It is an accepted fact of life that more entrepreneurs are setting up their own businesses than ever before. We all know the drill – a great idea, a shoestring budget, some 20-hour days and whoosh – do it right, and the business will flourish and grow.

Of course, there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip, but for those who turn the dream into a reality, there comes a consequence of growth that you had barely thought about – the need to recruit some help. This is the point where it suddenly starts getting real. After all, it’s one thing launching your own business and flying by the seat of your pants, but are you ready to suddenly be the boss with a workforce to look after?

It’s a lot like parenthood, and can be just as scary, but keep the following tips in mind, and you will do just fine.

Business owner interviewing first employee

Cover yourself

There are all sorts of insurance options available to a business, and depending on your activities and risk appetite, some are more important than others. But employer’s liability insurance is an absolute must, and has to be in place before you even think about employing someone. It protects you against compensation claims and expenses that might arise if an employee suffers injury or illness during the course of their work activities.

Unlike most types of insurance. Employer’s liability is a legal requirement. Fail to take out a policy and you will face fines of up to £2,500 for every day the cover is missing.

Use the available technology

When it comes to recruitment, it’s a buyer’s market, and the chances are you will get plenty of applications for any position you have available. This means you can afford to be choosy, and in the modern era, there are plenty of technological tools around to help you make the right choice.

Innovations in the employee referrals sector are particularly valuable for matching the right people to the right roles – and ultimately, that has to be in the best interests of everyone.

contract writing

Sign on the dotted line

An expert mediator in employment disputes once commented that a verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s not written on. Whether you are employing someone full or part time, and even if it’s someone you know, get a proper employment contract in place. Again, it protects both your interests, so there is no reason not to do it.

You don’t necessarily need to spend money on a lawyer to draw it up as long as you run through a checklist to make sure it contains all the necessary components. Make sure you have it agreed and signed within two months of employing someone, or you will be in breach of employment law.

Tell the tax man

Last but by no means least, you need to inform HMRC. You can register yourself as an employer using their online portal, and will need to register your employee within 30 days of employment starting. They will fine you at least £100 if you are late, so don’t delay.