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PEO Companies: 11 Best Services For Any Business

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Managing a company can be highly tedious for small businesses.

It turns out that HR processes can be overly complicated and unnecessarily siphon a company’s finances.

Fortunately, there are companies that provide PEO services that can help maximize efficiency and save valuable resources such as time, energy, and money.

Of course, each PEO provider is different and offers a unique set of services tailored for specific needs, so choosing the right one isn’t as easy as drawing random numbers from a hat.

If you’re struggling with keeping your company in check, keep reading to learn in-depth about what PEO companies can do for you and the 11 best services you should be using.

What Are PEO Services?

PEO services are companies where employers can outsource human-resource-related management responsibilities to streamline business processes.

The outsourced company and the employer typically become joint employers, meaning they both share an employer status over the business’s employees, including liabilities and legal issues.

What Does PEO Actually Stand For?

PEO stands for “professional employer organization.”

What Does a PEO Company Do?

The range of what a specific PEO company does is contingent upon their own unique services, but here are some of the standard managing practices they will handle:

  • Employee benefits – PEO companies give smaller businesses access to better benefits such as affordable 401k insurance and retirement plans for their employees.
  • Payroll and tax filing – A PEO company will sometimes assume tax liabilities, handle the end-of-the-year filings, and manage a business’s payroll.
  • Hiring processes – PEO companies may also act as talent agents and play a role in the recruitment and hiring processes.
  • HR support – A PEO service may also provide your company with more accessible, optimized HR support for your company.
  • Unemployment – PEO companies may also handle the filing and distribution of unemployment.
  • Drug and safety programs – Sometimes, PEO companies even provide drug and safety programs for your company. This may include drug tests, safety videos, and work safety protocols.
  • Workers compensation distribution – A PEO company might also hold the responsibility of distributing workers comp accordingly.

When Does It Make Sense To Invest in PEO Services?

While larger companies don’t have a use for PEO services since management processes are usually handled internally, it can be great for mid-small-sized businesses.

Smaller businesses can advantageously outsource PEO services to streamline HR tasks and focus on other aspects of the company.

A small business owner can infer it’s time to invest in a PEO service when they spend a majority of their time handling management processes, want to give their employees better benefits, or need to focus on other more significant projects.

What Types of Companies Use a PEO?

PEO can be used by a wide variety of different companies and industries.

Some you’ll commonly see its use in are:

  • Real estate
  • Retail
  • Product-based companies
  • Legal firms
  • Health care
  • Business and finance
  • E-commerce
  • Chain restaurants

These are just some examples of businesses that can utilize PEO, but there isn’t really a limit to what type of industry a business is in or how large they are.

Essentially any type of company can take advantage of PEOs to save time and gain access to broader resources.

What Are The Best PEO Companies?

Since there are so many PEO services to choose from, it can be hard finding the most optimal one that meets your requirements.

To help minimize the pool and the find the right specs for your business, here is a list of the 11 best PEO companies and what they offer:

ADP TotalSource

A screenshot of the adp homepage

What is ADP TotalSource?

ADP TotalSource is an ADP-operated PEO solution service that offers a variety of PEO functions for small to mid-sized companies.

What Are The Features of ADP TotalSource?

ADP TotalSource offers high-quality, “Fortune 500-caliber” benefits such as insurance, perks, and 401k retirement plans.

Additionally, they help with employee-related legal issues, finding and hiring talent, and HR guidance with their state-of-the-art technology and a dedicated HR consultation team.

What Are The Pricing Plans For ADP TotalSource?

ADP TotalSource does not list their prices on their site and gives individual quotes to inquiring companies.

Based on customer reviews and similar PEO companies that offer similar services, you can expect their prices to fall between $100 – $200 a month.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

ADP TotalSource is great for small, start-up companies looking for a reputable PEO service to help manage and offer guidance in the HR department.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using ADP TotalSource?

  • Extensive features
  • Updated technology and apps
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Training programs
  • Pricey
  • Hidden fees


A screenshot of the trinet homepage

What is TriNet?

TriNet is a comprehensive PEO service focused on data-related software, HR guidance, and employee administration.

Founded in 1988, they have been active for 30+ years and have served over 16,000 clients.

What Are The Features of Trinet?

Trinet has consultants for optimizing and managing human resources that cover a wide area of expertise ranging from leadership training programs to talent management.

They also have data analytics for employees and company growth.

Other features include risk mitigation (injury liability, workers compensation, etc.), 401k retirement plans, and payroll services.

What Are The Pricing Plans For TriNet?

TriNet also offers quote-by-quote pricing, which depends on company size, industry, and the services requested.

Given that there are so many variables, prices have been known to range from $80 to over $600.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

TriNet is best used for product-based companies that rely on web-based technology and analytics and for companies with high health/injury risks.

They’re also a good fit for companies focusing on growth or who are struggling with human resource management in general.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using TriNet?

  • Excellent HR management services
  • High levels of access to personal data with great security
  • High quality recruiting and hiring services
  • Complicated user platform
  • Wide range of pricing


A screenshot of the paychex homepage

What is Paychex?

Paychex is a PEO company that emphasizes adept payroll services, HR management, and a wide array of employee benefits.

Paychex has been around since 1971 and claims to have served over 700,000 clients internationally.

What Are The Features of Paychex?

Paychex PEO has a list of payroll, compliance, tax, and HR service kits for small and mid-sized companies.

Paychex also has a variety of extended insurance plans for groups, as well as individual health insurance and retirement plans.

Other features include managing business liabilities, onboarding, HR consultation, and HSA/FSA benefits administration.

What Are The Pricing Plans For Paychex?

For really small businesses (1-9 employees), they offer the Paychex Flex Essentials kit for $39 a month plus an additional $5 per employee.

For larger businesses, they offer the Paychex Flex Select and Pro plans, which are determined by company-specific quotes.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Paychex is quite versatile and best for companies that exhibit a broad assembly of needs.

They’re perfect for start-up companies with low numbers of workers and can provide their services even as a business grows.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Paychex?

  • High-quality support
  • Exceptional retirement plans
  • Comprehensive app
  • No/limited customization reports
  • Expensive fees


A screenshot of the justwork homepage

What is Justworks?

Justworks is a rapidly growing simple software support service for any company’s payroll and HR needs.

What Are The Features of Justworks

Justworks’ main feature is payroll management.

They essentially simplify paying employees by handling tax withholdings and deductions as well as integrating a time-tracking tool into your business.

They also have affordable 401k savings plans, team managing HR tools, and handling employee compliances.

What Are The Pricing Plans For Justworks

Justworks has two different plan options: basic and plus.

The pricing depends on company size and will run a business $49 – $39 a month per employee for the basic plan and $99 – $79 a month per employee for the plus plan.

Companies larger than 175 employees must receive a quote for pricing.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Justworks is optimal for companies looking for affordable prices and simple-to-use interfaces.

They have a heavy emphasis on payroll, employee benefits administration, and compliance responsibilities.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Justworks?

  • Ease of use
  • Superb benefit planning
  • Decent pricing
  • PTO related issues
  • No premium consultation services


A screenshot of the rippling homepage

What is Rippling?

Rippling is an inclusive HR and IT integration service attentively providing solutions to complex management and technology processes.

What Are The Features of Rippling?

Rippling hosts a sizable line of HR and IT management essentials.

In the way of HR they have payroll solutions, 401k planning, compliances, training automation, and hiring services.

Their technology services include workforce analytics, customizable reports, app management, security, and device management.

What Are The Pricing Plans For Rippling?

To receive a full quote for Rippling, businesses will have to file for a quote.

The main site and customer reviews reveal that pricing starts at $35 a month for their core program and for $8 per employee.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Given their specialties in HR and IT services, Rippling best suits technology and remote-operated businesses, specifically ones that rely on apps and the internet.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Rippling?

  • Customizable reports
  • Extensive selection of integrative apps
  • Top-tier payroll processing
  • It can be a bit complicated for smaller businesses
  • The high learning curve for user-generated reports


A screenshot of the scalepeo homepage

What is ScalePEO?

ScalePEO is a professionally outsourced company centered on simplifying and streamlining the HR process.

What Are The Features of ScalePEO?

ScalePEO offers Payroll features, compliance protection, HR tools such as PTO management and onboarding, and competitive benefits administration.

Some of the benefits they offer are fortune-500 class insurance policies for employees and 401k retirement plans.

What Are The Pricing Plans For ScalePEO?

ScalePEO offers plans based on company specs, but a prospective business can expect to pay between $500 – $1500 per employee a year.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Given their simplicity and ease of use, ScalePEO is perfect for business owners who have limited HR resources and want to focus on growth for an affordable price.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using ScalePEO?

  • A mix of software integration and human interaction
  • Ease-of-use
  • Great customer service
  • Hard to leave due to the integrated scale system


A screenshot of the oyster homepage

What is Oyster?

Oyster is a highly accredited international hiring and HR management service with a global scope and a variety of interactive functions.

What Are The Features of Oyster?

Oyster offers global hiring programs, payroll services, worldwide compliances, and experienced hiring/onboarding guidance.

They additionally include localized benefits and rewards.

What Are The Pricing Plans For Oyster?

Oyster has a free Lite plan, a business package starting at $399 an employee per month, and a customizable enterprise pricing plan.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Oyster is best for companies that are seeking to expand/outsource worldwide.

This could result from a desire for rapid growth or the necessity of foreign resources and talents.

Oyster is also great for larger companies that need to streamline their hiring process and make them more accessible globally.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Oyster?

  • Global PEO reach
  • Reaches international markets
  • Promotes remote management
  • Pricey
  • Offloading issues


A screenshot of the frankcrum homepage

What is FrankCrum?

FrankCrum is a co-employment PEO agency that rationalizes and simplifies numerous HR activities with an emphasis on health and safety.

What Are The Features of FrankCrum?

FrankCrum helps businesses hire and manage employees.

Some of their features include professional HR support, compliances, liability, and payroll.

Their benefits include major medical, vision, and dental insurance as well as competitive 401k retirement planning.

What Are The Pricing Plans For FrankCrum?

FrankCrum offers customizable pricing packages based on company specs and requires the filing of a quote for a cohesive price.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Given their heavy stress on liability, safety, and compliance, FrankCrum is tailored for companies in the healthcare, construction, and hospitality industries.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using FrankCrum?

  • Excellent, high tier benefits
  • Optimized for preventing lawsuits and legal issues
  • No down-payments for their worker’s compensation plans
  • Co-dependence/influence on company culture

Cognos HR PEO

A screenshot of the cognoshr homepage

What is Cognos HR?

Cognos HR PEO is an HR management and simplification service with a focal point of infrastructure and relationships.

What Are The Features of Cognos HR?

They have a few PEO features such as HR management, HR consultation, competitive employee benefits, compliances, and payroll administration.

They group all of their services under four main categories:

  • Payroll administration and compliances
  • HR infrastructure, expertise, and support
  • Group benefits plans, administration, and reporting
  • Risk Management

What Are The Pricing Plans For Cognos HR?

Cognos HR offers pricing on a quote-by-quote basis, so you’ll need to contact the company directly to learn about their prices.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Cosmos HR is mainly fit for start-up companies.

They market themselves as a specialized handler of HR management so employers can focus on business growth.

They offer all the basic management needs allowing employers to work on establishing the foundation of a company while simultaneously maintaining cost efficiency.

This makes Cognos HR optimal for non-profit organizations and tech start-up companies.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Cognos HR?

  • Has human-oriented resources
  • Great customer support
  • Perfect for the very early stages of a business’s development
  • Limited data on the company’s efficiency
  • Fluctuating prices


A screenshot of the xcel homepage

What is Xcel?

Xcel is one of the fastest-growing PEO-optimized services that highlights business growth and development.

What Are The Features of XcelHR?

Xcel offers quite a few benefits for partnering with them.

First of all, they advertise lower costs through efficiency-driven process simplification.

Some of these process simplifications include payroll automation, HR management, workplace safety integrations such as worker’s compensation insurance, and benefit packaging plans.

They also have a concentration on hiring solutions with talent finding resources, onboarding strategies, and turnover rate reduction.

What Are The Pricing Plans For XcelHR?

Like most other PEO companies, XcelHR does not disclose any price ranges on their site, and the cost depends on the company information given to them by quote request forms.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

XcelHR is another fair choice for an all-encompassing PEO provider, which is a versatile fit for most small-medium companies trying to streamline their processes.

Given their cost-efficiency ratios, it has been determined that they are most efficient for businesses with less than ten employees.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using XcelHR?

  • Excellent benefits
  • Emphasis on compliances and compliance support
  • Helps build company culture
  • Older interface
  • Does not work internationally

Papaya Global

A screenshot of the papayaglobal homepage

What is Papaya Global?

Papaya Global is an international payroll and onboarding agency that operates in over 160 countries.

What Are The Features of Papaya Global?

Papaya Global has automated payroll functions set up to work on a global scale.

This includes payments, transactions, and other payroll features.

Furthermore, they also have world-class hiring and onboarding solutions for recruiting talents internationally.

They complement this with expert, multicultural supported HR management and intuitive automated processes.

Of course, their main expertise lies in their global features, such as global equity management, global benefits, immigration, and GDPR.

What Are The Pricing Plans For Papaya Global?

Papaya Global has three main price plans with unique sets of features and services.

Their first plan is their payroll plan which begins at $20 a month per employee.

Next, they have an employer of record plan, which starts at $770 a month per employee.

Finally, they have contractor management & IC compliance plans, which start at $25 a month per employee.

*Note: Each package includes different aspects of their HR services, and they do not reflect upgraded/simplified versions of other price packages.

Which Type of Companies is it Fit For?

Small and medium-sized companies that want to expand and/or recruit talents internationally.  

What Are The Pros and Cons of Using Papaya Global?

  • Global Reach
  • Immersive customer service
  • Administers automated processes
  • Can be expensive
  • Unorganized invoice reports

Comparison Between PEO Companies and Other Service Providers

The main competitors to PEO companies are PSP (payroll service provider) companies.

The difference between these two services is that PEO shares the legal responsibilities of their client while a PSP does not.

While both providers usually offer payroll services, PSPs are usually more limited in their services and don’t offer as many benefit plans.

vector graphic showing an illustration of PEO companies - people doing this type of service arranged next to one another

What is the difference between a PEO and an HRO?

PEO are co-employers, while HRO are third party companies that you can hire like any other provider.

What is the difference between a PEO and an ASO?

While PEO companies have their employees in their payrolls, the ASO does not.

The ASO is not a co-employer.

What is the difference between a PEO and Employee Leasing?

The PEO can help in the hire of employees with tools, hr resources and more technology.

Employee leasing is provided by third-party companies.

The employer has a contract with a specific expiration date and is only for certain tasks.

What is the difference between a PEO and Staffing Companies?

Staffing companies is the name that companies who lease employees have.

Basically they let companies rent employees for specific tasks and a certain amount of time.

What To Look For in a Top PEO Company

Here are some things to look for in a top PEO company:

  • Plenty of positive professional and customer references/reviews
  • See if they’re a part of NAPEO (the national trade association of the PEO industry)
  • Check if they’re IRS certified (if they’re handling your taxes)
  • Adheres to your company’s policies
  • Meets your company’s needs
  • Accessible support and customer service (preferably 24/7)

How Do You Get The Most From Your PEO?

In order to get the most from your PEO, you’re going to want to take advantage of your provider’s expertise/best-rated services.

Allow them to focus on what they’re good at for the best results.

You’ll also want to let them handle all or most of your HR processes.

This will help you streamline your management system and allow you to focus on other aspects of your business.

Most outsourced companies have a variety of resources, technologies, and software at their disposal.

Make use of these features to maximize your company’s growth and minimize costs.

Pros and Cons of PEO Companies

Here are some of the pros and cons of using PEO companies:


  • Saves time and money
  • Streamlines HR management
  • Promotes company growth
  • Coadvantage PEO
  • Simplifies the hiring and onboarding process
  • Less margin for error in tax filings and legal issues
  • Great for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Gives affordable benefits, insurance, perks, and retirement plans to a company’s employees

Why Are PEO Companies Important For Small Businesses?

PEO companies are nigh essential for small businesses.

Usually, companies with smaller employee bases don’t have the time or resources to manage infrastructure and turn to PEO services to alleviate pressure and streamline operations.


  • May influence company culture
  • Shared liabilities and legal responsibilities
  • Has jurisdiction over important processes and people
  • Overall diminishes an employer’s control over the company
  • Give an external company personal/confidential information

What Are The Disadvantages of a PEO Company?

When you partner with a PEO company, you relinquish ultimate control over your employees in exchange for a simplified management structure.

This can have unwarranted effects on your company’s work culture and diminish your authority.

Any mistakes made by the PEO company are shared with you as it is a joint-employer relationship.

This includes legal issues, compliances, and liabilities.

Also, when you invest in a PEO company, you may be disclosing sensitive information to a third-party provider.

While many providers ensure high-quality security measures and confidentiality, this may go against a business’s disclosure policies.

It likely won’t result in an actual breach but does influence a business’s integrity.

Frequently Asked Questions About PEO Companies

Here are some of the most common questions.

What Tasks Can a PEO Company Handle?

PEO companies usually handle the management of employee correlated matters.

This usually entails payroll management, HR consultation, benefits planning, tax deductions/withholdings, and hiring processes.

They will also usually handle and share liability and compliance issues.

Can PEO Companies Work for Small Businesses?

Yes, as a matter of fact, PEO is optimized for businesses that are too small to efficiently handle HR-related affairs internally.

Why Should You Work with a PEO Company?

Working with PEO companies has a number of advantages.

First of all, they can help ease workloads and streamline hiring processes.

They can also get your employees affordable benefits you wouldn’t typically see in a smaller company.

Can Working with an HR Outsourcing Service Reduce Costs?

HR outsourcing is meant to save money, so yes, working with outsourcing services can reduce costs.

To get the most out of your money, you’ll want to find an organization tailored to your company’s needs.

How Much Does Working with a PEO Company Cost?

Given that PEO companies cover a broad selection of services for different business sizes, prices can range from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand.

Final Thoughts

PEO companies can be invaluable resources for small businesses that desperately need to prioritize their attention to non-HR-related matters.

The optimization and cost-efficiency of using these services can ultimately turn the tables for struggling business owners and help them grow exponentially.

Whether it’s the limitations of a small, internal HR base or the necessity for expansion, PEO companies are great co-employees to share management responsibilities and liabilities with for appreciable results.

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