OASIS Best PEO for Small Businesses

Business News Daily Names Oasis Best PEO for small businesses.  In its lengthy analysis BND notes:

We recommend Oasis Outsourcing as the best PEO for very small businesses. We chose Oasis from dozens of professional employer organizations (PEOs).  

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Oasis Outsourcing has no minimum employee requirements, offers an extensive selection of PEO services and provides hands-on customer support that very small businesses will appreciate. Here is a breakdown of why it’s our best pick.

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What makes Oasis particularly attractive to very small businesses is that it doesn’t have a minimum employee requirement. Some of the other PEO providers we considered only offer services to businesses with a minimum of five to 10 employees.

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See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8127-best-peo-for-micro-business.html#sthash.mnMiRFrA.dpuf

Start Ups Need to Hire A PEO… Entrepreneur Magazine

Startups are in a notoriously weak and vulnerable position because the slightest change to your industry could send you into a tailspin. Breaking free from the pack is no easy task. It requires skill, determination and more than a little luck.

This guide will help coach you on how to break free from the pack in order to achieve the success you crave.

1. Stayed focused.
You should always concentrate on producing something meaningful that sells. The reason so many startups fail is because they give up — they lose focus. They become distracted by other aspects of the business. When you are spread thin, you tend to find yourself accomplishing nothing at all.

2. Stop trying to do everything by yourself.
When you try to do everything by yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot put 100 percent into every little aspect of your business. It’s impossible to do this when there are only 24 hours in a day. You are not a robot.

You must maintain a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout. Hire a personal assistant to help you. If you can’t afford an actual employee, consider a virtual assistant. That way, you only pay for work completed without all the employee benefits and taxes.

3. Hire a PEO.
PEO stands for Professional Employer Organization. Think of these as the guardian angels of small businesses. They deal with all the administrative entanglements and help you get back on your feet again. You handle making decisions while the PEO deals with administrative tasks like benefits and payroll.

It will even make you a more attractive place to work. You can offer benefits, like tax withholdings, when you use a PEO. And, you’ll never run into any problems with the IRS and state tax commissions because they will pursue the PEO, not you. Statistics say that companies using a PEO are at least 14 percent more attractive to employees.

4. Make sure you use the cloud.
Forget about wasting time and effort on hiring a personal IT team to keep everything updated. Use the cloud instead. A great option for startups is Google. They have an entire suite of office software that’s free. You can use Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Hangouts to collaborate and access your files from absolutely anywhere in the world.

5. Forget about expensive sales reps.
Some startups believe that if they blow most of their budget on an expensive sales rep, they will instantly bring in lots of customers. You should instead think about hiring hungry individuals who want to prove themselves with a real company.

People who buy into your brand are going to go the extra mile, and that passion is going to shine through when they are talking to members of the general public. It may require a lot of effort now, but these skills are enduring and will continue to benefit your business long into the future.

6. Do you have unique talent?
If you need to break free from the pack and your product or service is struggling to get off the ground, you may want to consider using your unique talent to provide a quick income fix while building relationships with larger companies.

Some startups have made fortunes providing unique talent to huge companies and brands. One thing that even corporations need is talent with unique skills. If you happen to have that on your team, feel free to diversify.

This is especially useful if you believe you aren’t yet using your team to its fullest potential. Typically, a corporation would rather hire the services of a small business than try to train in-house.

The last word.
Breaking free from the pack is difficult to do on the strength of your product or service alone. Understand that every aspect of your business must be aligned to ensure that you run at 100 percent all the time.

How quickly you achieve success depends on a number of factors, and not all of them are under your control. Make sure that you have a business plan, a fluid budget and a clear idea as to the status of your business at any given time.

Entrepreneur Article

SF Requires Paid Parental Leave

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recently signed a first-in-the-nation ordinance to require private employers to compensate employees while on parental leave. The ordinance applies to employers with at least twenty employees who work in San Francisco. It requires employers to provide “supplemental compensation” to employees using California’s paid family leave benefits for new child bonding – bonding with a minor child during the first year after birth or placement through foster care or adoption. The new ordinance goes into effect on January 1, 2017, for employers with fifty or more employees. Employers with fewer than fifty employees will be phased in over the course of a year.

Why The Government is Knocking on Your Door

Are You a Target?    “I know a small business owner who received a “stop work” order from the state. Why would small companies be targeted?”

Your HR Survival Tip:  While neither the state nor federal governments previously spent much time or money going after small companies, it doesn’t mean you’re safe to do whatever you want. California doesn’t exactly bombard you with information about employment laws and tax codes when you register your business but that doesn’t mean you aren’t expected to follow them and be compliant.

Recently, several CA agencies decided to work together and target the “underground economy.” Businesses in this underground economy are hiring workers and paying them under the table (cash), aren’t following employment laws or tax codes, may not have the required business or contractor licenses, may not be following safety standards, or don’t protect the worker by adding them to a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

When you’re not compliant, it typically means the workers’ comp carrier isn’t receiving as much money for the policy as they should; CA isn’t getting the state tax money from payroll or the disability deduction; IRS isn’t getting payroll income tax or Medicare money. Plus, these companies often have a competitive edge because their (current) costs are lower than those of companies who are compliant.

So these multi-agency enforcement teams are visiting businesses. Yes, they just walk around, step into a business, and start asking questions. The goal is to both educate business owners and issue citations to companies out of compliance. Their initial focus has been on security firms, construction sites, home design, tree services, moving companies, HR-related services, restaurants, e-waste companies, retail stores, and limousine and charter bus companies. Overall, a wide variety.

The teams started their visits throughout the state less than 2 weeks ago and already 20 businesses have been found with violations and received citations and penalties or were referred to another agency for an audit. If a business doesn’t have the required licenses or workers’ comp insurance, they’ve received a stop work order. This mean you have to stop work immediately and stay closed until you are able to clear things up and pay the fines.

Thus far, in San Diego, three construction companies have been visited by “the team.” Only one escaped with no violations. The other two were cited for over a dozen violations. While we might expect safety or employment law violations, one company was also cited for illegal advertising.

It’s very tempting to try to save money while growing your business. And you might even pretend ignorance of the law is a defense. However, if you want to grow a business where more money will go into your pocket than into your attorney’s, you need to play by the rules… and California has a bunch of them. So, yes, you just might be a target!

See, HR Jungle.com

IRS Outlines Process for PEO Certification

The Internal Revenue Service released further details Friday on how a business entity can become certified under the IRS’s new certified professional employer organization program.

Revenue Procedure 2016-33, posted on IRS.gov, along with temporary and proposed regulations published last month in the Federal Register, carries out legislation enacted in late 2014, the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014, also known as the ABLE Act,  requiring the IRS to establish a voluntary certification program for professional employer organizations.

A professional employer organization, sometimes referred to as an employee leasing company, is an organization that enters into an agreement with a client to perform some or all of the federal employment tax withholding, reporting, and payment functions related to workers performing services for the client.  PEOs handle various payroll administration and tax reporting responsibilities for their business clients and are typically paid a fee based on payroll costs. To become and remain certified under the new program, certified PEOs must meet tax status, background, experience, business location, financial reporting, bonding and other requirements.

Being certified by the IRS as a certified professional employer organization, or CPEO, has certain federal employment tax consequences for both the CPEO and its clients.  The revenue procedure describes the process by which a person applies for certification as a CPEO and the requirements a person must satisfy in order to become a CPEO.

Under the revenue procedure, interested applicants will be able to apply electronically (paper applications will not be accepted) and submit supporting documents through a new online system. As authorized by law, a $1,000 application fee must be paid using pay.gov.  The revenue procedure also includes detailed information on bond, financial audit and other requirements.

The IRS said the new online application system will be accessible on IRS.gov in the coming weeks, and the IRS will be ready to accept application materials beginning on July 1, 2016. The effective date of certification for an applicant that submits a complete and accurate application before Sept. 1, 2016, and is certified will be Jan. 1, 2017, even in situations where the certification letter is not issued until after that date. The IRS will publish a list of CPEOs on its website, and the list will be updated quarterly.

Uber Settlement Affects Independent Contractor Use

The ride-sharing company Uber recently announced a preliminary $100 million agreement to settle claims alleging that it improperly classifies its workforce as independent contractors. Because the settlement involves the foremost business entity in the new gig economy, this is a groundbreaking agreement that could provide guidance to many other emerging businesses that take advantage of the sharing environment. For all other businesses, it serves as a stark reminder of the pitfalls that can result from categorizing your workers as contractors.

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What Does This Deal Mean For All Other Employers?
For traditional businesses outside the sharing economy, this deal is a good reminder that the law favors workers being classified as something other than independent contractors. If it is a close call, a court or government agency examining your business will probably consider your workers to be employees, entitled to all the rights and benefits the law (and your policies) allow.

Just last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) issued an Administrator’s interpretation aimed at addressing what it characterized as the “problematic trend” of mis-classification, sending a signal that these cases will be an enforcement priority for the foreseeable future.

Fisher Phillips Newsletter

 

Employers on the hook for $228 billion in ACA penalties

2016 brought enforcement of required reporting for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and thousands of US employers are not in compliance with the laws. This is going to translate into billions of dollars in tax penalties. Some employers chose to do nothing when it came to the law; others may think they are compliant. The opportunity for error was extensive. Brokers and employers trusted insurance companies to help them navigate the laws and choose a plan that met the requirements of the ACA.

The annual baseline budget projections by the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation (CBO), is projecting employer responsibility penalties to total $228 billion over a 10-year period from 2017 to 2026. The individual mandate penalty will yield a projected $28 billion, along with high-premium employer plans (aka the Cadillac Tax) is expected to yield $18 billion.

Call me to discuss how a PEO solution can keep you in compliance and likely save you up to 20% on your current health costs.

20 YEARS IN PEO

In April 1997, I left the U.S. Department of Justice to enter an exciting new world – Professional Employer Organization (PEO) also know as Staff Leasing.  I have never been disappointed.

In 1997, the world of PEO looked very different from today, both in the players but also in the approach to interacting with clients.

Despite the growth of the industry in Texas and Florida, the birth of the PEO industry came about in California.  Initially, the industry was used by doctors to maximize their retirement savings by using “employee leasing” to separate themselves from their employees.  While the IRS forced the industry out of this model, a few companies still exist using this model –  an old employee leasing model if you will.

Twenty years ago the big players were Staff Leasing; Vincam; Administaff; Employee Soltions (ESI); Simplified Employment Services (SES); Team America; TriNet and Employer’s Resource Management.  Only the last two continue to operate under their same names 20 years later.  Vincam was purchased by ADP.  Staff Leasing became Gevity and was ultimately purchased by TriNet.  Administaff became Insperity.  The remaining three went out of business.

Twenty years ago the biggest issue facing the industry was whether the PEO was a “single employer” or a “co-employer.”  Some PEOs of the 90’s made the claim that they were the sole employer and this allowed for advantageous treatment of 401k savings for owners.  Again, the IRS came along and ruled that a PEO must do discrimination testing on a client-by-client basis.  But the view of PEO’s is that it is a co-employment relationship.

In recent years, the IRS has worked with the PEO industry to establish standards.  However, when I am meeting with business owners, I still hear the phrase “employee leasing.”  I think, “Well what does that mean to you, because over the past 20 years that phrase and the whole industry has changed.”