must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, ITIN, EIN).
  • You are limited to one EIN per responsible party per day.
    • The “responsible party” is the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity. Unless the applicant is a government entity, the responsible party must be an individual (i.e., a natural person), not an entity.

Step 2: Set up Records for Withholding Taxes

The IRS requires businesses to maintain records of employment taxes for at least four years. Keeping good records can also help you monitor the progress of your business, prepare financial statements, identify sources of receipts, keep track of deductible expenses, prepare your tax returns, and support items reported on tax returns.

Here are some important considerations for businesses that have employees:

  • Federal Income Tax Withholding – When you pay staff for the hours they put in on the job, you must also collect federal income tax from their earnings and submit it to the IRS. This is known as income tax withholding.

    Because tax rates depend on several personal factors. Employees must provide an employer with a signed withholding exemption certificate, Form W-4, on or before the date of employment. This form lists personal information that affects an employee’s federal tax payable, such as filing status, marital status, dependents, and other income. Once the employee has provided that form, you need to refer to the IRS tax tables to determine how much of each employee’s gross pay to withhold. You can find tax tables on the IRS website by searching for Publication 15-T.

  • Federal Wage and Tax Statement – every year, employers must report wages paid and taxes withheld for each employ by filing Form W-2, wage and tax statement to the IRS. Employers must complete a W-2 form for each employee to whom they pay a salary, wage, or other compensation.
  • Social Security Reporting – Employers must send a Copy A of W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration by the last day of February to report wages and taxes of your employees for the previous calendar year. In addition, employers must send copies of W-2 forms to their employees by January 31 of the year following the reporting period. Learn more at the Social Security website.

Step 3: Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance purchased by an employer that provide benefits to its employees if a job-related injury occurs. Florida law requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

The Florida Department of Finance, Division of Workers’ Compensation provides comprehensive information, documents, requirements, and laws relating to worker’s compensation insurance. This is your best resource for this information.

Step 4: Register with Florida’s New Hire Reporting Program

All employers are required to report newly hired, re-hired or temporary employees to the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) within 20 days of their hire or rehire date. Visit the DOR New Hire Reporting Center for more information and to report your employees as they are hired. You must already have obtained your Employer EIN to create your online account.

Step 5: Establish Recordkeeping Protocol

In addition to requirements for keeping payroll records of your employees for tax purposes, certain federal employment laws also require you to keep employee records. The following list indicates what these records are and which governing agency has jurisdiction over those records:

Step 6: The Hiring Process

  1. Determine Salary/Wages – Do you know what employees will expect to make for the job functions you are asking them to perform? A good way to find out is to contact your local Economic Development office or one of the other local resources found by using the Research Navigator at Volusia Business Resources.

    Once you’ve determined what a competitive wage may be for your specific industry and the occupations you will employ; review your budget to decide how many of each position you need and can afford to employ.

    Depending on the types of jobs you are hiring for, the state may have training programs and/or incentives to help offset the cost of your payroll. Visit or contact CareerSource Flagler/Volusia to learn more.

  2. Choose a Highly Clickable Job Title – Stay away from the new trendy buzzwords and rely on standard, clear, concise job titles that job seekers will be searching for.
  3. Create a Clear Meaningful Job Description – Getting the right job posting is critical for standing out in a crowd of competitors. Start with an engaging summary of the role and clearly describe the job responsibilities and required skills. If on-the-job-training is available, let your candidates know thatyou will  provide training. Elements of your job description should include:
    • Accurate job title
    • Overview of your company
    • Key job duties and responsibilities
    • Required and preferred skills
    • Working conditions (environment, physical demands, travel requirements etc.)
    • Salary or pay range
    • Benefits and perks
  4. Post Your Position – If you are going to post your position on a third-party website such as,, or, be sure to review applications regularly. Your best candidates will be in demand and are more than likely shopping for their next position and may not be available if you let too much time lapse between posting the position and reviewing the applications.
  5. Identify Your Top Candidates – Once you’ve attracted several applicants to your job posting, it is now time to start screening those candidates to determine who should move forward to the next phase.
    • Conduct pre-employment screening – After you finish reviewing applications, you should start the interview process by screening the applicants by phone and administering any skills tests you require.
    • Interview your top candidates – Once you’ve narrowed down your candidate pool through phone screening and skills assessments, hold one on-one interviews to assess the following:
      • Flexibility
      • Culture fit
      • Professionalism
      • Passion
      • Adaptability

        Only you, as the employer, knows which qualities you seek in a future employee. Establish interview questions that will focus on drawing out the values of the candidate to determine whether they will be a fit for your business.

    • Check Your Candidates’ References
    • Send an Offer Letter to Your Candidate – This letter should clearly state:
      • Job Title
      • Compensation
      • Start Date
      • Deadline to Respond
  6. Complete Background Checks
  7. Welcome Your New Employee

There is a lot to consider when hiring employees, but by following these steps (and checking with a legal professional), you can establish a process that helps populate your team with the best employees to represent you and your business.



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