Washington State

What You Must Know

PayCheck Connection eases the administrative burden of operating a small business. For those services that PayCheck Connection does not do for your business, we have provided a vast resource of links on the web to critical information.

Paying Taxes

While PayCheck Connection handles all your payroll taxes to ensure their timely payment, most small businesses are required to pay income tax. 

Most businesses are required to pay business taxes to the Washington Department of Revenue. The following resources provide guidance to filing and paying business taxes:

Licenses and Permits

Every business needs one or more federal, state or local license(s) or permit(s) to operate. Licenses can range from a basic operating license to a very specific permit.

Regulations vary by industry, state and locality, so it's very important to understand the licensing rules where your business is located. Not complying with licensing and permitting regulations can lead to expensive fines and put your business at serious risk.

Employment and Labor Laws

Your employees are your business' most important asset. Hiring and managing employees are important components of running a business, and involve many legal and regulatory issues. As an employer you'll need to know about regulations that cover hiring, wages, work hours, benefits, discrimination and harassment, and workplace safety to name a few. This guide provides a collection of resources that will help you understand federal and state labor laws, which ones apply to you, and how to comply

Employment Discrimination and Harassment 

Since the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1960's, federal and state governments have passed a number of laws protecting employees from discrimination based on factors not directly related to the quality of an individual's work. Employers are responsible for understanding anti-discrimination regulations to ensure employees are protected from discrimination and harassment on the job. In addition, employers must keep records

Washington Rules for Reporting New Hires 

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires all employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees to a state directory within 20 days of their hire or rehire date. Visit the Washington New Hires Reporting page to learn how to register.

Federal Wage and Hour Laws

Here you will find information to help small businesses comply with Federal wage and hour laws.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees.

Federal Downsizing and Layoffs Requirements

When your business has to unfortunately downsize or lay employees off, there are resources and assistance the federal government offers to businesses and employees.

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) protects workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers with 100 or more employees (generally not counting those who have worked less than six months in the last 12 months and those who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) to provide at least 60 calendar days advance written notice of a plant closing and mass layoff affecting 50 or more employees at a single site of employment.

The WARN Act is a federal statute; many states have enacted similar legislation and some of those states require that the provisions of the Act apply to businesses with less than 100 employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guides providing both workers and employers with an overview of their rights and responsibilities under the provisions of the WARN Act.

Federal Workplace Safety and Health

Employers are responsible for protecting the safety and health of their employees. Over the last several decades, laws have been passed to ensure workers are protected from hazards in the workplace such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers rules concerning the employment of young workers.

This guide provides information that helps businesses comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. For information on complying with the Mine Safety and Health Act, visit the Mining and Drilling Industry Guide; and for information on complying with child labor laws, visit the Child Labor Law Guide.

Under the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as the employer, you must provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to your employees regardless of the size of your business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to create standards and regulations that implement the Act.

As an employer, you must comply with OSHA standards and regulations. The following OSHA resources will help you understand requirements that apply to your business and how to comply.

Workers' Compensation 

Workers' compensation provides no-fault industrial insurance coverage for most employers and workers in Washington State. Benefits include medical treatment for workers who are injured in the course of their employment or develop an occupational disease as a result of their work activities. Workers who are unable to work due to accepted conditions related to an industrial injury or occupational disease may be eligible for partial wage replacement benefits.

Washington Compliance Rules for Environmental Regulations 

You may be required to obtain environmental permits and/or comply with other specific environmental regulations if your business could release pollutants into the air, land or water; or if you store, treat, or dispose of hazardous or solid wastes. Not complying with environmental regulations can lead to costly fines. Determine if your business must comply with environmental regulations and permitting requirements by visiting the following resources:

Federal Employee Benefits Requirements

There are two types of employee benefits: (1) those the employer must provide by law; and (2) those the employer offers as an option to compensate their employees. Examples of required benefits include social security and workers' compensation, while optional benefits include health care and retirement. Both required and optional benefits have both legal and tax implications for the employer.

This guide helps employers understand what they need to do to supply employee benefits required by law, as well as steps they need to take to comply with regulations covering optional employee benefit plans.

For requirements specific to third-party employee benefit plan administrators and fiduciaries, visit:

Washington Unemployment Insurance 

Every business with employees in Washington State must register with Employment Security and file Unemployment-Insurance taxes every quarter.

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