Am I Required to Register as an Employer?
- How Do I Register Online with the EDD?
- What Information Do I Need to Register with the EDD?
- Not Sure if You Must Register with the EDD?
- When Does a Business Become Subject to State Payroll Taxes?
- When Does an Employer of Household Workers Become Subject to State Payroll Taxes?
- Employer Responsibilities
- State Income Tax Withholding
- Sole Corporate Shareholder Exclusion
- Alternate Registration Option
- Resources for New Business Owners
How Do I Register Online with the EDD?
Two Ways to Register!
Refer to “What Information do I need to Register with the EDD” for information you should gather prior to registering.
- Online Registration Application – You will immediately receive your account number unless additional information is required. If further information is required you will receive instructions in your confirmation e-mail.
- Paper Registration Application – Refer to the “Alternate Registration Option” for instructions.
NOTE: Registering by mail may take 10 – 14 days for processing.
What Information do I Need to Register with the EDD?
Select your business type below to determine what information you will need to successfully complete your registration application.
- Commercial Employers-Individual Owners, Co-Ownerships, General Partnerships
- Commercial Employers-Corporations, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP), Limited Partners (LP)
- Employers of Household Workers
- Non-Profit Employers
- Agricultural Employers
- Church and Religious Order Employers
- Disability Insurance Elective Coverage (DIEC)
- Public Entity Employers
- Employers Depositing Only Personal Income Tax (PIT Only) Withholding (Including Payers of Pensions and Annuities)
- Public School Employers
- Indian Tribe Employers
If you have all the information you need, visit Register for Employer Payroll Tax Account Number.
What Happens After I RECEIVE MY EMPLOYER ACCOUNT NUMBER?
Your eight-digit employer account number (example: 000-0000-0), also known as a State Employer Identification Number, SEIN, state ID number, or reserve account number is required for all EDD interactions to ensure your account is accurate. You will be required to provide this number when filing returns and making deposits in all electronic and paper filings. If an agent, bank or payroll service prepares your return they must also include your employer account number when filing on your behalf.
You are required to post notices in your workplace and to provide your employees with benefit information, refer to Required Notices and Pamphlets.
Visit our e-Services for Business Enrollment Information page to enroll in e-Services for Business to manage your payroll tax account, file reports, make tax payments, and more online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Helpful Resources for the New Employer
Not Sure if You Must Register with the EDD?
Review the information below:
Two Types of Employers
- Employers who run a business can be a person or a legal entity and include:
Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations
Limited Liability Companies
Limited Liability Partnerships
Public Entities (including state and federal agencies)
Associations and Trusts
- Household Employers who hire household workers can be:
Local College Clubs
Local Chapters of College Fraternities or Sororities
When Does a Business Become Subject to State Payroll Taxes?
Generally, a business becomes subject to state payroll taxes upon paying wages over $100 in a calendar quarter to one or more employees. Wages consist of compensation for services performed, including cash payments, commissions, bonuses, and the reasonable cash value of noncash payments (like meals and lodging) for services. Once subject, an employer must complete and submit a registration form to EDD within 15 days. Our Payroll Tax Seminars page offers no-fee seminars to assist employers in complying with California’s payroll tax laws.
Examples of when a business becomes subject:
- A sole proprietor hires an employee during the month of March at a wage of $75 per month. The employer is subject effective April 1 since the employer did not pay the employee over $100 during the first quarter of the year (January-March) but will pay over $100 during the second quarter (April-June).
- A corporation operates without any employees except for the corporate president. The corporation is an employer and is required to register if the corporate president is paid wages of over $100 in a calendar quarter.
- A two-person partnership operates a business in which each partner draws a salary of $1,000 during the first quarter of the year. When one partner goes on vacation, an employee is hired and paid $95 during the quarter. The partnership is not required to register as an employer since partnership draws are not considered wages and the employee who was hired did not receive wages of over $100 in the calendar quarter.
Visit the Register for Employer Payroll Tax Account Number page to obtain a California Employer Account Number and tax rate information.
Obtain more information about wages, subject wages, and personal income tax wages from the following:
- What are Wages?
- Information Sheet: Wages (DE 231A)
- Information Sheet: Personal Income Tax Wages Reported on the Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (Continuation) (DE 9C) (DE 231PIT)
When Does an Employer of Household Workers Become Subject to State Payroll Taxes?
Visit our Household Employer Web page for information specific to Household Employers.
Reporting wages paid to your employees and State Personal Income Tax (PIT) withheld from their wages.
Paying Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Employment Training Tax (ETT) on your employee’s wages, as well as withholding and remitting State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) due on wages paid to your workers (see Rates, Withholding Schedules, & Meals and Lodging Values).
You must also report all new employees to the New Employee Registry within 20 days of their start-to-work date.
If you use the services of independent contractors, you may also have to report them.
The EDD’s e-Services for Business allows you to manage your account online. Enroll Today!
We offer no-fee seminars to assist employers in complying with California’s payroll tax laws. Visit the Payroll Tax Seminars page to find available classroom seminars or online courses.
State Income Tax Withholding
Encourage your employees to withhold the correct amount of state income tax by having them fill out a California Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate (DE 4) in addition to the federal Form W-4. An online calculator is available to assist in the completion of the DE 4. California Withholding Schedules are available on the Rates & Withholding page.
Sole Corporate Shareholder Exclusion
If you are a corporate officer and the sole shareholder (or the only shareholder other than your spouse) of a private corporation, you can elect to be excluded from State Disability Insurance coverage for benefits and contributions; see the Sole Shareholder/Corporate Officer Exclusion Statement (DE 459).
Alternate Registration Option
Do not use this alternate method if you have already registered online. Visit the Register for Employer Payroll Tax Account Number page to register as an employer online.
Include your federal employer identification number (FEIN) on the registration form to ensure unemployment insurance tax credits apply correctly when claimed on your Employer’s Annual FUTA Tax Return (IRS Form 940). For information on federal filing requirements, contact the IRS.
Complete the registration form for your type of business:
- Commercial Employers, Pacific Maritime, and Fishing Boats (DE 1)
- Agricultural (DE 1AG)
- Governmental Organizations, Public Schools, & Indian Tribes (DE 1GS)
- Nonprofit Employers (DE 1NP)
- Personal Income Tax Withholding Only (DE 1P)
- Employer of Household Workers (DE1HW)
Mail or fax your completed registration form to the address or fax number below. The address and fax number are also listed at the top of the registration form for your convenience.
Employment Development Department
Account Services Group, MIC 28
PO Box 826880
Sacramento CA 94280-0001
NOTE: Registration by mail may take 10-14 days to process.
Resources for New Business Owners
- CalGOLD – Business Permits Made Simple (“One Stop” state, local, regional, and federal permit, licensing, and tax requirements.)
- Striking Gold in California – What You Need to Know About Taxes and Your Small Business.
Supplement to Striking Gold (EDD) 2011 Updates
- California Tax Service Center – Guiding Taxpayers to the Forms and Services They Need (Simplified income, payroll, and sales and use tax information.)
- Changes to My Business – Purchasing a Business with Employees (When you are buying or acquiring an existing business.)
- Payroll Tax Seminars – No-fee seminars, either classroom-style or online designed to assist employers in complying with California’s payroll tax laws.
For assistance, call our toll-free number 1-888-745-3886 or visit your local Employment Tax Office.
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