The Importance of the I-9 Form

by Deborah Z Mark


Forms, forms and more forms…

For business owners and employees, the I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification form) is one of the single most challenging forms to complete in the U.S. It contains 185 items that can be incorrect and thereby result in fines to the employer ranging from $110 to $1,100 PER EACH INCORRECT ITEM.

That’s right. For each error on the form, the employer (that’s you) can be fined.

Requirements and Fines

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audited an estimated 3,000 businesses in 2011. The average fine was $100,000! Audits of restaurants alone have increased by an estimated 500% in the last 5 years. Even if your employees are legal workers, ICE can levy fines on incorrect or incomplete I-9 forms.

If businesses are audited, they are required by law to produce I-9 forms for all employees within 3 days.

There is a 70 page booklet containing advice on how to complete the I-9 form correctly.

It’s a real page-turner.

Make it easy on yourself

Why not make it easy on yourself?

managestaff has created a training program for completing the I-9 form, addressing general questions/errors that typically arise when completing the form. If you would like to participate in this training or receive a refresher course, please contact us. We’re your PEO (Professional Employer Organization): your partner in all things Human Resources. We’ll help keep you compliant so you avoid unnecessary fines.


It’s what we do.

Image: Stuart Miles/