If you own a small business, you know that it can be difficult to manage the day-to-day operations of the business while also keeping up with all of the rules and regulations employers must follow. Fortunately, there are many resources available to assist small business owners on many topics, such as:
If you intend to hire employees, you are required to display several federal and state posters. You should call the Iowa Workforce Development at 281-5387 and request the posters they have available, without charge, that should be posted for the benefit of your employees. You should check the following website for a current list of and access to required postings: http://www.iowaworks.org/reqposters.htm.
Regarding social security numbers, a program for verifying employees’ Social Security numbers online is available through the Social Security Administration. Employers can go to www.socialsecurity.gov/employer, search under “Verify SSNs,” and you can enter numbers for up to 10 employees at a time and find out immediately if those numbers match the Social Security Administration’s records.
Employers are sometimes tempted to skip routine background checks on job applicants. Firms such as First Advantage, USIS and ChoicePoint offer screening for as little as $15 per person.
The IRS has a new guide to retirement plans for small business owners, including SEPs, SIMPLE-IRAs, payroll deduction IRAs, 401(k)s, profit sharing plans, defined benefit plans and plans for exempt groups. Its Retirement Plans Navigator compares the contribution limits, filing requirements and basic operational rules for the various types of plans. It can be viewed at: www.retirementplans.irs.gov. The IRS also has a video with information on starting a retirement plan for small businesses, which can be accessed at www.irsvideos.gov/startretirementplan.
Help for small businesses dealing with government regulations is available at www.business.usa.gov. This website provides guidance on compliance with these regulations.
For nuts-and-bolts advice on managing your business, you may want to check out two free sources: SCORE, a nonprofit group made up of retired executives (www.score.org) and the SBA Small Business Development Center (www.sba.gov/sbdc.)
Additionally, Kiplinger offers a free nine-part video series concerning tax and other key issues facing small business owners. To access the free video series, go to www.kiplinger.com/letterlinks/smallbusinessworkshop.