Best PEO Services

Where to outsource your company's HR responsibilities

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As a business owner, it’s hard to keep up when it feels like you have the world on your shoulders. That’s where a PEO can help to take some of the administrative burdens off of you.

More officially known as a professional employer organization, a PEO is an external company that handles your business’s administrative, financial, and human resources (HR) needs. From payroll to employee hiring and benefits, you can easily outsource many of these services to professional experts who specialize in running this side of the company.  

With such critical services on the line, it’s imperative that you find the right PEO for you. We looked at over 15 PEO providers and then narrowed our field down to companies not only accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but also the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to bring you the very best PEO services in the market.

The 7 Best PEO Services of 2021

Best Overall : Paychex

Paychex

Paychex

An established and stable PEO, Paychex will not only work for your employees but with them, offering personal customer support.

Pros
  • Option of onsite HR managers

  • Personalized risk assessment and management

  • Enormous online resource center

Cons
  • Systems could use some updating

  • Five employee minimum

Paychex is our best overall pick because it is the perfect autonomous partner that every business owner needs to help manage their employees. Instead of working as the middle man, Paychex works directly with employees for HR support. That makes it better able to assess a company and provide in-depth risk management services. If you work with Paychex as your PEO, you’ll benefit from a payroll account manager and human resource generalist. It makes customer service an enjoyable and reliable experience, no matter the company’s size. These services all help Paychex stand out from the competition.

Online processing simplifies the payroll process, and Paychex outsources office management support if needed. If not, there is also the option to sign up for a la carte services.

Paychex offers the following services for business:

  • Payroll processing
  • Retirement services
  • Insurance
  • HR services (outsourced)
  • Employee benefits (outsourced; HSA, FSA, HRA)
  • 401(k) plans
  • Unemployment insurance

Paychex provides access to a multitude of resources addressing all facets of business. Owners can focus their attention on growing the business while Paychex steps in to handle payroll, taxes, and compliance. Employee benefits packages are extensive, including health, retirement, vision, dental, and even employee wellness options. 

Pricing is assessed on a per-employee basis with a five-employee minimum. Contracts are priced for a year, making it a reasonable fit for growing businesses and a no-brainer for larger corporations. 

Despite its name, Paychex offers more than just payroll services. Paychex is IRS-certified and accredited by both the Employer Services Assurance Corporation and the Better Business Bureau, even earning an A+ rating from the BBB.

Best for Small Businesses : Insperity

Insperity

 Insperity

Insperity will offer the guiding hand that small businesses need as they grow and expand.

Pros
  • Enormous library of online training resources

  • Customized plans

  • Flexible contract pricing

  • Can cancel anytime

Cons
  • Minimum of five employees

  • No pricing online

  • Single health insurance provider

Insperity is our pick for the best small business PEO because it has the experience to adapt itself to the needs of both small business owners and help guide their growth.

There is fantastic accessibility, with the company offering stellar apps for both iOS and Android platforms. It gives you the option to stay plugged in and in-touch even when you are on the go.

While Insperity does offer plans for health insurance, this service is not handled in-house but is instead outsourced. You will only have options from a single provider, however, making your choices more limited than some of the other PEOs available. The coverage is typically suitable for small businesses.

Services available at Insperity include these areas.

  • Payroll processing
  • Employee benefits
  • Human resources administration
  • Risk management
  • Extensive training resources
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Employee support and onboarding
  • Government compliance support
  • Tech services

Your dedicated team will include an HR manager, HR specialist, payroll specialist, performance manager, benefits supervisor, recruiting expert, client liaison, and safety officer for some of the best support you’ll find anywhere from a PEO.

Insperity manages to do it all and still maintain high levels of customer support for all of your questions and troubleshooting needs. There’s no need to sign a long-term contract, either. If you decide that you want to cancel, you only have to give 30 days’ notice and you’re good to go. For more details on pricing, you will need to call in and speak with a rep for a personalized quote. Insperity is accredited by the big three (ESAC, IRS, and BBB) for extra peace of mind.

Best for Large Businesses : INFINITI HR

Infiniti HR

 Infiniti HR

INFINITI HR places a sharp focus on growing your business, offering specialized recruitment services that are rarely seen with a PEO.

Pros
  • Franchise-friendly

  • Customizable format

  • Recruitment support

  • A la carte services

Cons
  • Slow on mobile apps and tech

  • May be too much for smaller companies

  • Newer company

INFINITI HR is our pick for the best PEO for large businesses because it is the first PEO created specifically for franchises and hotel management. INFINITI HR has extensive experience in working with some of the country’s most popular franchises and largest hotel brands, including Choice Hotels International, Best Western, Massage Envy, and Supercuts.

INFINITI HR allows businesses to personalize services with the option to pick and choose services for a custom bundle. It separates out major services like HR support and payroll so you can opt for one without being stuck with the other. It’s the kind of flexibility that large enterprises look for when converting to a new provider. 

A unique feature is its recruitment services, which help to keep companies stacked with the top talent they need to keep growing. 

INFINITI HR offers several options for large businesses.

  • Payroll services
  • Tax filing
  • HR management, by state
  • Employee benefits
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Compliance support

INFINITI HR offers many attractive employee perks, such as the full bouquet of health, dental, vision, and life insurance. Other benefits include unemployment, workers’ compensation, and liability claims support. 

For business owners, there are support services available, such as state-specific HR systems with on-demand consulting services and compliance and risk management. For those focused on growth, there is even recruitment outsourcing available to scout out talent and advance teams.  

INFINITI HR is still very much the new kid on the block, but it packs a punch with all the services it offers. It is the official premium supplier for the International Franchise Association (IFA). INFINITI HR is a PEO that is franchise-friendly with services designed to the needs of the growing empire.

Best for Startups : Oasis Outsourcing

Oasis Outsourcing

 Oasis Outsourcing

At Oasis, excellent customer support meets a wide variety of services all designed to help the growing startup.

Pros
  • Simple to use

  • Caters to specialty fields

  • Top-rated in the industry

  • Comprehensive online demos

Cons
  • Must have at least five employees

  • One-year contract

  • Early termination fee may apply

Oasis is the best pick for startups because it provides the full-service support of Paychex with the attention to detail of a smaller provider. 

Oasis is run by the popular payroll processing company, Paychex, which also makes an appearance on our list. However, Oasis takes a different approach from its parent company, offering instead specialized programs that are custom-tailored to popular industries. It is a PEO that is truly startup-friendly, taking into account the unique needs of small businesses. Available in all 50 states, there is even regulatory support suitable for your industry.

Its specialties include many of the country’s most popular industries.

  • Architecture
  • Banking
  • Country clubs
  • Financial services
  • Franchises
  • Hospitality
  • IT
  • Law
  • Light manufacturing 
  • Property management
  • Retail
  • Senior living

There is also dedicated customer support. Your business will be able to benefit from a personal payroll account manager, and an HR expert, both of whom will help you navigate the ins and outs of your business. There are several detailed online demos designed to allow busy professionals to train on their own terms and schedule.

Oasis offers a series of services to include:

  • Human resource administration
  • Payroll processing
  • Employee benefits
  • Health insurance
  • Risk management

You can also piggyback off some of the Paychex perks, like health, vision, and dental insurance; 401(k)s; HSAs and FSAs; commuter plans; employee assistance programs; prepaid college funds; and even health and wellness coaching.

While there is typically a one-year contract at signup, all you have to do is give 30 days’ notice if you decide you want to cancel.

Best Customer Service : ADP TotalSource

ADP TotalSource

 ADP TotalSource

ADP consistently delivers stellar customer service, even though it is one of the largest PEO providers today.

Pros
  • Self-service payroll for employees

  • Advanced HR software and tools

  • Reasonable contracts

  • Dedicated support representatives

Cons
  • Five-employee minimum

  • Must speak to a rep for pricing

  • May seem too large to smaller companies

ADP TotalSource is a powerhouse, serving as one of today’s biggest PEOs in over 140 countries with more than half a million customers. It has made a name for itself with exceptional customer service. Multiple chat options include email, phone, and live chat so you can always find help when you need it. It’s the kind of flexibility that works for companies of all kinds and sizes, which is why ADP TotalSource is our pick for best customer service.

ADP does specialize in some specific industries:

  • Construction
  • Education
  • Financial services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofit
  • Professional services
  • Technical services

ADP also offers top-rated HR programs, with the company emerging as an industry leader in tech and customer support. Businesses benefit from their own personal HR consulting team that both owners and employees can call on at any time with questions or for troubleshooting. Staff is also likely to appreciate the self-service payroll system that gives them more autonomy over their earnings. If a computer is not available, the mobile app will help take care of all business needs.

There are also optional benefits that include medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as 401(k) plans. These are offered through some of the nation’s best providers since ADP holds some pretty impressive partnerships.

There is a five-employee minimum to sign up, and you will need to speak with a customer service representative before receiving pricing. However, this is a company built around small and medium-sized businesses, adapting its plans to best suit these particular needs. There are likely to be more services than startups need right now, but it only lights the way for all that’s to come.

Best for Industry-Specific Services : TriNet

TriNet

 TriNet

TriNet not only tailors itself to specific industries, but business owners have their own dedicated support teams with experts from their own industry, making it our choice for best industry-specific services.

Pros
  • Excellent accessibility

  • Customized contracts

  • Industry-specific support

  • Specialized training

Cons
  • Not yet BBB-accredited

  • Only offers service bundles instead of a la carte

  • Five-employee minimum

TriNet offers a standard, straightforward plan that bundles payroll services, employee benefits, HR administration, and risk management. It’s not the best option if you’re looking for singular services, but for the expanding business that needs support, it can be invaluable. Customer service is available via email, phone, and online chat, and you will also have your dedicated team for more specific inquiries.

Services include these:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Payroll processing 
  • Human resources administration 
  • Risk management and compliance
  • Employee benefits 
  • Retirement plans and 401(k) options 
  • Employee onboarding

Many PEOs on our list will give you a support rep or even a whole team to offer assistance when you need it. However, TriNet takes it one step further, curating a personal team of professionals from your industry so you always receive superior expert advice. It is what makes it different from Oasis and earns it our top pick for specialized industries. For the growing small business, TriNet provides invaluable support and expertise that can be very hard to find elsewhere. 

The many tailored industries that TriNet works with include:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Architecture
  • Automotive
  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Finance 
  • Healthcare
  • Legal
  • Life sciences
  • Manufacturing and wholesale
  • Nonprofit
  • Retail 
  • Technology

TriNet offers per-employee pricing that matches the size of your business. You will have to sign a contract, but contracts may vary, giving you some flexibility on the length. If you decide it’s not for you, cancellation only requires a 30-day written notice, but it’s often best to work directly with a representative so that together you can create a more customized contract that better works for you.

Best for Benefits : Justworks

Justworks

 Justworks

Justworks lets small businesses benefit from advanced perks, like expanded service options, a dedicated account manager, and optional add-on benefits.

Pros
  • Upfront pricing

  • A la carte service option

  • 24/7 customer service

  • Dedicated account manager

Cons
  • Relatively new PEO

  • Basic training services

  • Limited compliance assistance

Justworks is our pick for the best PEO for benefits because it allows small businesses to enjoy perks that are generally only available to larger businesses. It prioritizes affordability with transparent pricing, gives dedicated account support, and offers expanded customer service options, giving businesses full control so they can add, remove, and change their benefits at will.

The standard Justworks contract will include payroll processing and HR administration, in addition to compliance and employee benefits. If you have a question or need help with a topic, customer service is standing by 24/7 via phone, email, online chat, Slack, or SMS text.

Justworks is also the only PEO to openly display its pricing, offering these rates.

Plan Services Cost
Basic Payroll, HR, Benefits, Compliance
  • Less than 25 employees — $49 per month per employee

  • 25 to 99 employees — $44 per month per employee

  • 100 to 174 employees — $39 per month per employee

  • 175+ employees — Custom pricing

Plus With medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Less than 25 employees — $99 per month per employee

  • 25 to 99 employees — $89 per month per employee

  • 100 to 174 employees  — $79 per month per employee

  • 175+ employees — Custom pricing

There are some extra perks, too, like 15% off your plan when you commit to a one-year contract, but you have the option to pay monthly if that fits into the budget better.

Justworks has only been around since 2012, but it is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation and holds an A+ BBB rating.

FAQs

What Are PEO Services?

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) uses a co-employment approach, maintaining the books and handling specific services while under your management. 

Many businesses choose to outsource these critical services in order to guarantee that they are done correctly by experienced professionals. With a PEO, businesses are able to save on the cost of extra employees, while providing teams with more expert training and freeing up more time in your day to grow and expand your company.

A PEO typically provides any of these basic services:

  • Payroll processing
  • Human resources administration
  • Employee benefits
  • Risk and compliance
  • Workers' compensation
  • Employee training
  • Talent development 

However, not all PEOs offer or specialize in the services your business may require, so it’s critical to adequately vet each company’s options.

What’s the Difference Between a PEO and an HRO?

A PEO and HRO are commonly used together, but they are, in fact, completely different entities. Human Resource Outsources (HRO) are similar to PEOs, but they are limited to only HR services. 

In contrast, a PEO handles that and far more, offering a comprehensive and flexible set up for your company that aims to resolve all of your administrative, regulatory, and HR needs. This also means that a PEO is given significantly more autonomy over the business, having the authority to handle payments, training, hiring, and benefits, while an HRO’s power extends only as far as the HR-related aspects of the job.

What Are the Disadvantages of a PEO

While helpful to many, a PEO isn’t for everyone. 

Many companies require a minimum of five employees before you can even get started, instantly ruling out newer startups that may not have had the opportunity to expand its workforce. 

A PEO can also mean less interaction between you and your staff, with an outside party suddenly becoming more entangled with your company affairs and, by extension, your employees. 

With so much access to your team and proprietary affairs, it’s important to find a PEO that is highly rated by industry experts, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), and IRS. 

What Does a PEO Cost?

Few PEOs are upfront about their pricing, instead requiring that you call a customer service representative for a quote. However, most PEOs stick to a basic pricing model that uses a set fee that is charged on a per-employee basis. Some PEOs may offer instead to use a percentage-based payment system that is directly correlated to your growth.

The cost of a PEO depends on how many employees you have, their total hours, how much they make, and future plans for company growth. Be sure to ask upfront about any special policy customizations or discount offers that can help lower the total cost. Also, consider whether a contract is required and whether there are any add-on fees. You will also want to consider how long you will have to commit to a PEO’s services, because if you’re a smaller company struggling to maintain steady business, a long contract may be more than you can commit to at this time.

How We Chose the Best PEO Services

There is a multitude PEOs operating today, but very few are worth their weight. To begin, we look to the industry leaders for their expert ratings and results. The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations has been an invaluable resource in researching and uncovering the best secrets regarding today’s top PEO services.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB), Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) recognize PEOs of superior caliber with official ratings and accreditations that serve as a sign of reliability and customer satisfaction. 

Additionally, we analyze hundreds of real customer reviews, learning about actual customer experience, service offerings, and provider performance.

Through our research, we ensure that each provider demonstrates best practices, meeting specific financial, state, and regulatory guidelines to best guide you and your business down the path of success.