Ask the Experts: Employment Eligibility Verification for Business Owners

Question: As the owner of a business, am I required to complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification?

Answer: Form I-9 requirements are triggered by the hire of an individual for employment in the United States. A “hire” is the actual commencement of employment of an employee for wages or other remuneration. If any of the owners are also employees of the company, then each owner is required to complete the Form I-9. Failure to comply with all Form I-9 requirements could result in civil penalties imposed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) against the employer.

Therefore, as the owner, if you are provided payroll or other remuneration, you are required to meet I-9 requirements or face potential penalties as may be allocated against the company.