Getting Set Up as Employer

So you just found out you’re in fact a household employer. What now? What are you obligations? What do you have to do to get started?

This is a list of tasks to get you set up as household employer:

  1. Get your federal employer identification number (EIN). Apply online for an EIN here.
  2. Sign up for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Business Service Online to ease filing for W2’s and W3’s.
    • Issue a W2 form to each of your employees by January 31 for the previous year’s wages using your EIN and file the W3 directly with the SSA. ( provides reports that assist you with compiling the data that go into these forms.) Doing all the forms using paper is tedious so definately sign up for the SSA’s online services.
  3. Use your federal EIN, contact your state’s employment department and register for a state employer number. Use your state employer number for filing state taxes.
  4. Sign up with your states employer business services online if offered to make paying state taxes fast and easy online. California offers e-Services for Business which allows you to do all filings and payments (see Filing Schedules) and new hire notifications (see New Hire Checklist) electronically.
  5. Many states, among them California, require all employers, even household employers, to provide worker’s compensation insurance to all their employees. Find out if your state requires worker’s compensation. If so, worker’s compensation can be purchased as an additional option to your home owner’s or renter’s insurance.