The Kaiser Family Foundation released their annual study of employer-sponsored health insurance, and the news for small businesses isn’t good. Costs are continuing to go up while the number of companies offering insurance to their employees is not. Across the board, premiums for family coverage rose only 4% over the last year; however, for small businesses (less than 200 employees) that number is nearly double. For individual coverage, small business premiums increased 5%, higher than the average increase among all employers.

The study noted that small businesses are migrating to the cheapest plans—leaving employees strapped with high deductibles. Since 2006, the number of small businesses acquiring high-deductible, cheap plans for their employees has grown to nearly a quarter of all small-business…

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At some point during the life of your business, you’ve probably been faced with the choice between hiring an employee and hiring an independent contractor. Today’s post looks into some of the upsides and downsides of hiring an independent contractor versus an employee.

The Upsides

Save Money
One of the greatest benefits that results for most businesses is saving money—something every business owner appreciates. By classifying your new hire as an independent contractor your business will not have to pay the various expenses associated with hiring an “employee,” including employer-provided benefits, employer-provided equipment and work space, as well as the required insurance and wage taxes.

Freedom  to Staff Your Business According to Your Business’ Needs
Hiring an independent contractor may offer you flexibility in staffing…

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Recently, we’ve seen corporate earnings soaring, large corporations becoming increasingly profitable, and the stock market remaining relatively stable. However, one important area of our economy where we haven’t seen much growth is hiring. SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard recently release data showing the lack-luster hiring numbers.

The first few months of 2012 showed little to no growth in hiring, and the month of April was no different—small business hiring was down .1% and paychecks down .3%. Despite the lack of hiring, small business owners remain optimistic about the US small business economy. Roughly 65% of small business owners stated their optimism.

This optimism signals the confidence amongst small business owners, even though the businesses aren’t prospering to the point of bringing on more…

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Your company is ready to hire an employee. You searched the internet for free employment agreements. You finally found one you’d like to use. Here’s the problem: you don’t understand half the terms in the employment agreement and, more importantly, how those terms are going to affect your business moving forward. In today’s post, I’ve highlighted some of the key terms in a standard employment agreement and noted how they may affect your business.

Most employment agreements will include provisions that detail the employee’s duties, term of employment, salary, employment start date, and any included benefits of the job. You’re likely familiar with these terms, since you probably drafted them yourself. However, there are certain other provisions that generally accompany the employee-specific…

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