Employee Benefit Basics for Small Business Owners


As a small business owner, you’ve got enough to worry about. And when it comes to your employee benefits, the lack of clarity and confusion surrounding potential packages, voluntary benefits, and ongoing compliance is enough to ensure you have no time to focus on what matters: Growing your business.

At Flock, we believe in making small business employee benefits simple. That’s why we’ve built a free HR benefits software that not only maintains federal and state compliance, but creates one, centralized location where you can manage benefits, onboard employees, facilitate employee engagement, and more.

While having a system like this removes much of the administrative hassle of your benefits program, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand your options or what you must provide to your employees to remain compliant. That’s why below, we’re detailing benefit basics to ensure you’re well-informed as to everything health insurance entails for your small business.

Requirements vs. Non-Requirements: Sorting it All Out

At the most basic level of employee benefits is what’s required of you as an employer and what isn’t.

Here is what you’re legally obligated to provide to employees:

  • Provide time off to vote, fulfill jury duty, and/or perform military service.
  • Meet requirements for workers’ compensation.
  • Withhold FICA taxes from paychecks and pay FICA taxes to offer employees retirement and disability benefits.
  • Provide benefits for unemployed workers by paying state and federal unemployment taxes.
  • Contribute to state short-term disability programs, if you’re located in a state where such a program exists.
  • Comply with the Federal Family and Medical Leave (FMLA).

You are not legally required to provide:

  • Retirement plans
  • Life insurance plans
  • Paid vacations

As you’ll likely find out, however, it pays to offer these benefits, particularly when you want a motivated, dedicated workforce.

Errors Can be Costly, so It’s Important to Remain Compliant

Providing employees with an adequate benefits plan is essential, especially if you want to avoid the costly fines that come with failure to do so.

All too often, small businesses encounter problems because their benefits plan is riddled with errors. This is typically because business owners don’t understand insurance and benefits, leaving them to guess and hope for compliance.

Luckily, you don’t have to settle for that any longer.

Get Flock and Take the Guesswork Out of Employee Benefits

Flock is your benefits and HR software in one. It ensures you remain compliant with all state and federal laws to guarantee that costly fines are never a concern for your company.

This gives you the freedom (and quite frankly, the time) to focus on what matters for your small business like employee engagement, productivity, and other factors that directly contribute to your success.

Are you ready for a better way to manage your benefits at a basic and advanced level? If so, sign up for Flock today and take the guesswork out of your benefits management.