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Expanding Into Florida: Everything You Should Consider Before You Start Hiring

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Florida has huge potential for small businesses, freelancers and self-employed individuals because they form the primary driving force behind the state’s economy.

Therefore, a decision to expand into Florida, or to simply launch a new business here, is a step in the right direction.

The state of Florida, quite like other US states, has its own rules, regulations, and even a few quirks that any entrepreneur should be aware of in advance.

Focusing on recruitment in this post, let’s take a look at everything you need to consider before hiring your first employees in Florida.

Registration as an Employer is the Very First Step

Before you start hiring people for your new venture into the state, the following steps will need to be taken for establishing the company as a registered employer:

  • Acquiring a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Applying with the Florida Department of Revenue to be registered as an employer
  • Acquiring a Business Tax Account and a Reemployment Tax Number from the Florida Department of Revenue

Get Your Business Insurance Policies Sorted

To protect and cover your company, your employees, and even your clients against accidental damages and lawsuits, get the necessary Florida business insurance policies first.

As recruitment is in focus, get your workers’ comp insurance first, along with other coverage such as general liability/professional liability insurance, tools and equipment insurance, and commercial auto insurance.

Integrate the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form into the Recruitment Process

Every employee must fill in their Form I-9, also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. The information is used to verify the identity of all your employees and check whether they are allowed to work in Florida (or any other state).

However, there are a few aspects of this step which potential entrepreneurs should be aware of:

  • Applicants are not required to fill in the I-9 form unless they are hired
  • Section I of the I-9 Form is to be filled in by the hired employees only, but they must do so by the end of their very first, official workday
  • Section II of the same form is to be filled in by the employer, but they will have three working days to do so, starting from the hired employee’s first workday
  • Submission of the completed form is unnecessary unless asked to do so by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • You will need to have the completed I-9 form available on record for three years, starting from the first official day of employing the concerned employee
  • In case the employee leaves, or is fired within that timeframe, the I-9 form must still be in possession of the employer for one year

Get the Withholding Allowance Certificate (Form W-4) Ready for Each New Recruit

It is a legal requirement for each new employee to receive a signed Withholding Allowance Certificate, or Form W-4 from their employer.

Simply put, it serves as a certificate of proof that the employer is keeping the mentioned amount of money withheld from the employee’s agreed upon paychecks as federal income tax.

Once again, submission of the W-4 Form is not necessary unless instructed by the IRS.

Report All Recruitments to the Florida Department of Revenue within 20 Days

All new recruits must be reported to the Florida Department of Revenue in 20-days’ time or less. The report must include all following information about both the employer and the employees.


  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Name, address, and contact information
  • Business, worker’s comp, and medical insurance availability and information, as applicable


  • Social Security Number
  • Name, address, and contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Date of recruitment

Additional information might be needed to fill up the Florida New Hire Reporting Form, and they will need to be submitted as well, unlike the other forms discussed.

You can mail them to the Florida Department of Revenue or submit them online via their official website. That’s pretty much all that you need to know about hiring employees in Florida, but there will be follow-up steps as will.

For example, FICA payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare) will need to be considered later on, where employers are required to pay half of it on behalf of each employee.

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