Mercans CountryIntel ® United States of America Payroll And HR Insights
Mercans offers complete payroll, PEO and HR services in the U.S
Supported by a regulatory environment conducive to starting and operating a business, the U.S. encourage free enterprise. The World Bank’s Doing Business report ranks the U.S. first among countries with populations of more than 100 million people.Download PDF
Doing Business in the U.S
Offering the largest consumer market in the world, the U.S. is the investment destination of choice. The U.S provides significant support and resources for start-ups through entrepreneurial ecosystems. Businesses entering the U.S. can also utilize soft landing programs that help centralize resources (legal or accounting services, mentoring) and facilitate connections.
Entity Registration and Incorporation Requirements
Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in the U.S. is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types which suit your individual circumstance.
Banks are open from Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
The standard working week is 40 hours per week usually worked from Monday to Friday, 8 hours per day
In addition to federal laws, each state has its own labor law which vary from state to state. Businesses should check out the Small Business Administration’s state labor law guides. Additionally, the type of workplace issue determines the government agency to get assistance from.
Healthcare, technology, construction, retail, manufacturing
Dates & Numbers
Official State Name
United States of America
United States Dollar
International Dialing Code
The U.S. Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which outlines the minimum wage and overtime pay standards. Companies that operate global payroll should take note that many states have minimum wage laws. Where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages.
It is acceptable to provide employees with online payslips
Payroll reports must be kept for 3 years
7 days paid sick leave
12 weeks of paid maternity leave and 12 weeks of paid paternity leave
Maternity & Paternity Leave
Most employment in the U.S. is 'at will', hence it is not for any specific period of time
Different legislature across the 50 states
13th month salary
$7.25 per hour
Paid at one half of the regular rate of pay.
The severance pay offered is typically one to two weeks for every year worked.
Tax and Social Security
Business owners need to be familiar with federal, state and local tax requirements. Individuals pay personal income tax to the federal government, 43 states and local municipalities. Social Security provides individuals with a source of income when they retire or are unable to work due to disability. The amount of income received depends on a few factors including earnings over a lifetime and the age at which benefits begin to be received.
The IRS (Inland Revenue Service) is the nations’s tax collection agency which administers the Internal Revenue Code. Tax status is determined by whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor.
Corporate Income Tax
Personal Income Tax
There are four types of benefits: retirement benefits, disability benefits, benefits for spouses or other survivors of a family member who has passed and SSI (supplemental security income).
Social Security Rate
Social Security Rate for Employers
Social Security Rate for Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that employers pay covered employees, who are not otherwise exempt, Department of Labor The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimation. If an individual is wrongly terminated from employment, they may contact their State labor office for more information and check eligibility for unemployment compensation and any extension of their healthcare benefits.
The FLSA does not define full-time or part-time employment which is generally determined by the employer
The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor enforces federal labor laws pertaining to work hours including the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and child labor requirements. Alternative work arrangements such as flexible work schedules are a matter between the employer and employee.
Leave benefits (whether paid, unpaid or partially paid) are generally an agreement between the employer and employee. Certain types of leave are required by law while others are voluntarily provided by employers. Some of the things that the FLSA does not regulate include vacation, holiday severance or sick pay, premium pay for weekend or holiday work, pay raises or fringe benefits and discharge notices
If an individual loses their job they have certain rights such as the right to continue healthcare coverage and at times, the right to unemployment compensation. Employers may be required to provide certain notices to their employees.
Minimum notice period for terminating an employee
Total number of public holidays
Working hours per week
Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Individuals with the right skills and work experience may be able to live and work permanently in the U.S. by seeking an employment-based immigrant visa. If an individual living outside the U.S. wants to work in the U.S. they must apply for a visa from the U.S. Department of State unless a visa is not required.
Permits conditions and types vary depending on whether the individual is a temporary work, permanent worker, temporary visitor for business or student and exchange visitors.
Work Permit validity
Passport(s) valid for six months beyond the intended date of entry into the U.S., (unless longer) is specifically requested by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the individual’s country. Review those instructions for further guidance.
Completed Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application)
Two (2) 2×2 photographs. See the required photo format which is explained in Photograph Requirements
Financial Support – At your immigrant visa interview, you must demonstrate to the Consular Officer that you are not likely to become a public charge in the U.S. (Note: For applicants where a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) relative filed the Form I-140 petition or where such a relative has a significant ownership interest in the entity that filed the petition, that relative must complete Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act, on behalf of the applicant)
Completed Medical Examination Forms – These are provided by the panel physician after you have completed your medical examination and vaccinations.
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