The Impact of Form I-9 Changes on Small Business Compliance

Small business owner managing compliance issuesThe current political climate has HR directors everywhere on the edge of their seats. What’s going to happen with the ACA? How will employer healthcare plans be affected? What’s going on with immigration and work visa policies?

These are valid questions, and if you don’t find answers to them, you could face penalties for compliance violations. Small business compliance requires vigilance and a plan for acting quickly when changes surface. Here’s what you need to know.

Form I-9 Changes: What They Mean For Small Business Compliance

One recent change that will affect small business owners is the release of a new I-9 form. Coming less than a year after the previous I-9 update, this new version of the form includes the following changes:

  • Revised instructions
  • Updated list of acceptable documentation
  • Changes to language describing when the I-9 form must be completed
  • Other language changes

You can read about those updates in detail over at HR Bartender. But perhaps the more pressing question for small business owners is: how can I make sure I stay compliant? With all the tweaks and updates to forms and regulations, what if I miss something?

Again, these are important questions, especially for small business owners who already have a full plate.

Why You Should Talk to A PEO About Small Business Compliance

If you want your business to succeed (and of course, you do), then you need a plan for managing compliance. That plan should include making needed changes, auditing your paperwork, and keeping records up to date. 

But who has time for all that without a full-time HR person on the job?

That’s why you need a PEO. Professional employer organizations (PEOs) handle all of the HR details you don’t have time for, including compliance. It’s their job to make sure you have the right documentation for your I-9 forms—and any other changes Washington throws your way. Here are a few ways a PEO can keep your small business compliant:

  • Mitigate compliance risk by identifying errors, missing data, or incomplete information
  • Keep all forms current and monitor retention dates
  • Conduct compliance audits to identify problems
  • Avoid penalties by preparing your files before ICE comes knocking
  • Prioritize compliance tasks to address the most critical issues first
  • Digitize your archives and form completion process to centralize your data

 Compliance changes sometimes happen quickly and with little warning. When you have a PEO managing compliance requirements on your behalf, you won’t need to worry about missing a deadline or failing to obtain necessary documentation.

It’s the best way to keep your small business running smoothly—no matter what happens in Washington.


If you're ready to partner with a PEO, we can help! Take our PEO survey to find PEO vendors who meet the needs of your organization.