your one-stop resource for everything related to starting a small business in colorado.

No products in the cart.

Employer Responsibilities


  • Determine whether your workers will be employees or independent contractors.
  • Establish clear personnel policies to address issues such as working hours, compensation, fringe benefits, grievances and terminations. File the Application for Employer Identification Number, FormSS-4, to obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  • File the Colorado Business Registration Form CR100, to open your state wage withholding and separate unemployment insurance accounts. You will receive preprinted coupons and information on how to file Colorado wage withholding from the Department of Revenue. The Department of Labor and Employment will send information on how to file Colorado unemployment insurance. You will receive preprinted forms to file unemployment insurance each quarter. These two separate packets of information should arrive approximately four to six weeks after filing the CR100.
  • Submit a copy of the W-4 for all newly hired employees to the Colorado State Directory of New Hires within 20 day of hire date.
  • Obtain workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. Workers’ compensation is obtainable from private insurance carriers. As with any other form of insurance, you should shop around for the best price and service.
  • Obtain the proper employer posters. Use the chart in this chapter as a guide. Determine whether you are responsible for any local employer tax or registration requirements by contacting the appropriate local authorities.
  • Establish the proper safety procedures and maintain the necessary records to satisfy the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you routinely work with “hazardous substances,” ensure that you have implemented a hazard communication program.
  • Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to avoid discrimination in your employment practices regarding persons with disabilities.

Help is Available

The Unemployment Insurance Division offers educational seminars to raise awareness and educate employers about the state’s unemployment insurance system. Seminars cover a variety of topics and are scheduled for two hours in length, including time for Q&A. For more information or to register for an upcoming seminar, contact us via email at

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment can also provide a written advisory opinion concerning the classification of a worker, upon request. Click on the Request an Advisory Opinion button at

As your business grows you may start asking yourself if you should hire full or part-time employees, or hire subcontractors to perform specific jobs on an as-needed basis.

Common law employees are individuals who perform services subject to the control of an employer regarding what, where, when and how something must be done.

Persons who follow a trade, business or professions such as lawyers, accountants or construction contractors who offer their services to the general public are usually considered independent contractors.

Commissioned delivery drivers, insurance agents, full-time commissioned sales agents of products for resale or for use in the buyer’s business operation, and individuals who do piece work with materials supplied by the employer are considered statutory employees by the IRS.

The EITC is a special tax benefit for working people who earn low or moderate incomes.

Once you have determined that you will need employees in your business, you must invest the proper time and resources into establishing your personnel policies and finding the right people.

Once you have made your employee selection(s) you will need to familiarize yourself with the federal and state employee regulations.

You must have a federal employer identification number (FEIN) when you are an employer. You will use this number to make your federal tax deposits, and when you file your employment tax returns.

If you have employees, you will be responsible for withholding federal income taxes and Social Security/Medicare taxes from your employees’ wages.

All public and private employers in Colorado, with limited exceptions, must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees if one or more full- or part-time persons are employed.

OSHA safety and health standards fall into four major categories — general industry, maritime, and construction and agriculture.

There are numerous state and federal posting requirements for employers. Some may only apply under certain circumstances, but several are required in all situations.

Once you have established your employment policies and procedures, you must clearly define the type of employee(s) you are seeking and their specific job responsibilities.