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Tips for hiring your startup's first employee

Running a startup business is an exciting venture. As you start to experience success, handling it all on your own or with a partner may not be feasible. Eventually, you may start to expand your company by hiring employees. 

While this is a wonderful prospect, you may face some confusion and hesitation when hiring your first worker. You have to consider plenty of legal, procedural and interpersonal factors when making this decision. Here are a few core guidelines to follow as you become an employer.

Handle the basic legal requirements

Your business must comply with laws regarding employment and taxes. One of the most important steps in this regard is obtaining an employer identification number. Once you have an EIN, you can set up a payroll system for withholding taxes. Next, prepare documents for your employee to fill out and sign, which may include Form I-9 and Form W-4. You may also need to get workers' compensation insurance.

Look for track record and potential

Relevant experience is key to having a successful employer-employee relationship. Evidence of previous success is just the beginning. You must also keep an eye out for the potential in your prospective employees. To identify potential, you must look for an individual who has passions, interests and ambitions related to your own or your business. 

Have an employment contract in place

When first starting out, you may not think it is necessary to have an employment contract right away. Despite that, you should always write one up, even if your first employee is someone you know and trust. You never know when an employment relationship will get messy. The last thing you want is legal turmoil as your business begins to thrive. Get everything in writing for the utmost legal protection.

Taking an employee on board for the first time is a thrilling step for your business. If you consider these tips and follow the right advice, you can make your first hire a successful one. 

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