PAYROLL SERVICE BUSINESS: How to Become a Provider (+ How-to-Start Guide)


Do you already have experience in preparing payroll and wish you had more control over your schedule? Or are you looking to capitalize on your knowledge, skill and attention to detail on your own terms? Either way, you may be wondering how to start a payroll service business.

With the complexity and ever-changing nature of the payroll system, the demand will always exist for professionals in the payroll business. They serve an essential need.

A payroll service business is a third-party company that can assist a business with payroll and employment tax administration.

The business assists clients in finding business solutions, by employing considerable payroll, tax, and human resources knowledge. Identifying clients’ business needs, offering changes to payroll services or best practices, and computing payments, deductions, and tax information are all part of the job tasks of a payroll agency.

They may also analyze team member performance, complete tax reporting and year-end processes, and provide strategic analysis for payroll-related activities and projects according to client specifications.

But what separates a good payroll service business from others is a passion and drive for excellence. And–oh yes–a good payroll service business should be knowledgeable about the subject he or she is working in.

Anyone may establish a payroll service business in this day and age. All you have to do now is figure out what your unique gift is.

For example, are you highly comfortable working with computers?

Do you keep up with the most recent software and hardware news, which appears to change on a daily basis?

Continue reading to learn more about beginning your own payroll service business in this fast-growing industry.

What are Payroll Services?

A payroll service provider is an organization that aids another firm with payroll processing services or does it entirely. Employers who value their time and wish to pay their employees and taxes appropriately and on time can benefit from this arrangement.

Payroll Service Business

Your organization, as a payroll services provider, is in charge of keeping track of employee earnings, deductions, hours worked, and pretty much everything else related to compensation for your clients.

It is your responsibility to convert all of this data into paychecks or direct payments for each employee.

You can opt to specialize in a specific area of payroll services, which may help your company appeal to niche markets, but your processors will almost certainly need to be able to handle a wide range of payroll-related services.

What are the Four Types of Payroll?

  1. Software-managed payroll.
  2. In-House Payroll.
  3. Bookkeepers/CPA-managed payroll.
  4. Agency-managed payroll.

How Much do you Pay for Payroll Services?

Pricing for regular payroll processing typically includes a base account cost plus a charge per employee or check. The monthly base account charge might range from $20 to $100 depending on the service provider you choose.

Things to Consider Before You Start a Payroll Service Business

Certifications and special licensing requirements

To work as a payroll service provider, you’ll normally require an associate’s degree in accounting, business administration, or a similar discipline, as well as prior payroll experience.

If you want to work in management later in your career, you’ll almost always need a bachelor’s degree.

To get a competitive edge over industry colleagues, you can also pursue voluntary certification, such as the Certified Payroll Professional certificate in your nation.

Excellent interpersonal, critical thinking, and organizational skills, as well as problem-solving aptitude and payroll and accounting software expertise, are also required.

Are you qualified to become a payroll business provider

Before you put out your rope and wait for people to come knocking at your door to hire you, make sure you have the qualifications to complete the job. Make sure you’re up to date on all of the latest trends and developments in the payroll business.

Are you organized enough to become a payroll business owner ?

Do I enjoy making plans for my day? Is it true that I am a time management expert? All three of those questions should have been answered affirmatively!

Do you like to network? 

Today, networking is crucial to the success of any organization. Begin immediately to create your network of contacts.

Have you set long-term and short-term goals?

If your objectives do not align with the time and effort required to start and run a payroll service, you should think twice about moving further!

Is a payroll Company Profitable?

A payroll service is profitable if it can be sold for more than the cost of doing the work. Cloud software can help in this situation by lowering the time and effort required to manage payroll. This will have far-reaching consequences: Clients will soon expect payroll services from their accountants.


Start Payroll Service Business

If you do your research properly, starting a payroll service business can be quite profitable for you as an entrepreneur. On the other hand, if you do not conduct a thorough and objective investigation, you may face difficulties. The first thing to learn about the firm is the tax regulations that govern payroll services, as well as the methods involved.

If you start payroll service business you should expect to provide services such as processing federal and state income taxes, making pay adjustments, computing time and wages, issuing manual checks, voiding checks, direct deposits, benefits administration, and wage garnishments. This means that having a solid understanding of these services will help you to provide your clients with more services than your competition.

In this line of business, a standard contract is essential, and you’ll need to hire a skilled attorney to assist you in drafting one. The contract should explicitly identify the services you want to provide as well as the details of each service.

This lets you and your client have a clear knowledge of what your services are and how much you’ll charge for them, which is especially important if you’ll be providing multiple services.

If you have employees, you’ll need to draft an employment contract that protects both you and your firm while also outlining the employees’ responsibilities and company policies and procedures.

How to start a Payroll Service Business

Whether you’ve been in the payroll solution business for a long time or are just getting started, creating your own office could be a game-changer for your company.

Here are four recommendations for setting up your new area and establishing a profitable payroll service business office.

  • Register Your Business
  • Choose an Office Space
  • Set Up Technology & Software
  •  Start marketing your business

Register Your Business

Businesses that provide payroll services handle employee information such as earnings, deductions, hours worked, and any other compensation-related services and ensure that they are all generated into an employee paycheck and reports.

Typically, this is a service provided on behalf of the employer. This industry is solely comprised of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) offices, which are required to provide payroll services in addition to any other services they may provide.

If you’re a seasoned payroll expert, you’ve undoubtedly already completed this step. If you’re new to the payroll business, though, you’ll need to structure your company and obtain the proper certifications before you can start a payroll service business office.

Choose an Office Space

There are several factors to consider when you choose an office for your payroll service business.


The size of your office will be determined by the number of staff you intend to hire. If you’re opening a full office with numerous employees, you may require an entire suite, however, if you’re the only employee, a single-room office may be enough.


You’ll want to think about the types of clients you’ll serve in addition to the accessibility to your own home. If they like to reside or do business in a specific part of town, it can make sense to choose a location that is further away from you but closer to them.


If you’ve been running your business from your home, the expense of an office space can be difficult to swallow. While renting an office depletes your revenues, it can help you expand your firm and earn more money in the long term.

If you have office space, try to anticipate how much additional revenue you’ll collect over the next several months or years as you make your budget.

You could be able to serve and attract more customers or even hire more people. If your predicted revenue exceeds the cost of rent, you should consider building an office.


If standard office space is out of your price range, don’t rule out the possibility of starting a payroll service company. For some payroll companies, coworking or shared spaces offer a unique office arrangement that works well.

The cost of joining a coworking space is frequently less than the cost of renting a traditional office. You’ll likely have access to communal workspaces on the cheapest options.

When you need to meet with a customer, most coworking spaces provide conference rooms that you can reserve for a fee or as part of your membership.

Set Up Technology & Software

Every payroll service business requires computers, payroll preparation software, and a fast, reliable internet connection.

Consider how you prefer to work and which features you’ll need to offer your clients when selecting payroll preparation software. If you plan to work from home on occasion, cloud-based software will allow you to work from a variety of devices.

Some larger payroll offices set up a network server to make it easier to save and distribute data.

While payroll software is the most crucial software you’ll use in your business, it’s not the only one you’ll require. You will, however, require a few additional items to help you operate more efficiently.

Start marketing your business

Do you have any idea where your next client will come from? New customer acquisition will be critical to the success of your new office, so devote some time (and money) to marketing and promotion initiatives.

To get you started, consider the following suggestions:

  • Create a website (or add your address to an existing website)
  • Make a social media profile for your company.
  • Request that your current customers help you spread the word.

Is Payroll Service Worth it?

If you have any employees, even just one, you should think about using a payroll provider to handle the tedious tasks of creating paychecks and remitting payroll taxes. Keep in mind that the cost of a single fee or penalty for a late payment or report could exceed the value of a whole year of service.


A payroll service company’s goal is to assist an employer in generating paychecks for employees by making necessary deductions.

The payroll service industry, on the other hand, is not restricted to that. Companies in this industry provide a wider range of services to their clients, with some opting to specialize in specific areas.

Also read


How to do payroll for a small business

Payroll might appear to be a difficult task, especially for small organizations. You won’t have to do as many tasks manually if you use payroll software.

Payroll services give a seamless solution by computing deductions, gross and net pay automatically. Furthermore, all required paperwork is kept in one location and is easily accessible to all employees and management.

How does payroll work?

Payroll software automates all of the steps involved in accurately processing payroll. They figure out how much your employees should be paid each pay period based on the number of hours they’ve worked automatically. If you have salaried staff, payroll software keeps track of them and ensures that they are paid correctly.

Are payroll systems easy to learn and use?

Learning how to use the system, like setting up your software, is crucial to the success of your payroll service business. Basic processes such as manager (or owner) approval of time cards and then designating a day or time to run payroll through a software application are frequently involved in running payroll through a software program.

Is payroll an HR or finance function?

Payroll serves as both an HR and a financial function. It is one of your company’s overhead costs, thus it requires money. Payroll is a part of HR because it entails keeping track of items like hours worked, time-off requests, and benefits information.

Many payroll services interact with existing time and attendance software as well as HR management software.

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