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Ask the Experts: Do company owners need to fill out a Form I-9? | New York Benefit Advisors

Question: Do company owners need to fill out a Form I-9?

Answer: The owner of a business will need to complete a Form I-9 to document the legal right to work in the United States if the owner is employed by the business and takes a salary or other form of compensation, including food and lodging. This includes owners in a partnership if the owners are hired by the partnership and are receiving compensation for work performed.

Failure to comply with this requirement may result in monetary penalties ranging from $375 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties at the higher end. Penalties for substantive violations, which includes failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation. In determining penalty amounts, Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) considers five factors: the size of the business, good faith effort to comply, seriousness of the violation, whether the violation involved unauthorized workers, and history of previous violations.

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