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The Best PEO Service Providers of 2022

Skye Schooley
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
Jul 21, 2022

Here are the best professional employer organizations (PEOs), which allow small businesses to lease employees and outsource administrative jobs.
Best for Startups
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Cloud-based platform
Access to expert support
Accreditation: ESAC, IRS and BBB
Best Technology Platform
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Easy-to-use platform
Access to top benefits
Accreditation: ESAC and IRS
Best SMB Resources
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5,000+ online training resources
Flexible contract options
Accreditation: ESAC, IRS and BBB
Best PEO With Tailored Plans
Industry-specific expert support
Per-employee pricing
Accreditation: ESAC and IRS
Best International PEO
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Local currency paychecks
Multiple employee types
Accreditation: None
Here are the best professional employer organizations (PEOs), which allow small businesses to lease employees and outsource administrative jobs.

What is a PEO?

A Professional Employer Organization or PEO is an outsourced HR department for small and medium sized businesses. Instead of hiring an internal HR team, your employees are joint employees of both your business and the PEO. Typical functions of a PEO would be benefits administration or payroll. PEO’s may also handle worker’s compensation administration, drug testing, and FMLA administration and anything else that an internal HR team would oversee.

The 7 Best PEO Services for Small Business of 2022

  • Professional employer organizations, or PEOs, provide small businesses with HR management, benefits administration and payroll processing support.
  • Many of the best PEOs are accredited by an outside agency, such as the ESAC, IRS or BBB.
  • Look for companies that provide personalized support, like designated customer service agents and HR consultants.
  • This article is for small businesses interested in growing the administrative side of their company through a PEO.

A professional employer organization (PEO) is a human resources solution for small and midsize businesses that don't have internal HR staff. A PEO takes the place of an internal human resources department by handling your payroll, employee benefits and other HR-related needs. When selecting a PEO for your business, you have several factors and many services to consider. To make the process easier, we've chosen the PEOs we think are best for various use cases and business types.

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Our Reviews

Paychex PEO: Best PEO for Startups

Paychex offers custom solutions for businesses in a wide range of industries.
Cloud-based technology makes Paychex simple to implement and use throughout all areas of your company.
Paychex requires you to have at least five employees to use its services.
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Paychex is an ideal PEO for startups with at least five worksite employees. Paychex is available in all 50 states and offers custom plans with flexible pricing, making it a good choice for small and growing businesses alike. It is a completely scalable platform that can grow with your business. You can add and remove services as needed, which is great for small startups that may have unpredictable staff growth. Clients of Paychex receive help with HR administration, payroll, employee benefits, health insurance and risk management.

Businesses that partner with Paychex receive dedicated customer support. You're assigned a payroll account manager and HR professional. A dedicated payroll and HR expert who can answer your questions is ideal for startups navigating employment issues like recruiting, hiring and scaling.

Paychex requires a one-year contract. It is an ESAC-, IRS- and BBB-accredited PEO, so you can rest assured that you are partnering with a trustworthy company. These accreditations are given to PEOs that have undergone strict scrutiny of their finances and demonstrated compliance with federal, state, and local employment tax laws and best practices. For these reasons, Paychex earns our pick as the best PEO for startups.

Read Paychex PEO Review

Justworks: PEO With the Best Technology Platform

Justworks offers transparent pricing.
Great educational resources enhance its usability.
Justworks does not offer tailored or customized plans based on industry.
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Justworks is a comprehensive PEO that gives small and midsize businesses access to corporate-level benefits, automated payroll services, compliance resources, and HR tools in one easy-to-use platform. Its customers have access to affordable rates on medical, dental, and vision insurance and employee retirement plans. If your employees want additional health and financial planning assistance, Justworks offers Guidepost, a free online platform with short courses and informative lessons. Its usability goes hand in hand with how intuitive Justworks is overall.

Justworks also handles all of your payroll responsibilities, including running payroll each pay period and calculating, withholding, and sending all of your payroll taxes. You and your team can reach expert customer service members 24/7 by phone, email, chat, Slack or SMS. You will have access to HR experts who can offer guidance and advice on employer responsibilities. What's more, Justworks recently updated its live chat tool. With it, users can receive assistance quicker than ever. You can enter your topic or question in the live chat and receive an immediate response with relevant content. This is ideal for users who want a platform that can provide quick answers, instead of searching a website or waiting to speak to a representative.

What truly separates Justworks from other companies we reviewed is its intuitive cloud-based platform. This platform can easily scale across a wide range of devices. It is also easy to learn as you incorporate Justworks into your administrative workflow, which means minimal disruption to your operations during the transition. The company is upfront about its pricing and costs, so you can easily compare it to other PEO options as you search for the right fit for your business. For these reasons, Justworks is the PEO with the best technology platform for small businesses.

Read Justworks Review

Insperity PEO Services: PEO With the Best SMB Resources

Insperity provides a major body of resources and training materials for small business owners.
With Insperity's online platform, both employees and business owners can log in to view their 401(k) information, pay stubs, and more.
Insperity requires small businesses to have at least five employees.
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Insperity provides flexible coverage and comprehensive service options to small businesses that have at least five employees. Businesses that partner with Insperity have access to more than 5,000 training resources, payroll processing, benefits administration, HR solutions and risk management. It has extensive services for workers' compensation, employee onboarding, government compliance and workforce optimization. Additionally, it can help you analyze and overhaul various business processes to make your company more efficient.

Insperity provides one of the widest service selections of any PEO we reviewed without sacrificing personalized support. It offers a dedicated support team for your company, including an HR manager, client liaison, HR specialist, payroll specialist, performance specialist, benefits specialist, recruiting specialist and safety consultant.

Since Insperity is an ESAC-, IRS- and BBB-accredited PEO, you can rest assured that you are partnering with a reputable PEO. Many of the PEOs we reviewed have these accreditations, but this shouldn't devalue how important they are. The accreditations are reviewed regularly to ensure the company still provides exemplary service. Insperity is one of the few companies we reviewed that has earned accreditation from all three major PEO accrediting agencies, which judge PEOs on a rigorous set of guidelines.

Read Insperity PEO Services Review

TriNet PEO: Best PEO With Tailored Plans

As a personalized PEO option for SMBs, TriNet provides custom PEO plans based on your industry.
An all-in-one tech platform keeps all your PEO needs organized in one location.
TriNet requires a minimum of five employees for you to use its services.

TriNet is the best option for businesses that need customizable plans, such as those in specialized industries. It offers a wide range of services, including workers' compensation, payroll, HR support, document management, employee benefits, retirement plans and 401(k) options, employee onboarding, and additional programs such as commuter benefits. With TriNet's recently enhanced navigation features, such as a new navigation toolbar, administrator/manager menu, and payroll search functionality, users can easily navigate the platform to streamline their HR processes. It also offers custom dashboards for greater HR insight tailored to your needs. Its PEO plans are flexible and scalable, with per-employee pricing. Every PEO plan includes access to TriNet's intuitive online platform and mobile app.

TriNet has partnered with several thousand companies, but its support remains highly personalized. It's one of the few companies that provide industry-specific customer service teams. Many PEOs we evaluated provide a team of experts to answer your questions and facilitate services, but TriNet takes it a step further by segmenting these experts into different industries, such as manufacturing, legal, finance, retail and wholesale, and consulting services. This specialization means you'll get advice from an expert who is not only knowledgeable in the general service area (such as HR, payroll, benefits or compliance) but also has expertise in your specific industry.

TriNet recently launched advanced product features that small businesses can use to create more inclusive and equitable workplaces. SMBs can now access employee compensation benchmarking, and employees can select their pronoun and gender identity within the software. You can also take advantage of helpful features like multi-company reporting access and mobile admin capabilities. If you're looking for expanded HR services beyond a PEO, TriNet recent acquisition of Zenefits, a people operations platform, will allow for that. Through this acquisition, businesses will be able to access an ASO product offering with Zenefits' industry-leading cloud platform.

For small and midsize businesses that need immediate, specialized HR assistance, TriNet now offers Connect 360. You and your staff can use Connect 360 to get accurate HR advice in real time. TriNet clients can contact an HR rep by phone, email and live chat from 6 a.m. to midnight ET.

TriNet is accredited by the ESAC and IRS, and it has an A+ rating with the BBB. It earns our pick as the best PEO with tailored plans for small businesses.

Read TriNet PEO Review

Papaya Global: Best International PEO

Per-employee pricing makes this an easily scalable solution.
Employees can receive paychecks in their respective currencies based on location.
Papaya Global is more expensive than domestic PEOs we reviewed.
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Papaya Global offers a full-fledged PEO service to small and midsize businesses both domestically and abroad. Its payroll and HR outsourcing features are exemplary anyway, but it goes above and beyond by providing these services internationally. If you have employees in various countries, they can all collect paychecks in their respective currencies through Papaya. Since the company is partnered with Mesh Payments, you can offer your global employees a seamless expense management process as well, including employee expense policies and limits, automatic receipt collections, and real-time payment reports. This company also provides talent acquisition and employee onboarding services, so you can easily find workers from all over the world to join your growing team. Because of Papaya Global's flexible service across multiple countries, it earns our pick as the best PEO for international businesses.

Very few of the companies we reviewed offer international services. While many small businesses operate only at the local level, businesses with employees in multiple countries also need PEO support, especially in HR management and payroll processing. To fill this need, Papaya can support businesses in over 140 countries. Its services include fast onboarding options, cross-border payroll processing, and real-time reporting and analytics. Papaya takes all the benefits of the best PEOs and provides them to companies abroad, making it a great option for any company looking to do business in other countries.


ADP TotalSource: PEO With the Best Customer Service

ADP is a large, nationwide company, which means you can use its PEO service in all 50 states.
You can get in contact with ADP 24/7 through phone, email and live chat.
ADP has a five-employee minimum for its services.
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ADP TotalSource can help your small business with risk management, benefits administration, payroll and HR outsourcing. You need at least five employees to qualify for its services. Two standout features of this company are its payroll self-service for employees and HR support. It can also securely handle your company data and help you plan several aspects of your business.

ADP offers exceptional customer support. In its interactions with us, the company went above and beyond our expectations in all areas. With designated customer support agents and HR consultants specifically for your business, you'll never have an issue getting in touch with ADP if you have a problem. These consultants can also provide important guidance and input on administrative business decisions.

Its features and PEO services are also top-notch. ADP is a flexible service that can work with businesses of any size, and it provides one of the most extensive PEO services of any company we reviewed. TotalSource is accredited by the ESAC, IRS, and BBB, putting it among the top players in the PEO industry. For these many reasons, ADP earns our pick for the PEO with the best customer service.


Rippling PEO: Best Scalable PEO

Rippling is a scalable platform that can meet the needs of small businesses with employees in various cities and states.
In addition to its scalable services, Rippling offers a full-fledged PEO suite.
Rippling does not have ESAC or IRS accreditation.
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In the age of remote work, small businesses need a PEO that can meet a growing list of demands. For decentralized companies with employees in multiple states, this can be a challenge. Many PEOs only provide administrative support to companies with all their employees in one location, and others are only licensed in certain states, whereas Rippling can help businesses across multiple states with features like remote laptop management and local tax registration. With a simple platform, Rippling's software is also easy to learn and use. In addition to its excellent scalability, Rippling provides exemplary PEO services, earning our pick as the best scalable PEO for small businesses.

While many PEOs have intuitive tech platforms, Rippling excels at helping companies that operate in multiple states. As small businesses continue to expand across a wide range of cities and states, it's important to partner with a PEO that can directly support your needs on a national level. For example, keeping track of company-owned devices across various locations can be tricky, but with Rippling's new computer inventory management offering, the service can manage your devices as needed (e.g., assigning, setting up, wiping, and storing devices). Since Rippling is highly configurable, you can easily permit and restrict employee access to specific features. For example, adding or removing an employee from a company card can be done with a click of a button. These features can be beneficial to businesses when onboarding and offboarding employees.

This company also provides benefits administration, 401(k) retirement plans, commuter tax benefits, pay-as-you-go workers' compensation programs, and extensive risk management services, such as mandatory posters and other workplace safety features. It can research and match state minimum wage levels, which may vary greatly by location – another service that makes it especially valuable for multistate businesses. Additionally, since Rippling now integrates with Carta, employees can get a comprehensive view of their total compensation from one streamlined platform. This can help ensure employers are continuing to offer competitive compensation plans as they scale.

Lastly, Rippling's "no-code" integration capabilities are especially convenient for scaling businesses. As you implement more third-party applications, you can integrate them with Rippling and create custom triggers between platforms.

Read Rippling PEO Review

PEO Costs

PEOs use two main pricing structures for small businesses: per-employee fees and percentages of total monthly payroll. These costs range from $40 to $160 per person, or 3% to 12% of your monthly payroll, depending on the company and plan you choose.

You also need to consider the contract lengths. Some PEOs offer short-term contracts, while others lock you into multiyear deals. Here are some other important factors in the cost of your PEO service.

Plan Structure

Find the plan with the services that fit your business's needs. For instance, some plans include employee onboarding, workers' compensation support, payroll processing, and risk and compliance management. PEOs can offer one-size-fits-all solutions or tailored solutions based either on your industry or your company's size.

Additional Fees

Throughout the research and sign-up process, be on the lookout for any additional fees you'll have to pay. Many PEOs don't mention additional fees until it's time to sign the paperwork. Before you sign up, request a detailed breakdown of all pricing and fees in writing, and review line by line where your money will go. If a PEO service is not willing to provide this information, consider it a red flag.

Did you know?Did you know? PEOs provide not only payroll processing and HR support but also benefits administration. Keep in mind, though, that a PEO service's fees do not include the actual cost of the benefits you provide your employees. The cost of benefits administration is usually added to your monthly or yearly fee.

Employee Minimums

Some PEOs require you to have a certain number of employees in order to use their services. This minimum is usually five employees. For many businesses, this will be a nonissue, but if you run a very small or new company, your options for PEO support are more limited. Other PEOs may require a minimum monthly salary if your business a certain employee threshold.

What Is a Professional Employer Organization?

A professional employer organization, or PEO, is an HR service that operates through a co-employment model, which means your employees are on the PEO's books but still under your management. PEOs manage functions like payroll, HR administration, employee benefits, risk management and regulatory compliance, workers' compensation, and employee training and development for their client businesses. When you choose a PEO, make sure it can perform all of the HR functions you need and scale with your business as it grows.

It is important to find a trustworthy and certified PEO, since it will be deeply integrated with your company. PEOs can earn certain certifications and accreditations to demonstrate that they abide by best practices, meet strict financial guidelines, and comply with all employment laws and regulations. The Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) all have accreditation programs for qualifying PEOs.

Choosing a PEO

Finding a PEO is not as difficult as you may think. The first step of any business purchase decision is assessing your business's needs so you can narrow the field down to companies that can help you solve those problems. Once you compare these companies' pricing, features, and contracts, you should have a good sense of which one is best for your business.

We interviewed some small business owners and managers to better understand what the decision process is like for SMBs interested in partnering with a PEO. While your buying decisions will be unique to your company, here are a few basic steps to find the right PEO for your company.

1. Review the technology.

When Max Prokell, founder and CEO of Venta Marketing, was choosing a PEO for his marketing team of 15 employees, he looked for one with a seamless user experience and dedicated HR support.

"The first sign of a great PEO comes down to their technology and the implementation of a great user experience," he said. "Any PEO could have the most advanced platform on the market, but if my employees hate the interface, then the technology loses its value. We selected [TriNet] because I knew that my employees would appreciate their technology and a mobile-first approach to HR services."

2. Research the customer support experience.

Aaron Bailey, general manager at DZone and former COO of, placed high importance on user experience and customer support. When he had to find a PEO for his team of 80 employees, he chose Insperity.


Insperity's "user experience was better than its competitors', the training and development options were very good, and their mobile app was very easy to use and had frequent improvements to it," Bailey said.


3. Consider your business's industry.

Since every small business is unique, a PEO should be able to customize its HR features to fit your needs. Some PEOs specialize in certain industries or business sizes, which can be beneficial for companies that don't want a standard one-size-fits-all PEO approach. 


Anh Trinh, founder and CEO of media startup GeekWithLaptop, said he selected Oasis for his team of eight employees because it is a reliable PEO that specializes in small businesses and startups. Trinh's parting advice to his fellow small business owners is to identify the PEO features your business needs first and then choose a PEO specializing in those areas.

4. Review accreditations and narrow down your options.

It's a good idea to check with the major accreditation agencies when you're considering PEOs. While PEO companies do not need to have accreditation to provide good service, it is a good way to help you narrow your options down to the best if you have several contenders. A few of our best picks don't have accreditation but still provide great services, so it ultimately depends on what you value as a business owner. While accreditation will verify some major aspects of the PEO's overall service offering, it won't guarantee an excellent experience for every business, of course.

5. Choose your PEO.

Armed with all the information on your candidates, you can now choose the PEO that best meets your company's needs. After determining the plan and features your company will benefit from, discuss any additional costs or fees with your chosen PEO's sales representatives before you commit.

PEO Features

Many small businesses find it helpful to partner with a PEO that can handle the HR functions that are essential to hiring and keeping employees. As your business expands and you need to hire more workers, it becomes critical to offer benefits such as healthcare, and others that are harder to find. Quality benefits help you attract and retain competent, hardworking staff. PEOs relieve the stress and legal paperwork burden of hiring and onboarding these new employees. They can also help your business comply with federal and state regulations throughout your HR processes.

Did you know?Did you know? Many PEO companies have a five-employee minimum for services. While this may not work for very small businesses, this common requirement marks the point where small businesses typically start to need PEO support.

HR Administration

The primary function of a PEO is to take care of human resources so that business owners can focus on other duties. PEOs can provide as much or as little HR assistance as you need. They can manage HR tasks such as employee handbook and policy creation, employee onboarding and termination, unemployment assistance, and compliance reporting. Their features are typically accessible through intuitive online platforms and mobile-friendly applications. These platforms make it easy to access all of your HR functions in one place.

Payroll Processing

One major function of most PEOs is payroll processing. Since your employees are on the PEO's books, it tracks their time and attendance – including hours worked, paid time off, sick time and vacation days – through its online platform and helps prepare and issue their paychecks. It can also process employee liens and garnishments if necessary. Many PEOs can manage and report your quarterly and year-end state and federal deposits and filings. A PEO taking care of your payroll can save you a lot of time and therefore money. A reputable PEO will always pay your employees accurately and on time, which could improve your company culture if payroll has been hard to manage in-house.

Risk and Compliance

PEOs are usually well versed in the laws and regulations that your company has to follow, so they can help you manage risk and legal compliance for your business. This service is especially beneficial if you operate in multiple states or regions with varying employment laws. PEOs can help your business comply with the Affordable Care Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They can even conduct employee accident investigations and perform onsite safety inspections and job hazard analyses in some cases.

Employee Benefits

Since PEOs have so many employees on their books, they have access to affordable, desirable employee benefits, including medical, dental, vision and life insurance. Some even offer health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts and health reimbursement arrangements. They often provide long- and short-term disability insurance, employee assistance programs, and retirement options like 401(k) plans. Many PEOs offer a wide selection of fringe benefits too, such as commuter reimbursement programs and parking discounts.

Workplace Training and Employee Development

Most PEOs offer standard workplace training on topics like sexual harassment and discrimination. Many of them offer additional onsite and virtual training on leadership, communication, workplace technology, recruitment, disciplinary actions, and social media. Some even offer industry-specific training. This access to employee training and development materials can help you encourage growth and skill advancement for your team. PEOs that offer training and development often have an online platform to track and report employee course results.

Advantages of PEOs

PEOs provide several advantages for small business owners and their employees. One significant benefit is that you can offer affordable health insurance benefits to your employees that you might not be able to access otherwise. Most PEOs technically have thousands of employees, so they can receive discounted rates. Similarly, PEOs can offer your employees disability and life insurance plans, retirement plans, transportation reimbursement, and other fringe benefits they may want. Offering competitive benefits like these makes you more desirable as an employer, helping you attract and retain top talent.

Another appealing quality of PEOs is their reputable administrative services, which are particularly helpful for small business owners who already wear many hats and don't have time for all the necessary paperwork. Since PEOs are experienced in managing human resources and administrative tasks, you can focus on other aspects of your business and rest assured that your employees are properly managed and supported. PEOs also help you comply with current payroll tax regulations, provide unemployment insurance and workers' compensation coverage, and offer workplace training for your staff.

TipTip: Ask PEO companies you're considering if you can see a demo of their software, because the PEO's online platform is the arena for all your business's HR, payroll and benefits needs. If your employees and managers can't quickly learn how to use it, it will end up creating headaches rather than solving problems.<

Professional Employer Organization FAQs

What type of business needs a PEO?

If you need help with any HR functions, a PEO could be a great option for your business. Essentially any small business in nearly any industry can partner with a professional employer organization, and some providers even offer industry-specific solutions. However, most PEOs require you to have at least five employees. Large businesses can use PEOs as well, though they tend to have internal HR departments, making most of a PEO's services unnecessary.

What features do the best PEO services have in common?

The best PEO service providers can manage and maintain as many or as few human resources functions as you need, including HR administration, payroll processing, workers' compensation, employee benefits management, risk and compliance management, or training and development.

PEOs are experts in legal compliance for your state and industry, so they can reduce your company's risk of lawsuits. Many PEOs provide online portals where employers and employees can access their benefits and HR self-service easily, but the best companies also offer mobile apps and one-on-one customer service. The best PEOs also tend to be accredited by the ESAC, IRS, and/or BBB.

What are the disadvantages of using a PEO?

There are a few potential downsides to consider before you employ a PEO service to handle your company's HR tasks. For example, a PEO acts as a co-employer over your staff, which means it could be an outside influence on your company culture. Some business owners want to maintain control over their organization's culture without the involvement of a co-employer.

Another potential negative is a perceived lack of security. When a PEO manages your payroll and taxes, it has access to sensitive company information and employees' personal data. This makes some employers or their staff uneasy about security. The best PEOs implement strict security measures, so it is important to partner with a reputable, accredited company.

How does a PEO and an ASO differ?

The biggest difference between PEOs and administrative services organizations (ASO) is that PEOs operate under a co-employment relationship and ASOs do not. ASOs tend to be more flexible than PEOs as well; a business can partner with an ASO to receive assistance with as few or as many HR services as they need, whereas PEOs typically provide bundled HR services.

Since ASOs do no operate under a co-employment model, they don't provide employee benefits or workers' compensation coverage. However, they can put you in touch with brokers for those services.

[Read Related: PEO VS EOR?]

How long does the PEO implementation process take?

Implementing a PEO service in your business takes three to six weeks, with the average transition time being about four weeks (which starts at the beginning of your payroll cycle). During the implementation process, the PEO works with your company to ensure it has all the proper employment details on each team member.

How does a PEO help with employee recruiting?

PEOs can help small businesses manage a variety of HR functions – including recruitment. Instead of wading through stacks of job applications, you can lean on your PEO throughout the process, because PEOs employ knowledgeable HR professionals with the necessary experience and resources to find and recruit top talent for your company.

They also understand the current employment and labor laws that impact recruitment and hiring, so you can rest easy knowing that your business maintains legal compliance throughout the process. Additionally, since you'll gain access to great employee benefits with PEOs, you can promote your comprehensive benefits packages to attract top talent.

What to Expect in 2022

The PEO industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next five years, which is a good indicator that PEOs are evolving their services to meet the ever-changing needs of employers and employees. In 2022, you can expect to see PEO tools that allow employees to access self-service functionalities and enhanced employee benefits to becoming more permanent offerings. Employers can also look forward to increased assistance with administering legal compliance and preventing employee burnout.

Many employees are permanently working in remote and hybrid work environments, which means they need access to their HR services outside the traditional office space. Look for PEOs to accommodate this by offering cloud-based platforms that can be accessed from any location. Employees like the freedom to access and modify their HR resources themselves, so you can expect to see a rise in self-service PEO technology that allows users to modify their benefits, track hours and request time off remotely.

Benefits like flexible scheduling, affordable health insurance, health and wellness plans, and professional development opportunities have become a top priority for many employees, so we expect more PEOs to increase offerings in these areas. Offering these employee benefits can put employers at an excellent advantage for recruiting and retaining top talent. 

The legal expectations for employers have evolved over the past year, and PEOs must remain up to date on all employment and labor laws, such as those concerning healthcare, sick leave, workers' compensation, COVID-19 testing, and vaccinations. PEOs will need to work closely with the small businesses they serve to maintain safe and secure workplaces.

Our Methodology

To determine the PEO services we think are best for small businesses, we spent dozens of hours researching the top companies. Here is an explanation of our selection process.

Locating the Best Services

To determine the best PEOs for 2020, we started with 60 companies. We found these companies by considering the top industry players, searching the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations' website and conducting an extensive internet search. Some of the PEO services on our initial list had contacted us, asking to be considered for our PEO review.

Choosing the Best Services

We whittled this initial list of 60 down to roughly 30 companies. We reviewed their service offerings, pored over company websites, determined whether they were national PEOs, and verified whether they were accredited by the IRS and the Employer Services Assurance Corporation. From this list, 10 stood out as potential best picks: ADP TotalSource, Engage PEO, G&A Partners, Insperity, Justworks, Oasis, Paychex, Tandem HR, TriNet and XcelHR.

Researching Each Service

We took a deep dive into the 10 remaining companies with an in-depth look at their available services, contract structure, pricing, online and mobile access, personalized customer experience, and any standout features. We posed as small business owners, interacting with the PEOs by email, live chat, and phone to determine what the sales experience was like and grade their overall customer service.

Analyzing Each Service

Of these 10 companies, four would be our best picks for startups, small businesses, customer service and businesses in specialized industries. Oasis, Insperity, ADP TotalSource and TriNet all withstood our rounds of testing and earned best-pick status. We analyzed each for the following features and services: payroll services, benefit options, HR guidance and support, pricing structure, online and mobile employee access, customer service, accreditation, number of states served, training resources, company size and standout features.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Business News Daily Staff
Skye Schooley is a staff writer at and Business News Daily, where she has written more than 200 articles on B2B-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and business technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products that help business owners launch and grow their business, Skye writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.
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