New Hire Paperwork

Getting your Employee Off on the Right Foot

The optimum time to obtain an employees’ signature on agreements or government documents, is before they are hired, or on the very first day. Have an appropriate staff member, such as the office manager or a human resources department rep, meet with the new employee before any work begins and have your employee fill out their new hire paperwork. The following is a list of the required and optional documents that companies most commonly include in the new hire packet.


  • State Tax Withholding Certificate (if applicable): Some States do not require this form, go to the website below for a directory of forms by state
  • W4 Federal Tax Withholding: The W-4 establishes tax deductions for the employee
  • I-9: These are required for all US W-2 employees. The I-9 establishes the employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Note that these filled out forms should be kept in a separate I-9 folder for all employees — not in each employee’s personnel file.
  • Insurance Exchange Notice: As part of health care reform, beginning January 1, 2014, health care coverage is available for individuals and employees of small businesses through state health insurance exchanges (also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require covered employers to provide current employees and new hires with written notice of the existence of the exchanges. (see Insurance and LOA section for more information)

Optional but Highly Recommended:

  • Offer Letter: (if you don’t already have it) Make sure that your new employee receives a copy of a fully executed agreement (when both parties have signed).
  • Employee Cover Letter: This is a document that tells the employee exactly what forms you need returned.
  • One-Way Non-Disclosure Agreement: This is a confidentiality agreement makes the new employee responsible for keeping all company information confidential.
  • Code of Conduct Policies: These document are very important. It sets the tone upfront for the behavior you expect from the person you have just hired. Make sure you collect the signature page (the last page of each document) and leave the rest with the person hired so they have it as a reference. We recommend the following (please note a copy of these can be found in the “Company Policy and Procedures”)
    • Business Ethics and Conduct Policy & Acknowledgment Page
    • Equal Employment Opportunity & Acknowledgment Page
    • Employee Conduct and Work Ethic & Acknowledgment Page
    • Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation & Acknowledgment Page
    • Employee Handbook
  • Additional Documents: You may choose to add other documents as you have them, this may include
    • Direct Deposit Form
    • Organizational Chart
    • Payroll Calendar
    • Staff Directory
    • Welcome Letter (first day, outlining any network id’s, passwords etc)

For 1099 Contractors, in addition to their Independent Contractor Agreement & Disclosure Agreement:

  • W9: This is required for all independent contractors working within the US. (Contractors do not need to complete the State Withholding, W4 or I9)