Remote work is becoming increasingly popular with businesses and employees: According to estimates, flexible work arrangements have become three to ten times more common since 2019. Offering remote work options can give employers access to a national talent pool, reduce overhead costs, and help businesses attract and retain the best people for their teams. This shift also means that an increasing number of companies face multi-state payroll obligations. If you employ out-of-state remote workers, have business locations in multiple states, or have employees who travel for work, you may be required to withhold taxes in multiple states.
In 2022, New York reported a gross state product of over two trillion dollars, the third highest number of any state in the US. That’s a lot of business activity—and it represents a large number of employers subject to New York’s workers’ compensation policies. New York imposes strict workers’ compensation requirements and steep penalties for violations. If you employ workers in New York, you’ll need to comply with the state’s workers’ compensation laws to avoid fines or actions against your business.
Salary transparency laws are a relatively new phenomenon in the US—until Colorado enacted the 2021 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, no US jurisdictions required businesses to disclose pay information to employees or the public. Since 2021, eight additional states and multiple jurisdictions have passed similar laws. An increasing number of legislators and policy groups have also called for additional action, identifying wage secrecy as a contributor to both the gender pay gap and wage gaps affecting people of color—and citing a growing body of research showing that salary transparency can increase pay equity.
Labor law posters are federal and state documents that contain information about employee rights and responsibilities. Businesses are required to display labor law posters in their place of business and distribute notices electronically to remote workers. Do I need labor law posters? Whether or not you are required to post state and federal labor law posters depends on whether or not you have employees. If… Your business has at least one employee on payroll (including part-time employees), then you are required to post labor law posters in their place of work.
Running a business can sometimes be exhilarating work, but it can also come with its fair share of tedium—thanks to the long list of tasks associated with compliance. Filing an annual report in your state of incorporation—and any additional states where you’re registered to do business—is one of those tasks. And like many business compliance tasks, the specific requirements to file vary from state to state. What is an annual report?
HR compliance has two main parts. First, you need to identify the laws and regulations that apply to your business, and then, you need to comply with them. Both can be tricky. Businesses need to comply with federal, state, and local laws in every jurisdiction where they employ workers. Laws also change all the time, and government agencies won’t notify you of changes—it’s your job to stay up to date.
At its most basic level, workers’ compensation is one of the simpler compliance requirements for employers to navigate. You either need to carry it, or you don’t—and because most US states require employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage, if you have employees, you’re likely to need coverage. But here’s where it can get thorny: Workers’ compensation requirements are determined by state law, and authorized providers, required benefits, and exemptions vary by state.
If you work with a professional employer organization (PEO), it’s a good idea to regularly reevaluate the relationship. Growing businesses can reach a point where the costs of working with a PEO outweigh the benefits, and some companies expanding into new states may also run into limitations on what PEOs can do there—eliminating the PEO’s original value proposition. If you’re dissatisfied with your PEO or your business circumstances have changed, it may be time to leave.
Conventional wisdom holds that only death and taxes are certain. The tricky part, however, is that sometimes tax obligations aren’t certain. For multi-state business owners, determining what you owe (and where you owe it) can be complicated. Consider the following brain-teaser: A Wisconsin-based DTC pickle company grows cucumbers outside of Milwaukee, pickles them on site, and ships them to individual consumers all over the country. As the business grows, it retains the help of a New Jersey-based marketing professional and a fulfillment consultant in Michigan.
Let’s say that you own a tomato farm in Iowa. You harvest your own seeds, grow your tomatoes in Iowa soil, harvest your tomatoes with a local workforce, and sell them at a local farmers markets. Congratulations—you own a single-state business, and you don’t need to worry about foreign qualification. But what if you’re a startup founder who is building a platform to connect farmers to restaurants and boutique grocery markets in their region?