Now that we are more than two weeks into 2013, it’s important to keep in mind all of the things that must be done to keep your small business running smoothly.  I’ve put together a list of 10 items that will help you start the new year off right. Here are the first 5:

  1. Update your labor law posters – More than likely, one of the state or federal labor laws has changed.  So, it’s best to order the posters at least once a year to make sure you are keeping up.  Most big box office supply stores have them for a reasonable price.  Make sure you order one for federal laws and one for state laws.
  2. Update payroll tax rates – If you run payroll yourself, make sure you are using all the correct rates to calculate paychecks and company payroll taxes. For example, the rate used to calculate your state unemployment premiums typically changes at the beginning of the year. State unemployment offices usually mail a notice with this information at the end of the previous year.
  3. Notify employees of payroll tax changes that affect them – This year for example, social security tax went back up to 6.2% of wages.  It’s a good idea to make sure employees are aware of this change before they receive their first paycheck, so there are no surprises.
  4. Provide employees with a new W-4 form – This is a nice reminder that they can change their allowances. Some employees may have had a major life event in the previous year like getting married or having a child and did not think about updating their allowances at that time.
  5. Prep 1099-Misc forms for vendors and W-2 forms for employees – This is a pain, but using software like QuickBooks makes it much easier.  These must be supplied to vendors and employees by January 31st. For more information on how to prepare these and who to send them to you can always visit irs.gov.   Just type what you’re looking for in the search box.  It’s a great resource for all things related to taxes.
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