How to Run a Bar: 4 Important Forms for New Hires

As soon as you hire your bar’s staff, give them a copy of your employee manual with all of your policies and procedures. Have them sign a document confirming that they received a copy and agree to follow the rules of your place. Have them complete any other necessary paperwork before their first shift.

Keep these forms on hand for new employees:

  • I-9: Also known as the Employment Eligibility Form, every employee must complete the I-9 in order to work legally in this country. Employers must keep these documents on file for three years after hiring or one year after the end of employment.

    Most bar owners think it’s a good idea to keep them on file for every employee at all times, no matter how long they’ve been employed by you.

  • W-4: These forms tell the IRS how much tax to withhold from each paycheck. The fewer dependents that an employee claims, the greater the amount of tax that comes out of her check.

  • Attendance calendar: This form isn’t a government requirement, but it helps you have a place to quickly jot down sick days, vacation days, days off, late arrivals, and early departures. If your computer system synchs up with your time clock, you may be able to keep track of this more easily on the computer.

  • Emergency contact card: Also not a requirement but very handy in case of, um, an emergency. You also get a backup number to track down an AWOL employee.

Create a separate file for each employee. Keep copies of all these forms as well as each staff member’s employment application, résumé, notes from his mom, and any other documentation that may come up in the course of business.

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