A Quick Guide for New Employers
Congratulations on starting your new Missouri business. This page can help you get started with the basics of the unemployment insurance program.
Steps to follow:
- 1. Register your business.
- The Division of Employment Security (DES) operates a co-registration website with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Using this site makes starting your business easier because you can register for multiple employer taxes at once:
- Unemployment Insurance Tax
- Withholding Tax
- Corporate Income/Franchise Tax
- Sales Tax
- Vendor's Use Tax
- Consumer's Tax
- When you register, DES staff will determine if you are liable to pay unemployment tax.
- Related Links: Register Online, Learn more about Liability
- Or, if you prefer not to register online, you can use our paper form.
- Also, try visiting the Missouri Business Portal, your single point of entry for business registration, filings, licenses, and permits for doing business in the State of Missouri. Information is provided about how to research, start, and register your business, ongoing requirements of various agencies and resources available.
- 2. File Quarterly Reports.
- If you are determined liable for unemployment tax, you will need to file a “Contribution and Wage Report” at the end of each quarter. You can use the paper form that the DES mails out, or you can file online with our USTAR system.
- Related Links: File Online, Learn more about what to report, Learn more about filing reports
- 3. Lower Your Tax Rate.
- A new employer receives an assigned beginning tax rate based on its industrial classification. After two full calendar years of contributions, you become eligible for an “experience rate,” which will rise and fall based on taxes paid in, benefits paid out, and your average annual taxable payroll. The law includes a merit or experience rating provision as an incentive for employers to maintain stable employment, review claims and reduce unemployment. Under current law an employer that has 15 percent of their average annual taxable payroll in their experience account are assigned a zero contribution (tax) rate.
- Related Links: Learn more about tax rates
Information about Federal Unemployment Tax:
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues federal employer identification numbers (FEIN). Application may be made online at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html OR you can request form SS-4 (FEIN application) and instructions by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
The IRS also provides information on the Internet about who must have a FEIN and how to get one. See the IRS website for other helpful employer tax information.
- The reporting requirements of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) are similar to those of Missouri unemployment tax, but are not identical. Federal unemployment tax is administered by the IRS. Contact them for information on your liabilities for federal unemployment tax.
The IRS provides information on the Internet about federal unemployment tax. You can contact the IRS by phone for publications and forms at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). Some useful publications for business owners are:
Related Links: Learn more about FUTA