Hiring Employees

What to know before you make your first hire

Who is an Employee?

Every person engaged in helping you run your business in New York State can be considered an employee. You may call them an owner, partner, associate, agent, manager or solicitor, but they are still an employee. Members of your family that perform work for your business may be employees. It doesn't matter if they work full-time, part-time, permanent or temporary, for a wage, salary, commission or room and board.

The owner of a sole proprietorship is not considered an employee of the business.

Employee Tax Forms

All new employees should fill out an I-9 form.

The W-4 form lets you figure how much tax to withhold from your employee's paycheck.

IRS I-9 Guidance
IRS W-4 Guidance

But what about contractors?

You may hire someone to perform work for you as a contractor. New York State law is very specific about when you can classify someone as a contractor. 

Independent contractors:

  • Set their own rates and hours
  • Pay their own expenses, including marketing their services to other businesses
  • May subcontract their work or refuse work

Learn more by visiting the Department of Labor's site.

State of New York Department of Labor Advice

New York State Department of Labor

The New York State Department of Labor has many other resources to help you hire, train, and manage your employees effectively. Find out more on their website.

New York State Department of Labor website

On This Page

  • Get clear on who is an employee in my business
  • Get familiar with the I-9 and W-4 forms
  • Contact the New York State Department of Labor for help