In the last few years, the hiring landscape has completely transformed. Whereas once, employers and employees were tethered to physical locations, remote work is here to stay. The convenience of working remotely benefits everyone—and employers have the chance to source the best talent. Here’s what to look for when hiring out of state employees in Georgia.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers were hesitant to embrace remote work. That’s partly due to the complex issues that can arise when hiring in a new state. Each state has different laws and standards, which may conflict with your home state’s requirements and policies. It’s easy to run afoul of the law, and rack up hefty fines and fees in the process.
SixFifty developed multistate employer registration tools, which are designed to simplify the registration process. Here’s what hiring out-of-state employees might look like in Georgia.
Scenario 1: Employee works from home in another state
Before remote work became so popular, employees were usually forced to move when their lives took them out of state. Now, they’re free to move with partners, to purchase real estate in cheaper areas, to live closer to aging parents, or to simply find a new state for a change of pace. Employers can retain their prized employees—as long as they comply with the new state’s standards.
Scenario 2: Hiring out-of-state employees in Georgia
Another common scenario: when a company wants to find the best talent throughout the country, they may choose to hire in a new state. Even though the company’s home state is Arizona, for example, employees who live and work in Georgia are subject to Georgia’s state laws. It’s incumbent upon the employer to ensure that their policies and processes are compliant with Georgia’s employment laws. This can get complicated fast—especially if you’re hiring in multiple new states.
Multistate Employer Registration Factors to Consider
In both of the above scenarios, employers need to pursue multistate compliance or risk being held accountable by the Department of Labor for failing to comply with state-specific employment standards. Compliance differs across all 50 states. To simplify the process, SixFifty has narrowed down multistate employer registration considerations to five core areas of focus.
Here’s what it looks like for companies hiring out-of-state-employees in Georgia—or accommodating employees moving to Georgia if there’s no established business nexus.
1. Georgia Employment Registration
Your first task is to create an economic nexus in Georgia if you’re not already registered to do business there. Reporting the new hire to the Department of Labor and registering for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance are part of this process. Employers have 90 days to file a certificate of existence from the state of formation.
- Obtain a registered agent
- Obtain a certificate of authority in Georgia
- Report new hire to the Georgia New Hire Reporting Center
- Register for unemployment insurance
- Report unemployment insurance account to payroll provider
- Obtain workers’ compensation coverage or update the policy
2. Georgia Tax Registration
When you have employees working in Georgia, you have state tax obligations. Georgia requires that businesses have their own withholding account and file income tax withholding forms for all Georgia employees. A single employee living and working in Georgia is all it takes to create state tax liability.
- Register for income tax withholding account
- Obtain the completed state income tax withholding form from the employee
- Register for a sales tax license or permit
3. Georgia Employment Policies
Georgia has four state-specific employment policies which must be included in the employee handbook. Employers should also use our state-specific employee handbook tool to review existing policies, and ensure they don’t conflict with Georgia state law. If your existing handbook isn’t compliant, it’s fast, easy and affordable to generate a new one.
- Review employee handbook for compliance
- Update policies or add new leave policies as needed
4. Georgia Employment Implications
Every state has different minimum wage, overtime, and payroll practices. Employers must ensure that any non-compete provisions don’t conflict with Georgia’s two-year limitation. They should also verify that their wages meet $5.15 and $7.25 (where the Fair Labor Standards Act is applicable), and make adjustments as necessary.
- Ensure that non-compete provisions comply with Georgia law
- Confirm that the employee is paid at least the minimum wage
- Review the applicable overtime laws
- Confirm that the payroll practices meet the payment frequency standards in Georgia
- Consider whether insurance extends coverage to employees in Georgia
- Consider COVID-19 laws that affect the employee
5. Georgia Signage
Finally, each state requires employers to post certain signage in a conspicuous location. The state has not weighed in on how employers can post signage for exclusively remote workers. However, posting the signs in an easily accessible area, such as in an online folder, on your company website, or on the company intranet, are generally accepted solutions.
- Post or distribute required signage
Simplify Multistate Compliance with SixFifty
The process of maintaining compliance can be complex and extremely nuanced for companies unfamiliar with Georgia employment laws and standards. It’s why SixFifty has compiled an extremely useful tool for businesses hiring out-of-state employees in Georgia. To simplify the process of hiring out-of-state employees in Georgia or supporting remote employees on-the-move, check out our 50 State Hiring Kit.
Written by Meili Bell
Meili Bell is the Content Manager at SixFifty. She spends her workdays writing, editing, project managing and reading about the intersection of law and technology. Meili comes to SixFifty from Gifted Music School, a nonprofit music school for the most dedicated young musicians in the region, where she was program director of the school’s flagship program for the last ten...
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