Hiring Employees in California LLC – Wages, Laws, Compliance Guide

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Any business structure or corporation stands firm on its foundation laid by the employees. An LLC is no exception to this rule. Hiring employees in your LLC comes with some rules, regulations. Before understanding the rules of hiring employees in California LLC, we must understand what an LLC means.

A Limited Liability Company is a business structure that protects the owners from any personal responsibility of the debts or liabilities arising out of the LLC. If an employee action succeeds to liabilities, the owners get the protection against it. LLCs are a combination of the characteristics of a partnership firm & a sole proprietorship. 

Hiring Employees in California

In order to hire employees in California LLC, there are many requirements that a business has to fulfill. One should keep these points in mind while hiring employees in an LLC. These requirements include:

1. Federal & State Employment posters in California

The employers in California are required to show both Federal & State Employment posters mentioned in Equal Employment Opportunities Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA),  etc. You should seek professional help to fulfill all the norms or requirements.

2. Federal & State Required Forms

Hiring employees is a lengthier process that involves the filing of different forms & applications. Suppose you wish to hire employees in California. In that case, you must ask your employees to submit the Employment Eligibility Form, the Federal Tax withholding form, the W-4 Form, Workers Compensation Claim Form, Disability Self- Identification Form, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form, etc. These Legal forms are easy and free to download.

3. Requirements of California New Hire Reporting Program

Employers of Business owners are bound by California’s New Hire Reporting Program, under which they have to submit a report consisting:

  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Company federal tax ID number
  • Employee’s Name
  • Employee’s Social Security Number
  • Employee’s Address
  • First Day of paid Work

In addition to the forms mentioned above, payments, taxes, tax forms, & requirements, there may be some additional compliance for hiring in California (specifically); you must adhere to those norms as well.

Can an LLC Hire Employees?

An LLC or a Limited Liability Company can be regarded as a corporation, partnership, or sole owner business. The owners of the LLC are often referred to as members. Individuals, Corporations &, in some cases, other LLCs can form an LLC as members.

The members form LLCs because of their limited or no liability provided to the owners or members. In the event of liabilities arising out of an employee’s action, the members of the LLC are not personally liable- the LLC is liable for the actionable claim.

Any LLC (even one with a single owner) can hire unlimited employees on wages or salary. (The single-member owner LLC may have different rules and regulations). In addition to the salaried employees, the LLC can appoint Independent contractors for certain tasks on a contract basis. 

Rules to Hire Employees in an LLC in California?

Just like any other business corporation, an LLC is also not immune from certain procedures & rules of hiring. An LLC files many documents & pays a number of taxes to various Government Agencies while hiring employees. Some of the essential rules or steps to hire employees in an LLC are:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number – Every LLC must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. EIN helps report taxes & a few other documents to the IRS.
  • Employee Eligibility Form – It is mandatory for an LLC owner to check if the employee is eligible for employment in the U.S. An LLC has to ask the employees to submit the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form to verify the identity of the employee & to authorize the employment. the I-9 form is a mandatory requirement while hiring an employee.
  • Employee’s Social Security Number – The employee has to have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to work. LLCs have to ask the new employees to submit their SSN before employment. The SSN is helpful in payment & tax purposes.
  • Setting up a process for collection & payment of the appropriate taxes – There has to be a due process for the employees’ future collection & payment of taxes. This process needs to be set up by the employer (in this case, the LLC)
  • Employee handbook – In the hiring process, one of the crucial elements of hiring paperwork is an Employee Handbook. Although it is not essential in California, it is usually needed as one of the legal documents in many other states. An Employee Handbook consists of a complete list of all the basic rules & policies of the company.
  • California payroll Taxes – An LLC that is running a business with employees or businesses with employees has to pay many federal taxes & state Taxes. Following the rules on payroll taxes is also an essential requirement.  After hiring employees, an LLC is subject to the State Unemployment Compensation Act. Under the said Act, an LLC will have to pay Unemployment tax to the state & to do that; the LLC must register itself with the California Workforce Commission. The process involves simple steps & can be completed in 20 minutes. 
    Payroll taxes also include Federal Income Tax withholding, an employer can withhold money from the employee’s account for the income tax.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance An LLC operating in the state of California has to carry workers’ compensation insurance & has to display relevant posters.
  • New Hire Report or Report of the New Employee – An LLC has to
    • Report about hiring the new employees in the form of “Report of New Employee(s)” to the California Workforce Commission within 20 days from the date of hire.
    • Deposit and report federal employment taxes as per the IRS procedures for payroll reporting & payment.

Laws Relating To Wages Of Employees

The employee policies generally include payment of wages, leave of absence and holidays, employee benefit arrangements established by LLCs. Such policies are covered under the Labour Laws of the States.

  1. California’s current minimum wage ranges between $13.00 to $14.00 per hour depending on the number of employees.
  2. California law bans employers from discriminating against and retaliating against employees who belong to certain protected groups. 
  3. As per the Fair Labour Standards Act, the LLC employers have to display several informational posters as prescribed by the law.
  4. A business LLC has to abide by the regulations as established under the Federal as well as the State laws.

Structure Of The Wages Of The Employees

Every employee of a company holds a legal right to minimum wage and other essential benefits. We have mentioned below some of the important aspects that contours the wage structure of employees in California. Wage and hour rules in California apply to all non-exempt employees, which means that if you’re an independent contractor, not a full-time employee, or an “exempt” employee, you won’t be subject to overtime or lunch break restrictions.

Minimum Wage

California’s minimum wage rules apply to full-time and part-time occupations in a variety of industries, including hospitality and foodservice, as well as advertising and commercial work. The rate is mostly decided by the number of employees, however, in some exceptional instances, corporations may pay less than the minimum rate. Wages are increased by $1 every year on January 1. California’s current minimum wage in 2021 is:

  • For employers with 26 or more employees: $14.00, and
  • For employers who have less than 26 employees, the rate is $13.00

Tipped Employees

Tips are considered to be distinct from the minimum wage and are not calculated as a part of the minimum wage structure of the employees. Employers cannot take any portion of the tips that are given to the employees.

Overtime Compensation

Employers in California are required by law to pay employees overtime for all the extra working hours in a week. If the working hours of an employee exceed 40 hours per week and eight hours per day, it shall be considered as overtime hours. Employees who work a seventh consecutive day in a workweek are also entitled to overtime compensation.

  • For the work hours exceeding beyond 40 hours in any week; for all hours worked in excess of eight, up to and including 12 hours in any workday; and for the first eight hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, a California employer must pay overtime to non-exempt employees at the rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • For all hours worked in excess of 12 in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of eight on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek, an employer must pay double the employee’s ordinary rate of pay.

Youth Labor

California’s child labor regulations limit the kind of jobs that minors can do, as well as the number of hours and days they can work. The State laws prohibit adolescents under the age of 16 from working in certain occupations, including those involving machines, railroads, toxic substances, scaffolds, and cigarettes.

California Employee Rights

California state has some strict employee rules that are applicable to every employee your LLC has. Here is a list of employee rights in California,

Right to basic Minimum wage

Every employee in the State of California has the right to fair and basic minimum wages. Following the provisions under the Federal Law, employers are required to reimburse their employees according to Minimum Wage Standards.

Right against Discrimination at Workplace

Under the Civil Rights Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating between employees based on race, gender, sex, color, religion, etc. The Equal Pay Act enforced anti-discriminatory practices between people based on sex and gender.

Rest Breaks

Each four-hour work period in California must include a paid 10-minute rest interval for non-exempt employees. For each workday on which the rest period is not authorized or permitted, an employee is entitled to one hour of salary.

Family and Medical Leave

According to the California Family Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other federal regulations, an employer in California may be obligated to give an employee up to 12 weeks of sick leave. Under the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program, employees eligible under the program shall receive paid family leave while taking off to look after an ill family member. Employees shall also receive paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Family Act.

Occupational Health and Safety

According to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers in the State must ensure a safe and secure workplace for employees.

Wrongful Termination

Employees have established rights against any act of the employer that may lead to wrongful termination of the employees.

How to Hire Employees Fast in Your California LLC

To hire employees for your California LLC you need to verify if the person is eligible to work in the US and then report him/her as ‘new hires’ to the state.

First and foremost, it is crucial to have a well-defined job description before embarking on the hiring process. Take the time to clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of the position you want to fill. This will not only attract candidates who have the required skills and qualifications but also enable you to assess candidates more efficiently once the applications start pouring in.

In today’s digital age, harnessing the power of online job platforms is essential. Capitalize on popular job boards and social media platforms to advertise your job openings. These platforms not only allow you to reach a wide pool of potential candidates but also provide tools for easy filtering and sorting of applications, thereby expediting the initial stages of the hiring process.

Additionally, networking can play a crucial role in hiring employees fast. Leverage your existing professional network and encourage your current employees to refer potential candidates. Referrals can be a powerful tool as employees often recommend individuals who are not only qualified but also fit well within the company culture – a vital aspect of long-term employee retention.

When reviewing applications, it is important to establish a consistent and efficient screening process. Filter applications based on the established job requirements and qualifications, allowing you to narrow down the candidate pool to those who meet the necessary criteria. Consider organizing phone or video interviews to gather more information about potential candidates before committing to in-person interviews. These initial steps will help save time, allowing you to focus on only the most promising applicants.

Once you have narrowed down your candidate pool, it is crucial to conduct thorough interviews to assess each individual’s suitability for the position. Asking thought-provoking and behavioral-based interview questions can help reveal a candidate’s problem-solving skills, work ethic, and cultural fit within your organization. Incorporating multiple interview stages and involving other team members can also provide different perspectives and help ensure a well-rounded assessment.

Background and reference checks are a necessary step in the hiring process to verify the information provided by candidates and ensure their credibility. Although this step may slow down the hiring process, it is an essential aspect in protecting your business against potential future liabilities.

Finally, once you have chosen the best candidate for the position, it is important to act promptly and make an offer. To expedite the process further, consider creating a comprehensive onboarding plan in advance, allowing the new employee to seamlessly transition into their role and start contributing to your California LLC’s success.

However, it is important to bear in mind that speed shouldn’t compromise the quality of your hires. Rushing through the hiring process solely to meet immediate needs may lead to hiring the wrong individual, resulting in further costs for your business in terms of time, money, and employee morale. Therefore, it is crucial to find a balance between expedience and thoroughness to ensure a successful hiring outcome for your California LLC.


What Is an LLC?

An LLC is a business entity that can be treated as either a corporation, a partnership, or a sole owner business.

Is the LLC liable for damages caused by employees?

The owners of the company are not personally liable for the actions of the employees, the LLC is liable for any such actions.

What is the IRS Form I-9?

Before hiring an employee, under federal law, the business has to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States with the (IRS Form I-9). The business owner also has to make sure the employee has a valid SSN or Social Security Number.

What is LLC self-employment?

LLC members, or LLC owners, are self-employed according to the IRS because they pay themselves through the earnings of LLC.

In Conclusion

All the LLCs with employees are bound by many rules and regulations with reference to wages. It is always advisable to register a registered agent service to understand the laws better. Feel free to share your feedback with us in the comment section below.

About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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