Getting Started — Setting Up Your Company’s Rippling Account

Setting up Rippling — even for companies with hundreds of employees who are transitioning over from other systems — is designed to be dead simple. We’ve recorded YouTube videos of speed-run setups where we fully set up a 100-employee company — including moving payroll from another system — from start to finish in less than 10 minutes.

We recommend you leave a bit more time, but the larger point — that setting up Rippling is quite simple, and you’ll likely think “That’s it?” to yourself at the end — holds.

Setting up rippling has four basic steps. Once you create you company’s initial account, you’ll see these as a list of setup “To-Dos”, or tasks, at the top of you dashboard:

Your tasks to set up Rippling, after you first create your account.


  • Tell Rippling basic information about your company: We’ll need to know your company name, work locations, and departments, among a few other things.
  • Add your employees: You’ll need to tell rippling basic information about your employees before we can invite them into Rippling. At its most basic, you’ll need to tell us email addresses, names, employment types (contractors vs regular employees, full-time vs part-time), manager (even if it’s “no manager”), start date, work location (if not contractor), compensation ($ amount per hour, day , week, month or year) and weekly hours for part-time employees. If you’re not using Rippling for payroll, there is no need to tell us about compensation.
  • Configure onboarding: You can review our template onboarding documents (things like offer letters, IP agreements, and more), or upload and configure your own.
  • Install apps: You’ll then need to install the individual utilities and 3rd party apps you’ll be using with Rippling. For example, if you’re using Rippling for payroll and insurance, you’ll need to “install” the payroll and insurance apps. If you’re using Rippling to manage employee computers, you’ll need to install the hardware app. If you’re using Rippling to manage employee accounts in 3rd party systems like GSuite, Salesforce, Slack, and more, you’ll need to install each of those apps.

Add your basic company info to Rippling

You’ll want to have a few things handy before you start this process:

  • Your business entity type (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc)
  • Information about how you’re taxed as a company (e.g. we’re an LLC taxed as an S-Corp)
  • Your legal business name.
  • A list of your work locations and office addresses. Tip: If you’re signing up for payroll, you might need the home addresses of remote workers to complete this step.
  • A list of your company departments (or a list of what you’d like your company departments to be). Rippling can accommodate a robust department and sub-department structure that trickles down to all our other features. Creating an awesome department structure will make the most of everything Rippling can offer.

Once you’ve gathered this information, start configuring your company in Rippling. The on-screen dialogue will guide you through when and where you should enter this info.

A note about work locations: Work locations are used both to organize employees (you can configure access to services in Rippling based on work location), but they are particularly critical if you’re using Rippling for payroll. If you’re using Rippling Payroll, work locations determine employees’ taxation and withholding. At minimum, you’ll need a work location in every state in which you have employees — you may need to use employees’ home office addresses for remote employees.

A note about adding departments: Departments are used as an organizing principle throughout Rippling. You’ll use departments to tell us who should get access to certain apps and services (“just the Sales department”), who should be subscribed to different email lists, who should have what software installed on their computer, and more. We’ll preselect a list of basic departments for you. But, it’s worth taking a minute and being thoughtful about this, and thinking through what departments you currently have in your company and might have in the future. The more thoughtful and complete you are with setting up your departments, the more useful Rippling is likely to be to you.

Add your employee info in Rippling

In some cases, Rippling will automatically import your employees’ employment data from your previous system. In that case, we’ll handle this step for you. If you haven’t been advised this applies to your implementation, please see below. 

We recommend getting a jump on adding employee information as soon as possible. Since Rippling is an employee data management platform, the census is the precursor to managing that data and the foundation for a successful implementation.

Please watch a short video introducing the census and how to begin the upload  here

If you’d like, you can add employee information to Rippling without emailing them just yet. We’ll very clearly call out when we’re about to send invitations to your employees to create their accounts in Rippling for the first time.

There are two sets of employee information you can add to Rippling. The first set, with things like email, name, and employment type is required for everyone. The second set, with HR information such as compensation, department, work location, and start date is required if you’re setting up payroll in Rippling, but recommended even if you’re not — because it makes it much easier to use Rippling for IT management if you can create provisioning rules based on information like department.

Quick tip: spreadsheets are easier. Many payroll and HR systems allow you to export employee data in the form of a spreadsheet or CSV file. If you can get a spreadsheet of employee data, Rippling makes it easy to import a CSV file of employee information, which can be much easier than typing it in manually!

The fields below are required for every customer, regardless of the apps they’ll be installing:

  • Email: This is where Rippling will be sending invites to your existing employee base to complete their short onboarding. If your employees don’t have a work email address you can enter their personal email address here instead. Please note that if you choose to use a personal email address, the field will be highlighted in orange during the import. This is only to highlight that a work email domain is preferred and is not a blocker to complete the import. Eventually we want both personal and work emails in the employee’s profile as the “work email” field (regardless of domain) is where all Rippling communications are sent to.
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Employment type: Employment types drive several things in the platform, most notably benefits eligibility. You will also be able use these employment types a grouping attribute throughout the platform (i.e. All hourly part-time employees get assigned to a different PTO policy than Salaried employees). You might already be using employee types internally to define subsets of employees. If for example, interns in your organization are eligible for benefits, we would recommend classifying them as one of the employment type buckets listed in Rippling that are eligible for benefits. Interns by default are not benefits eligible in Rippling’s platform. Below is an overview of each employee type as it relates to benefits eligibility:
    • Salaried Full Time – Benefits Eligible 
    • Salaried part time – benefits eligible 
    • Hourly Full time – benefits eligible 
    • Hourly part time greater than 30 hours – benefits eligible 
    • hourly part time less than 30 – not benefits eligible 
    • Temp/intern – not benefits eligible
    • contractor 1099 – not benefits eligible
  • Manager: Adding managers will automatically build out your company org chart. If you don’t want to provide managers, enter “No Manager” here.

Adding managers to Rippling lets employees browse colleagues via the Rippling Org Chart. If you’re using Rippling’s PTO app, PTO requests are routed to the manager you’ve specified for an employee here. This can always be updated after your census is completed if needed.

The fields below are required for payroll customers:

  • Compensation:  The compensation field should be listed in your employee’s correct currency along with the pay frequency for which their compensation is calculated by. For example, $10 per hour for an hourly employee and $60,000 for a salaried employee.
  • Overtime classification: Exempt or Non-Exempt from overtime pay
  • Work location: Including work location will allow us to be able to group employees into specific PTO policies or pay schedules. For example, we’ll be able to group all salaried employees into a semi monthly pay schedule or all San Francisco Employees into an unlimited Paid time off policy. Work location is also the primary driver for employee taxation. If an employee is remote, simply type “remote” on the census and the employee’s home address will be used for their taxation. As an employer, if you do not already have a tax account setup in the employee’s home state, you will need to reach out to them to set one up before the end of the quarter. Rippling will only be able to file taxes for you if that has been completed.
  • Department
  • Title (required when adding life or disability insurance)
  • Start date & Termination Dates: 
    • Start dates should be the original date of hire for each employee.
    • Terminated employees should also be included in your employee census so Rippling can properly issue tax forms (W2s & 1099s) for anyone your organization that has paid in 2020 if you are using Rippling’s payroll product. 
    • Profiles with a termination date will not count as a user in Rippling, but will give us the ability to retain their information for record keeping.
    • Rippling does not email those employees to onboard, but will advise them their tax forms are ready once they have been produced. The employee will simply need to log in and obtain the forms and won’t have access to anything other than their personal details
    • Any employees with future start dates should be hired directly through the system so they can sign any new hire documents and complete an i9. All start dates should reference the employee’s original hire date with your organization. 

Personal Demographic Information:

You’ll  notice that we ask for some personal demographic details for each employee like address, phone number, SSN and date of birth. These fields are not required during your census upload, but proactively including them will save you and your employee time in the future. Employees will have the opportunity during the onboarding process to not only confirm existing details, but also personal data left off of the census. Administrators and employees can both make any changes and update their profile data in real time during the onboarding process. Please see our employee facing instructions on creating your Rippling account and onboarding as an existing employee for the first time here

  • Date of birth
  • SSN
  • Street Line 1
  • Street Line 2
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • Country
  • Phone

Troubleshooting Census Errors and Warnings

In the event that we find any errors in your employee table, the system will not allow you to move on until these have been resolved. Any errors will be highlighted in red and those in orange are simply warnings calling your attention to our recommended data entry best practices. Please watch the following video walkthrough on uploading your employee census and troubleshooting common issues here

Invite your employees to Rippling

Once you upload your census, we’ll ask you to send an email inviting each employee to Rippling. This email contains a unique, secure link where they’ll be able to log into Rippling for the first time. If you’d like to save your progress and come back to the employee setup table at a later time, click “finish later” and this will create a task on your dashboard to allow you to return to this table and continue adding employees. If you’re finished adding everyone, go ahead and click Finished adding employees

We recommend doing this at least three weeks prior to your first payroll. Employees will have a chance to review their personal details and access any apps you’ve finished setting up in Rippling.