I-9 Solution – Build vs. Buy

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I-9 Solutions Made Simple: The Build vs. Buy Decision

When setting up an I-9 process, companies often face the dilemma of whether to build an in-house process or buy a ready-made solution from an external provider. Regardless of which route they take, compliance is a critical factor in the decision. 

Explore the build vs. buy debate and learn how a ready-made remote I-9 solution can benefit your organization.   

Dealing with constantly changing I-9 regulations

Form I-9 regulations for verifying an employee’s identity and work eligibility in the U.S. undergo frequent changes due to legislative and political shifts. Recent developments include the expiration of COVID-19 accommodations allowing remote verification and the introduction of the Alternative Process

Staying up-to-date and adapting to these changes is crucial for employers to ensure compliance with changing I-9 requirements.


Creating in-house I-9 solutions requires a dedicated team that builds the solution from scratch and continuously updates it to reflect the changing regulatory landscape. Considering the unpredictability and frequency of regulatory changes, this could tie up engineering resources. However, in the case of requiring highly company-specific compliance measures, an in-house build could prove beneficial.


Investing in a ready-made I-9 business solution transfers the responsibility of regulatory updates to the provider. They invest resources to stay ahead of changes, ensuring up-to-date solutions. This saves your company time, energy, and potential audit costs due to errors.

How WorkBright can help

WorkBright has built and optimized a product focused on ensuring compliance with I-9 regulations. And with great success—we’ve helped more than a million people complete Form I-9 with zero employer penalties. 

The releases from USCIS are often unpredictable and require immediate action to ensure compliance. But with WorkBright as your partner, you don’t have to worry about keeping tabs on the regulations. We do it for you! 

Harnessing experience and expertise

Experience and expertise are crucial when dealing with complex Form I-9 compliance, as it involves understanding and correctly interpreting rules, legal requirements, and possible exceptions. 

A seasoned expert brings in-depth knowledge gleaned by handling complex scenarios over time. This background knowledge and expertise ensures the process is handled correctly, efficiently, and fully compliant.


Building electronic I-9 solutions from scratch requires significant time, resources, and expertise. A dedicated team of professionals is essential to understanding complex rules, developing necessary software, and conducting thorough testing. 

Legal experts are crucial to ensure compliance with immigration laws and employment regulations. Powerful technology and software are required for data collection, document verification, electronic signatures, and secure storage.

Additionally, integration with existing HR databases and systems is necessary for a seamless workflow. Organizations must also conduct comprehensive training and regular compliance auditing to ensure adherence to regulations and identify potential issues before implementation. It’s a heavy lift, but if you have an expert resource on your team, the control it provides might be worth the tradeoff. 


Given the resource-intensive nature, many organizations opt for commercially available software solutions. These options can streamline the process and ensure compliance without the burden of an in-house system. 

Buying a solution from an experienced provider means accessing their comprehensive domain knowledge. They have the know-how to deal with complex issues related to I-9 compliance, reducing the learning curve for your team.

How WorkBright can help

Our team has extensive experience handling Form I-9 and E-Verify cases. From state-specific digital signature laws to handling edge cases and ensuring the compliant flow of information, WorkBright is built to address the challenges your in-house team will face. In addition to our wealth of internal knowledge, we continually work with top employment law experts to ensure the I-9 process is 100% compliant.

Risk management and liability

Missteps such as improper Form I-9 completion, incorrect document handling, or failure to update in line with regulation changes can lead to substantial fines, lawsuits, and reputational damage for your company. This underscores the need for diligent risk management and a clear understanding of liability.


Developing an in-house I-9 solution places the entire risk and liability on your organization. Any error or non-compliance could result in substantial fines and legal consequences. 

Correcting even a minor mistake could be costly, especially with a large volume of daily submissions. According to Experian Employer Services, penalties for first offenses and uncorrected technical errors or substantive violations of Form I-9 range from $252 to $2,507 per violation. Handling hundreds or thousands of daily submissions means correcting even small errors, such as audit trail notations, is costly and time-consuming. 


When you buy an I-9 solution, the provider assumes the risk and liability associated with compliance. Many providers also offer indemnification, protecting you from any financial implications stemming from errors or non-compliance.

How WorkBright can help

By partnering with WorkBright, you can avoid the risk of costly fines and penalties related to inaccurate I-9 compliance, especially if your company employs a large number of employees. Minor errors in high-volume daily submissions can quickly escalate into costly issues. 

WorkBright’s authorized representative process is so reliable that we fully indemnify all customers against fines resulting from our process

Our process has undergone thorough scrutiny in audits and court evaluations in Florida, where it was upheld without any fines. With WorkBright, you can confidently transfer the risk and liability of maintaining I-9 compliance to us, knowing that we stand behind the integrity of our process.

Leveraging analytics

By harnessing the power of analytics, organizations can gain data-driven insights into common issues, completion rates, and areas for improvement in I-9 management. This information allows for streamlining the process, improving accuracy, and minimizing errors or compliance gaps. 

As a result, I-9 management becomes more efficient and effective, ensuring a smoother and more compliant workflow.


While you can incorporate analytical tools in your in-house solution, it often isn’t the top priority or first step, given it’s not necessary to complete the process and it’s a complex and resource-intensive process. You’ll need to integrate diverse data sources, scalability to handle growing data volumes, and ensure data security and privacy. 

Acquiring skilled data analysts, compliance expertise, and analytics capabilities can also be costly. The system may require continuous refinement based on user feedback and changing compliance needs. 

Nevertheless, building it on your own allows you to guarantee that the specific metrics you want to monitor are not only tracked but also prioritized by preference.


Buying an I-9 management solution often comes with built-in analytics tools, allowing you to assess key metrics such as completion rates, common error points, and areas for improvement from the start. Providers constantly innovate their solutions based on customer feedback and industry trends, giving you a continuously improving product.

How WorkBright can help

While your project scope may primarily focus on ensuring compliance, it’s crucial to consider how your onboarding process can continuously improve. At WorkBright, our product undergoes regular innovations and feature updates,  providing insights into common errors, employee bottlenecks, and recruiter success metrics.

Cost implications

Cost implications for I-9 compliance span the initial outlay for developing or procuring a solution and ongoing expenses for maintenance, updates, training, and potential fines for non-compliance. An efficient, well-designed I-9 solution can minimize these costs by streamlining processes, reducing errors, and ensuring timely compliance with changing regulations.


According to SHRM, the average cost per hire is around $4,700, so hiring an in-house team for remote verification and management can be expensive. In addition to the staff cost, you also need to factor in the resources required for development, maintenance, legal consultation, training, and support. 

There’s also the ongoing cost of keeping the solution updated with regulatory changes, as well as potential fines for non-compliance.


Investing in a ready-made remote I-9 solution can be cost-effective in the long run. It saves you from upfront development costs and continuous maintenance expenses. The pricing models are usually transparent, allowing you to budget for the solution more effectively.

How WorkBright can help

Building an I-9 management solution in-house is not only time-consuming but also cost-prohibitive. The initial development and continuous support require a dedicated team of engineers, legal advisors, project managers, and support staff. Partnering with WorkBright significantly reduces these costs.

Why choose WorkBright?

WorkBright’s platform and track record speaks for itself: we provide a premium remote I-9 solution

Unlike our competitors, we’re not spread thin across multiple products and customer needs. We’re here to do one thing really well: be the world’s best remote I-9 solution.

And when it comes to our authorized representative process, we stand our ground. We offer indemnification for our customers against any fines arising from our process—a stance validated by audits and court reviews.

We understand the industry-wide vendor fatigue you may be experiencing. So, we’re committed to delivering unparalleled support and working hand in glove with you to develop the most streamlined onboarding process possible. 

Choose WorkBright as your partner in I-9 compliance to smoothly navigate the complex regulations around remote verification and management. Book a demo today.