How to Setup Payroll and Add Employees: A Guide for New Businesses


I can’t say I was ever thrilled at the prospect of adulting as a kid. Paying bills, doing taxes, managing expenses — where’s the fun in any of that?

uk adp payroll, How to payroll sign up?, company can t make payroll, how to setup payroll for llc, how to set up direct deposit for small business, how do i setup payroll, how to put myself on payroll, how do

i pay my employees , make a payrollcheck free
uk payroll providers,

small business payroll

Leading International Payroll -Payroll for Canadian Teams, wagepoint payro, payroll providers in canada, payroll software for payroll service providers, cheapest payroll services, wagepoint payroll reviews, best site to hire developers

uk adp payroll, payroll sign up, company can t make payroll, how to setup payroll for llc, how to set up direct deposit for small business, how do i setup payroll, how to put myself on payroll, how do i pay my employees, make a, payrollcheck free, uk payroll providers, small business payroll

Leading International Payroll -Payroll for Canadian Teams, wagepoint payro, payroll providers in canada, payroll software for payroll service providers, cheapest payroll services, wagepoint payroll reviews, best site to hire developers

But as the owner of my own small business, I now get the pleasure of handling the payroll for my team. Lucky me. After slogging through the process of actually setting up payroll, I figured I’d save you, other new business owners, some pain by sharing what I’ve learned.

Introduction to Setting Up Payroll for Your Business Signing Your Paychecks Away

When you start a business, there are a million little details to handle before you even open the doors. One of the most important—and tedious—is setting up payroll. I know, I know, the mere thought of payroll taxes and direct deposit forms is enough to make you want to curl up in the fetal position. But take a deep breath and grab a coffee, my friend, because we’re going to get through this together.

Payroll comes down to three things: paying your employees, paying the government what you owe them (lest they come after you), and keeping good records so you don’t end up in jail. You’ll need to choose a payroll provider to run payroll for you, collect taxes, handle direct deposit and paystubs, and deal with all the other little details. Options like ADP, Paychex, and QuickBooks are popular, or you can go with a smaller provider. They’ll walk you through everything to get set up, from collecting employee information to setting pay rates to determining tax obligations.

The hard part’s over, right? Not so fast. Now comes the fun of actually paying employees and dealing with taxes. You’ll submit payroll info to your provider, they’ll handle cutting checks or direct deposit, then take the taxes you owe out of your bank account. You just have to make sure the money’s actually in there! Then there are forms, so many forms. Tax forms for federal, state, and local taxes. Not to mention year-end tax forms. My advice? Develop a taste for whiskey.

Kidding (kind of). The truth is, while payroll and taxes are a pain, staying on top of them is critical. Mess up, and you could face penalties or even legal trouble. But do it right, and your employees will get paid on time—and you’ll avoid becoming the protagonist in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Not too bad for the price of a few headaches and a shot of whiskey, eh? Bottoms up!

Choosing the Right Payroll Provider for Your Needs

Choosing a payroll provider is kind of like choosing a cell phone carrier – so many options, so little time. As a small business owner, I just want something straightforward that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

After sorting through what felt like a million payroll companies, I finally found a few contenders that fit the bill. The first was Bob’s Payroll Palace, which came highly recommended by my accountant. But between the outdated interface and exorbitant monthly fees, I had to pass.

Next up was PayrollR’Us, which seemed appealing until I realized their direct deposit feature was “coming soon”. Given that my employees expect to receive their pay, that was a deal breaker.

Finally, I landed on WePayPeople. Their pricing was reasonable, the platform was intuitive, and they offered a direct deposit standard. I was able to easily add my employees’ info and set up their pay rates and deductions, and WePayPeople handled the rest.

Each pay period, I just review and approve the details, and then poof the funds get deposited on payday. As a small biz owner with a million things to keep track of, having a system I can set and forget is worth its weight in gold. Or more accurately, worth a reasonable monthly subscription fee.

All told, choosing the right payroll provider ended up being kind of like cell phone shopping – you have to look past the flashy extras and find what matters for your needs. For me, that meant an easy, affordable option so I could cross “pay employees” off my to-do list and move on to the hundred other things calling my name.

Payroll Setup: Step-by-Step Guide

Setting up payroll for your business is a pain, but a necessary evil if you want to pay your employees (and yourself!) legally and on time. As the owner, the buck stops with you, so follow these steps to get your payroll in order:

  1. Choose a payroll provider.

Do you want to handle payroll in-house or outsource it? As a new business owner with a million things to do, I recommend outsourcing to a company like ADP, Paychex, or QuickBooks. They can handle all the deductions, taxes, and direct deposits so you don’t have to. Plus, they keep up with the ever-changing tax laws so you don’t accidentally commit fraud!

  1. Register with the IRS and obtain an EIN.

You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to identify your business for tax purposes. Apply on the IRS website—it only takes a few minutes and is free. Keep your EIN handy for the next steps.

  1. Set up employee records and payment info.

For each employee, you’ll need personal info like SSN, address, marital status, and number of allowances claimed. Don’t forget to get their direct deposit info too, unless you want to personally hand out paper checks like it’s the Stone Age.

  1. Calculate deductions and contributions.

This is where it starts to get complicated. You have to withhold taxes and deductions from each paycheck, like federal and state income tax, Social Security, and Medicare. Then there are any voluntary deductions like health insurance or retirement contributions. Your payroll provider can walk you through it, but be prepared for some math!

  1. Issue paychecks and file taxes.

On payday, your payroll provider will either directly deposit funds into your employees’ accounts or provide the paycheck stubs for you to distribute. They will also file the necessary federal and state payroll tax returns on your behalf each quarter. All you have to do is pay them their fees!

Setting up payroll may seem daunting, but with the right tools and resources you can get it done accurately and on time. Your employees and the IRS will thank you! Outsourcing the work to professionals is worth the investment for peace of mind. Even as a DIY type of person, payroll is one thing I’m happy to delegate.

Adding New Employees to Your Payroll

Adding employees to your payroll is when the fun starts. No longer is it just you and your co-founders slaving away for the dream. Now you get to deal with direct deposits, tax forms, and all the headaches that come with having minions—I mean valued team members.

The first order of business is getting new hires to fill out all the necessary paperwork. Have them provide details like their bank account for direct deposit (if offered), social security number, address, next of kin, blood type—you know, the usual. Once the paperwork is in, you’ll enter the employee into your payroll service and set their rate of pay, any deductions, benefits, etc.

Then comes the training. Not for the employee, but for you. Setting someone up on payroll when you’ve never done it before is like trying to read Egyptian hieroglyphics. There are so many fields, options, and settings to choose from that your head will spin. Take it slow, follow the instructions, and triple-check everything before submitting. One wrong click and you could end up paying Beth in Accounting $10,000 a week instead of $1,000.

Taxes and deductions

Everyone’s favorite part, am I right? As an employer, you’re now responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes on your employees’ wages. This includes federal and state income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA), and unemployment insurance taxes (FUTA). The amounts withheld depend on an employee’s wage amount, number of dependents, state of residence, and other factors.

The key is staying on top of changes. Tax rates frequently change, so you’ll need to update them in your payroll system. Miss a rate change and you could end up owing underpayment penalties. What fun!

Adding employees to your payroll isn’t rocket science, but it does require attention to detail and learning as you go. Ask others who have been through it for tips and recommendations on the best practices. Outsource to an accountant if needed. Do whatever it takes to get payroll set up properly. Your employees and the tax man will thank you.

Setting Up Direct Deposit for Employee Payments

Setting up direct deposit is a necessary evil all small business owners must face. As much as I’d like to hand out envelopes of cash to my employees every pay period, the tax man (and my accountant) insist on a proper paper trail.

After sorting through the bureaucratic rigmarole required to register as an official “employer” and set up a payroll system, now comes the fun part—getting your employees’ banking information and plugging it in.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of setting up direct deposit for your small business:

Gather account and routing numbers from employees. Hand out direct deposit authorization forms for employees to provide account details, then double-check the numbers. Entering the wrong digits could result in a call from an irate employee (or their bank) and a scramble to correct your mistake.

Choose a payroll provider and set up your account. Services like ADP, Paychex, and OnPay automate the direct deposit process. Compare their features and fees, then sign up and connect your business bank account.

Enter employee banking information into the system. This typically involves entering the account number, routing number, account type (checking/savings), and employee details like name and social security number. Triple-check check everything is entered correctly!

Review, then submit direct deposit details. The payroll system will often allow you to preview the direct deposit file before submitting it to ensure all the details are proper. Submit the file, usually 1-2 days before the pay date, to allow time for the deposits to process.

Monitor to ensure payments are deposited properly. On payday, check in with employees to confirm the correct amounts were deposited into their accounts. Address any issues immediately by contacting your payroll provider.

And that’s how the direct deposit magic happens! While somewhat tedious, automating paychecks provides peace of mind that your employees will get paid accurately and on time, every time. The extra effort up front is well worth it for small business owners seeking to build trust and satisfaction. Employees will surely appreciate the convenience of automatic payments—even if they do miss picking up a literal paycheck.

How to Put Yourself on Payroll as a Business Owner

Putting yourself on the payroll as the owner of a new business is a rite of passage. It means you’ve made it—you’re officially working for yourself! However, it also means extra paperwork, figuring out tax withholdings, and paying yourself. What a hassle.

When I started my business, “paying myself” seemed like an abstract concept. How much should I pay myself? How often? Did I have to withhold taxes from my paycheck? Unfortunately, the answer to that last question is yes. As an employee of your own company, you have to set up payroll for yourself just like any other employee.

Set your salary

First, determine how much you want to pay yourself. Consider your business expenses, personal bills, and standard of living costs. As the owner, you may not be able to pay yourself a full salary, especially when starting. Pay what you can now, and give yourself raises over time as the business grows.

Calculate withholdings

Next, you’ll have to calculate federal and state income tax withholdings, Social Security, and Medicare based on your salary. The IRS website has worksheets and tables to help determine how much should be withheld from each paycheck. As the only employee, you’re also responsible for paying the employer portions of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Being self-employed has its downsides!


Finally, pay yourself regularly according to the schedule you’ve set up, whether that’s biweekly, monthly, or semi-monthly. You can pay yourself through checks, direct deposit, or wire transfers. Don’t forget to run payroll for yourself in your accounting system to deduct the proper withholdings. Then pay the withholdings to the IRS and state revenue department according to their due dates.

While it may be annoying to deal with, paying yourself a regular salary is an important step in legitimizing your business. Following the proper payroll procedures will ensure you stay on the good side of the IRS and keep your business running smoothly. And remember, you can reward yourself with a raise once your company becomes hugely successful!

Payroll Taxes: What You Need to Know

As a business owner, I know payroll taxes are about as fun as a root canal. But the government needs their cut, so we have to pay up. The main taxes you’ll deal with for payroll are federal income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA), federal unemployment tax (FUTA), and any state income taxes.

To start, you’ll need to register for an EIN (employer identification number) to report taxes. Then determine each employee’s pay period, withholding allowances, and tax bracket to calculate how much to withhold from their paychecks for federal and state income taxes. The IRS has handy dandy tax withholding tables to make it easy.

For FICA, withhold 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare from each paycheck. You also have to pay the employer share of FICA – another 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare. FUTA is 6% on the first $7,000 of each employee’s wages each year. Some states also charge additional unemployment taxes.

You’ll need to deposit these taxes regularly, either monthly or semiweekly. Then file quarterly tax returns to report wages and taxes withheld, and annual returns to reconcile everything. The deadlines depend on your deposit schedule. Miss or mess up the deadlines and the government can charge you penalties and interest because they want their money!

To add insult to injury, tax rates and rules change each year. So you’ll need to stay on top of the current rates and limits to avoid issues. Some payroll services can handle a lot of this for you to minimize the pain, for a small fee of course. But whether you do it yourself or hire help, payroll taxes are just another joy of being in business. The government always gets its cut!

Payroll Mistakes to Avoid With Your New System

Avoiding payroll mistakes is crucial when setting up a new system. As the one responsible for paying your employees (and avoiding potential legal issues), the pressure is on. I’ve made my share of slip-ups over the years, so learn from my experiences.

Forgetting important paperwork

Don’t forget essential forms like W-4s for withholding allowances and I-9s for employment eligibility. Not having these on file could result in penalties. Make copies of IDs and keep good records.

Messing up deductions

Double-check that you’re withholding the right state and federal income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare. Also don’t forget any voluntary deductions like health insurance premiums or retirement plan contributions. Employees will notice if their paychecks are off, and the government certainly will.

Missing deadlines

Whether it’s for payroll taxes, W-2s, or 401(k) plan contributions, missing deadlines results in fees and potential audits. Set up reminders so you stay on track each pay period and for annual requirements. The costs of non-compliance are steep.

Not keeping good records

Maintain records of all payments, deductions, and withholdings for each employee. Also keep copies of notices, policies, and other relevant information. In the event of an audit or legal dispute, you’ll be glad you did.

Making math mistakes

Double-check all your calculations—for hourly wages, bonuses, commissions, and deductions. Small errors can add up to big money over time. Use payroll software to automate as much as possible, but always verify the amounts are correct before processing paychecks. Your employees and accountant will thank you.

Avoiding these common pitfalls will make your payroll transition much smoother. While mistakes may still happen, put controls in place so you catch them quickly and can make prompt corrections. Your employees deserve to be paid properly and on time, so take the time to set up payroll right.

FAQ: Answers to Common Payroll Questions

So you’ve got the payroll setup and have started hiring. Now the questions come rolling in. Employees always seem to have an endless list of questions about their pay, benefits, time off—you name it. As the owner, I feel like an impromptu HR department, payroll expert, and company therapist all rolled into one.

While I don’t have all the answers, here are a few of the common questions I get asked and how I handle them:

When will I get paid?

This is probably the number one question I field. I make the pay schedule very clear during the hiring process and have it in writing in the employee handbook. We pay on the 15th and last day of the month. If those dates fall on a weekend, employees get paid the preceding Friday.

How much will I make per hour/salary? Again, this is communicated upfront before an offer is made. I provide the details on their pay rate, bonus/commission structure, and pay increases in their offer letter.

Can I get an advance on my paycheck? Sigh. I try to be understanding here, but advancing paychecks often leads to trouble. Our policy is that we do not provide paycheck advances. If an employee has a dire need, I will sometimes make an exception and provide a small advance that is then deducted from their next paycheck. But this is determined on a case-by-case basis.

  • Do I get paid time off or sick days? We provide paid time off (PTO) and paid sick leave (PSL) for full-time employees. The details on how much time is accrued and how/when it can be used are outlined in the employee handbook. Part-time staff do not receive these benefits.

How do I set up direct deposit? During onboarding, I have new employees fill out a direct deposit authorization form to set up their bank account for electronic paycheck deposits. This form requires providing a voided check or bank letter to confirm the account and routing numbers. I submit the info to our payroll provider to set up the direct deposit, which typically takes one to two pay cycles to become active.

There will always be questions, but having clear policies and documentation in place will make payroll—and your life—a whole lot easier. The key is communicating openly and managing expectations from the get-go. If a question stumps you, don’t be afraid to tell the employee you need to look into it and get back to them. After all, you can’t know everything!

And there you have it, folks. I’ve walked you through the not-so-glamorous world of payroll setup and given you the inside scoop on how to get your business off the ground without drowning in tax forms or accidentally committing wage theft. My advice? Take a deep breath, pour yourself a drink, and dive in.

The paperwork may seem endless, but think of your employees and all the wonderful work they’ll do once you’ve figured this out. Not to mention the money you’ll save by not outsourcing to one of those pricey payroll companies. Chin up – you’ve got this. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s quittin’ time and this business owner needs a break!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here