Hiring Employees For The First Time?

Congratulations, you're growing your business

We recommend reviewing the GROW chapter of the Small Business Guide for information on growing your business and hiring employees.

To hire employees for the first time, here are the three things you will need to do:

1. Apply or refile for your Washington State Business License using the online Business Licensing Service (BLS): http://bls.dor.wa.gov/file.aspx. If you register your corporation with the Secretary of State (SOS), use the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number provided by SOS when applying for Business License. The reason you need to refile is to indicate that you now have employees.

Here’s what happens when you finish applying/refiling on line:

o BLS forwards your business license information to Employment Security Department (ESD) and Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). ESD and L&I with then automatically create your State Unemployment Insurance (SUI) and Workers Compensation (WC) accounts in their respective systems.

ESD mails you a packet, within two business days, with your SUI account information. Learn more here https://esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes.

L&I mails you a packet, within two weeks, with WC account information. Learn more here https://lni.wa.gov/insurance/insurance-requirements/do-i-need-a-workers-comp-account/.

BLS mails you your business license within ten business days (6 weeks if you apply by mail).

2. Report your new employees through the New Hire Reporting program to Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS): https://www.dshs.wa.gov/esa/division-child-support/new-hire-reporting. Report within 20 days after employment. Out-of-state employers do not need to report if listed as a multi-state employer.

3. Create a workplace safety program. A workplace safety program is required regardless of size and type of business. For helpful guidance please check out Get Started with Safety & Health. In addition, get free professional assistance from L&I's Safety & Health consultation services. To learn about safety program requirements, visit L&I’s Accident Prevention Program resource page.

4. Apply for an Employer Identifier Number (EIN) with Internal Revenue Service (IRS): https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers(do this right away)

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