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The Best PEO Companies For Businesses

These professional employment organizations can take the burden of HR and payroll admin off your hands with reasonable pricing and robust features for various industries.

    Matt Sherman
  • UPDATED

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

If you have a small business, you may have looked into a Professional Employee Organization (PEO) to handle some of your administrative needs. The best PEO companies around can take some troublesome HR tasks (such as benefits management, recruiting, and payroll) off your plate.

A PEO company performs administrative, financial, and HR services for small and mid-size businesses. PEOs may specialize in certain tasks or have an industry-specific focus. But they’re not for everyone. Generally, they are equipped to take on small business functions, such as worker’s compensation, unemployment administration, employee onboarding and training, and legal compliance.

To determine the best PEO companies, we considered price, available features, and the types of small businesses they’re best suited for. Read on to find the right PEO solution for your business.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Paychex

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Best for customization
Best for customization

Visit Site

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ADP Payroll

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Best PEO for a deep feature set
Best PEO for a deep feature set

Get A Quote

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Justworks

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Best for businesses with fewer than 5 employees
Best for businesses with fewer than 5 employees

Visit Site

Read More

TriNet

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Best for industry-specific expertise
Best for industry-specific expertise

Visit Site

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Oasis Outsourcing

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Best for startups
Best for startups

Visit Site

Read More

Other Featured Options:

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

The 7 Best PEO Companies For Small Businesses

The best PEO companies will dramatically help you save time and be more efficient by handling your benefits administration, payroll needs, and hiring and recruiting, all while working with your company and its employees to stay true to your vision and ethics. Our top picks include Paychex, Justworks, TriNet, and more.

1. Paychex: Best For Customization

Paychex



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Excellent customer support
  • Varied employee benefits
  • Plans tailored to small business needs

Cons

  • Pricing not transparent
  • Five-employee minimum
  • Add-on features can be expensive

Paychex has built a reputation as a small business payroll provider. Paychex delivers an all-in-one payroll and HR platform for small businesses through its PEO services. On the customer end, the Paychex Flex software is relatively easy to use and has 24/7 customer support to help with setup and ongoing use. Paychex offers an extensive selection of employee benefits.

paychex dashboard

Paychex Pricing

Although Paychex pricing is not disclosed outright on its website, the company claims to calculate rates per employee. Reviews indicate that small business customers were quoted a flat rate per employee that’s charged each pay period. The type of features included in a PEO plan will also impact Paychex’s cost.

Paychex periodically offers free trials and other promotions, giving businesses a chance to give its PEO services a test run.

Paychex Features

In addition to payroll processing, Paychex customers can incorporate recruiting, learning management systems, risk management, time and attendance tracking, and employee performance management into a PEO package. Some of its top features include:

  • Group and individual health insurance
  • 401(k) and retirement services
  • Health benefit accounts
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Tax-saving plans

When To Use Paychex

Paychex is counted among the best PEO companies for tailoring its features and services to a business’s unique needs. Customers benefit from working directly with a designated HR professional to develop a customized plan. Businesses looking for a customizable and more personal approach should give Paychex a try.

Get Started with Paychex

Read our in-depth review

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2. ADP TotalSource: Best For Deep Feature Set

ADP Payroll



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Pros

  • Specialized HR consultants
  • Robust features and integrations
  • Available in more than 180 countries
  • User-friendly mobile app

Cons

  • Five-employee minimum
  • Pricing not disclosed publicly
  • Pricey for small businesses

ADP is one of the biggest players in the workforce and HR management industry, with over two million small business employees supported by its services. This scale gives small businesses greater access to features, resources, and services. For starters, ADP TotalSource boasts Fortune 500-level healthcare plans and full-service payroll.

ADP also has a wide range of specialized benefits that small businesses can offer their employees, such as telehealth services, commuter benefits, and discounts on travel, retail, and entertainment. Switching to a PEO provider will require some adjustment for you and your employees. Fortunately, customer service is another reason ADP ranks as one of the best PEO companies for small businesses.

adp totalsource peo dashboard

ADP TotalSource Pricing

Similar to Paychex, small businesses will need to contact an ADP sales representative for a custom price quote. ADP TotalSource cost is determined by location, number of employees, and selected features.

ADP TotalSource Features

With ADP’s extensive knowledge of payroll, it offers an incredibly deep set of features with its PEO services as well. ADP TotalSource claims that it provides Fortune 500-caliber benefits. It also does a very good job specializing its plans to fit your unique business. Here are some of its best features:

  • Competitive 401(k) plans
  • Experts in regulations and compliance
  • Career development feedback
  • Cost-effective insurance options
  • Commuter benefits

When To Use ADP TotalSource

If you have extensive administrative needs and are looking to outsource them to a professional and knowledgeable company, ADP TotalSource should be high on your list. They have one of the more impressive features sets around, offering everything you could want in terms of benefits and payroll and the strong customer service is another big plus.

Get Started with ADP Payroll

Read our in-depth review

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3. Justworks: Best For Businesses With Fewer Than 5 Employees

Justworks



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Read our Review

Pros

  • Transparent pricing
  • User-friendly interface
  • Excellent benefits packages and add-ons

Cons

  • Limited reporting
  • No mobile app

Since launching in 2012, Justworks has emerged as the fastest-growing PEO for small businesses. Justworks provides full-service benefits administration, payroll processing, HR, and compliance support within its two PEO plans: Basic and Plus.

Small businesses that opt for the Plus Plan can access Justworks’ full suite of corporate-level employee benefits. These include health insurance plans from Aetna, Kaiser, and United; dental and vision insurance; HSA and FSA accounts; and wellness perks. Justworks can also assist with COBRA administration. Another noteworthy feature is Justworks’ time and attendance program, Justworks Hours, which integrates across the platform to automate payroll and other HR tasks.

justworks dashboard

Justworks Pricing

Basic Plan

  • <25 Employees: $49 per employee
  • 25-99 Employees: $44 per employee
  • 100-174 Employees: $39 per employee
  • 175+ Employees: Contact Justworks for a quote

Plus Plan

  • <25 Employees: $99 per employee
  • 25-99 Employees: $89 per employee
  • 100-174 Employees: $79 per employee
  • 175+ Employees: Contact Justworks for a quote

JustWorks Features

JustWorks is a solid fit for businesses of all shapes and sizes, giving your employees the benefits that fit your budget and their needs. It offers a full suite of health insurance options along with 24/7 customer support. Here are some of its other best features:

  • COBRA administration
  • Payroll for salaried and hourly employees
  • Vendor payments
  • Liability insurance
  • Online employee onboarding
  • Accounting integrations

When To Use JustWorks

Perhaps the biggest benefit to JustWorks is that there is no minimum number of employees. So while it has the feature set and the tiered plans that can fit larger businesses, if you’re looking to outsource some of your administration for your smaller company, JustWorks has you covered and with upfront pricing.

Read our in-depth review

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4. TriNet: Best For Industry-Specific Expertise

TriNet



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Read our Review

Pros

  • A dedicated team of experts
  • Numerous employee benefits options
  • Strong payroll features

Cons

  • Five-employee minimum
  • Unclear security measures

TriNet delivers full-service payroll processing, HR, benefits administration, compliance support, and risk mitigation services to small and mid-size businesses. Tailoring services and assistance to different industry sectors is where TriNet stands out among the best PEOs. Depending on a small business’s needs and sector, TriNet provides a personal team of consultants with relevant experience and expertise.

TriNet employee management dashboard

TriNet Pricing

TriNet’s pricing structure is based on the number of employees, industry, and chosen services. Interested small businesses will have to request a personalized quote. TriNet will break down the monthly rate into line items so that business owners know what they’re paying for and how to craft a plan that works for their budget.

With TriNet, small businesses can step back from benefits administration and choose from a range of plans for their employees. These include health insurance, auto insurance, home insurance, commuter benefits, and marketplace discounts on national brands, such as Verizon, AT&T, Hyatt, and Restaurant.com.

TriNet Features

Beyond the services mentioned above, some of TriNet’s other features include:

  • Worker’s compensation
  • Talent retention
  • ACA solutions
  • Workforce analytics
  • Compensation benchmarking
  • Document management

When To Use TriNet

TriNet offers specific services to a wide range of specific industries. The chances are high that its umbrella would cover your small business. If you’ve had a difficult time looking for niche HR or payroll services specific to your industry, you may want to give TriNet a try.

Read our in-depth review

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5. Oasis Outsourcing: Best For Startups

Oasis Outsourcing



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Pros

  • Experts in a variety of sectors
  • Easy to customize and scale plans
  • Multiple options for employee benefits

Cons

  • Must sign a one-year contract
  • Five-employee minimum

Oasis Outsourcing is owned and operated by Paychex, but it offers a range of services that make this our pick for the best PEO for startups with more rapidly evolving needs. Oasis is a comprehensive PEO, offering assistance with HR, benefits administration, risk management, payroll processing, and other tech solutions.

Small businesses and startups can select the services they need through customized plans while cutting out unnecessary features to save on cost. What’s more, businesses can add or revise services later to scale with growth or downturns.

Oasis Outsourcing Pricing

Small businesses will need to request a custom quote from Oasis Outsourcing. Contracts are issued for one year, though customers can give 30 days’ notice to cancel.

Oasis Outsourcing Features

Oasis will assign HR, payroll, and employee management specialists based on a customer’s unique needs. Oasis can bundle a variety of benefits plans, including health, vision, and dental insurance, as well as wellness coaching, commuter benefits, retirement plans, and HSA and FSA accounts. Here are some of its other excellent features:

  • Compliance services
  • Risk management
  • Intuitive technology
  • Comprehensive onboarding
  • Compliance expertise

When To Use Oasis Outsourcing

If you looked at Paychex and liked what it has to offer, but your administrative needs are more geared to a new business that’s just getting started, Oasis is probably a better option. Oasis specializes in helping smaller to mid-sized businesses get off the ground by freeing up some of those responsibilities.

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6. Rippling PEO: Best For Remote Employee Management

Rippling



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Pros

  • Deep integration options
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Multistate employee management

Cons

  • Lacks IRS and ESAC accreditation
  • Phone support is an add-on

Rippling PEO covers the bases in terms of payroll, benefits administration, compliance support, and risk management. Each solution is organized in its own module that can be accessed from the main Rippling interface. Other business software can be integrated here as well. Rippling offers more than 400 integrations, including applications related to collaboration, customer support, design, finances, HR, marketing, and sales.

As remote work becomes increasingly common, small businesses will have to manage employees and technology in dispersed locations. In terms of tech, Rippling PEO provides remote device management for employees via an auto-installing app. This allows small business owners and the PEO team to make changes to any employee’s laptop from the Rippling platform. Businesses with employees in multiple states can receive assistance on local tax registration and meeting minimum wage levels across locations.

rippling peo dashboard

Rippling PEO Pricing

Rippling PEO pricing is not entirely transparent. Plans start at a monthly rate of $8 per employee. Costs will increase as additional services are tacked on.

Rippling PEO Features

Rippling prides itself on its breadth of integrations, but it has a strong overall feature set. It also allows you to add just the features you wish to use, making it ideal for rapidly growing businesses. Here are some of its best features:

  • Time and attendance
  • Talent management
  • Learning management
  • Simple app
  • Health insurance options

When To Use Rippling

If you have a small business that’s still in its early days, Rippling is a solid low-cost option that allows you to choose only the features and benefits you wish to provide. It’s ideal for a company that may be expanding in the near future, as Rippling makes it easy to add additional benefits and take on more HR tasks as you need them.

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7. CoAdvantage 360: Best For Analytics

CoAdvantage



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Pros

  • Solid reporting and analytics
  • Recruiting and employee screening support
  • Strong payroll features

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Lacks industry specialists
  • Fewer benefits options than other top PEO companies

CoAdvantage 360 is a comprehensive PEO with a knack for payroll, benefits administration, risk and compliance support, and HR services. Growing businesses can use employee recruitment services to find the best candidates. CoAdvantage’s recruiting team can help tailor job descriptions, post jobs to appropriate recruitment websites, schedule interviews, and conduct pre-employment assessments.

The CoAdQuantum online portal allows businesses to manage HR duties, such as PTO tracking and employee training. Additionally, the portal lets users generate over 70 types of reports and analyze various metrics in real-time. This is a major asset for business owners looking to maximize productivity to further growth. And CoAdvantage’s compensation management tools make it easy to reward high-performing employees with bonuses and merit pay.

coadvantage 360 dashboard

CoAdvantage 360 Pricing

CoAdvantage 360 does not have set plans or pricing. Instead, businesses can request a custom quote.

CoAdvantage 360 Features

CoAdvantage 360 covers all of the bases with its features set and a comprehensive reporting package. Along with a wide variety of health insurance providers and strong all-around HR services, here are some of its tops features:

  • Employee assistance program
  • Employee deductions
  • PTO accrual tracking
  • Detailed job costing
  • Employee handouts
  • Performance management

When To Use CoAdvantage 360

It’s tough to go wrong with a company like CoAdvantage 360, which offers everything you could need from HR, payroll, and benefits services. It partners with such a wide variety of companies that, if you’re looking for a specific health plan or other types of benefits, CoAdvantage 360 should be one of your first calls.

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Looking For A Different PEO?

There are hundreds of PEOs to choose from. And while there are many reputable companies, they don’t all excel in a specific area like our top seven PEOs. The following PEO company didn’t quite make the cut.

Amplify PEO: Slightly Thinner Feature Set

Amplify PEO offers the standard features needed for HR and workforce management. However, Amplify does not stand out for a specific type of business or facet of HR services. Amplify’s website does not convey much detail about its services compared to the best PEOs on this list.

For instance, Amplify highlights third-party integrations but does not identify any applicable apps. It’s worth noting that Amplify claims to have saved companies $1,185 annually per employee on average. This is encouraging for receiving a return on investment, but businesses that meet other criteria outlined above (industry-specific needs, growing businesses, etc.) will likely benefit from another PEO company.

Choosing The Best PEO For Your Business

When evaluating PEOs for your business, it’s helpful to consider what services you want to outsource and what support your employees need to succeed. And since many PEOs don’t divulge their pricing publicly, it’s worth requesting quotes from multiple companies to find a solution that works for your budget.

Small businesses dedicate about 17% of their working hours to administrative tasks. Outsourcing payroll, benefits administration, and other HR duties to a PEO can save precious time and money that could be better spent running and growing your business.

PEO FAQs

What is a PEO?

A professional employment organization (PEO) provides administrative, financial, and HR services for small and mid-size businesses. PEOs may specialize in certain areas or industries. They help small businesses take on essential functions, such as benefits administration, payroll processing, employee onboarding and training, and legal compliance.

What is the best PEO?

The best PEO for your business will depend on your unique needs and budget. In certain situations, ADP, Paychex, Rippling, CoAdvantage, Trinet, Justworks, and Oasis Outsourcing would be the best PEO for small businesses.

Do only large companies use PEOs?

Businesses of all sizes can use PEOs for HR and workforce services. However, businesses with fewer than five employees won’t have as many options for cost-effective PEOs.

How much do PEOs cost?

PEO cost varies according to location, type of business, number of employees, and services provided. Many PEOs give price quotes on a case-by-case basis. In general, you can expect to pay anything from $8/employee to upward of $100/employee.

How does hiring a PEO work?

When hiring a PEO, small businesses enter a co-employment agreement. This structure allows the small business customer and PEO to share legal and tax responsibilities.

In Summary: The 7 Best PEO Companies For Small Businesses

  1. Paychex: Best for customization
  2. ADP Payroll: Best PEO for a deep feature set
  3. Justworks: Best for businesses with fewer than 5 employees
  4. TriNet: Best for industry-specific expertise
  5. Oasis Outsourcing: Best for startups
  6. Rippling: Best PEO for remote employee management
  7. CoAdvantage : Best for analytics.
Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
A former sports editor and journalist, Matt Sherman has been writing about and researching small business software since 2015, with a special emphasis on retail and restaurant sales. Matt's expert opinions are cited in various industry publications, including Fox Business. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon.
Matt Sherman
View Matt Sherman's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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