Employee Benefits for the Small Business Owner

Hiring that first full-time employee comes with new responsibilities. As the owner and CEO of your small business you may now have to become the manager and human resources contact—at least until you hire people for those positions.

Full-time employees will ask you about benefits prior to taking the position, and you will need to have everything planned prior to putting an ad on a job-seeker website. Benefits are any perks offered to employees in addition to the salary. The usual suspects include insurance (medical, life, and/or disability) retirement and paid time off or vacation.

Some benefits are required by law for employers to grant to their employees. These requirements can include but may not be limited to Affordable Care Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Social Security, Medicare, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance. In addition, many companies include additional voluntary benefits to their employees in order to lure top talent and maintain a happy, healthy and productive workforce. For businesses under 50 employees, the Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA, is optional and allows employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family and/or medical issues specified in the act

The Small Business Administration, SBA, offers information about required and optional employee benefits as well as employee incentives programs. And the IRS has resources for choosing small business retirement plans as well as how to maintain plans as a small business. It is important to a tax consultant with questions and concerns about tax deductions as they relate to your small business. For instance, changes to FMLA have recently been implemented that business owners can now receive partial tax credits for offering wages during FMLA. And according to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, your small business could be worth 50% of the costs you pay for your employees’ premiums.