PAYROLL SERVICES: 13+ Best Picks for Small Businesses &; All You Need


Payroll is one of the most crucial tasks of a business owner. Not only can accurate and timely payroll improve employee happiness, but it also helps you stay in compliance and avoid fines. However, from needed employee information to tax withholdings, there’s a lot to get right that is where payroll services come to play.

If you’re a small business with only one or a few employees and basic needs, payroll may be simple to handle on your own. However, as your company grows, with employees in multiple jurisdictions, or becomes subject to the statutory requirements for payroll, it can quickly become more complicated.

Payroll service companies have been assisting businesses of all sizes and industries with automating their payroll operations for improved precision and a happier, more productive workforce.

One of the most often queries we get from businesses is, “What are the top picks for small businesses?” in this article we will provide you with all you need to know.

What are Payroll Services?

The phrase “payroll services” refers to the programs utilized by businesses to process their payroll. Typically, a payroll service will give you many other capabilities in addition to a mechanism to conduct payroll in its most basic form. These comprise a mechanism for you to issue year-end paperwork like W2s and 1099 forms to your employees, integrations or built-in techniques for time recording, tax calculations and processing, and a way for you to pay employees via direct deposit.

What are the Different Types of Payroll Systems?

Monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payroll plans are the four most prevalent varieties, and each of these schedules has its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages that help determine which method is most suitable for a certain firm.

Why Businesses Choose Payroll Service

Using a payroll service provider can help you streamline your payroll procedures and eliminate the need for in-house payroll staff.

Payroll service firms are also preferred by many business executives because they provide the highest level of legal compliance and accountability.

When business owners deal with payroll experts, they can feel assured that any pay or filing errors will be immediately recognized and addressed.

It’s an excellent approach to provide employees with efficient and dependable pay services while reducing liability risks.

Some payroll service providers additionally offer HR support to their clients. These services are meant to assist companies in meeting their legal obligations and ensuring that company programs comply with various labor regulations.

Because the information offered as part of these services is always current, company and HR leaders don’t have to waste time investigating recent labor law developments online.

How to Choose the Best Payroll Service for Your Small Business

There are many options, and deciding on the best payroll system for your business can be challenging.

But one thing is clear: even if you only have a few employees, it’s generally best to hire a payroll business rather than try to do everything yourself. At the end of the day, paying for payroll services is usually a good investment.

In order to choose which service is ideal for your needs, keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Pricing
  • Tax Guarantee
  • Industry Specifics
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Service


Payroll services for small businesses are typically priced at a monthly base rate of $20 to $50 plus a per-employee fee.

For example, a payroll service can cost $39 per month plus $6 per employee per month. Free trials are available from some businesses, which we encourage taking advantage of to acquire a feel for the payroll software or service. And, depending on the services you require, organizations frequently offer different plans or levels.

Many companies that provide payroll services for small businesses also provide other HR services including onboarding assistance and bookkeeping.

Tax Guarantee

For some business owners, the entire goal of using payroll services is to avoid paying payroll tax fines or penalties.

As a result, there are several payroll firms that provide a guarantee. They guarantee you won’t get fined, and if you are, they will repay you.

However, don’t consider the lack of a guarantee to be a deal-breaker: it all relies on how automated or manual the service is. If you are alone responsible for payroll uploading and submission, your payroll taxes are unlikely to be guaranteed.

Industry Specifics

If you work in a field that has special payroll requirements, double-check that your preferred solution can manage them.

Restaurants, for example, require specific payroll forms for gratuities. There are also additional paperwork to fill out if you engage independent contractors. If the payroll service you chose is unable to meet those unique needs, you should reassess your decision.

Ease of Use

Your payroll solution should be simple to use, whether you choose with a mobile app, a desktop application, or a full-service agency. After all, you don’t want to spend as much time learning how to use your payroll software as you would if you did it manually.

So study online reviews, look at screenshots, and if possible, try a free trial to make sure the payroll solution you’re contemplating makes sense to you.

Customer Service

Is it possible to contact this service via phone? Do you want to communicate via email? What if you had live chat support? Are their working hours suitable for your company? Have you tried calling their customer support line a few times to see whether they’re friendly?

Payroll is complicated, even with the greatest payroll services for small businesses. It’s critical to have the correct customer support solutions in place in case something goes wrong—and, even more importantly, to assist you with any payroll compliance difficulties.

Payroll Services for Small Businesses

“How do I conduct payroll for my small firm?” is a typical question among small business owners. The good news is that small business payroll can be handled in a variety of ways. Payroll service providers, software, accountants, and bookkeepers are all typical sources of payroll assistance.

Each of these solutions has advantages and disadvantages, and the decision will ultimately be based on how much time you want to spend on payroll and taxes, how complex your payroll needs are, and any other benefits you wish to provide to your employees

Best Payroll Services for Small Businesses

Here are the best payroll services for small businesses:

  • Gusto Payroll
  • Intuit QuickBooks Payroll
  • Wave Payroll
  •  Paylocity
  •  SurePayroll
  • Paychex
  • ADP Run
  • OnPay

Gusto Payroll

This is a popular all-in-one payroll/HR/benefits system that automates many of the tedious, repetitive, and error-prone processes that HR and payroll management sometimes entails.

It also provides everything you need in one place, from basic payroll to 401(k) and workers’ compensation—plus, they presumably link with the software you already use for accounting, time tracking, and benefits administration.

Pricing: The Gusto Core plan is $39 per month, plus $6 per employee each month. Contractor-only firms can use Gusto by paying the $6/employee cost instead of the standard pricing.

Intuit QuickBooks Payroll

Gusto has many of the same features as Intuit QuickBooks Payroll, including health insurance for employees. Because of how well-rounded their service is combined with their ability to connect so smoothly with QuickBooks, the most generally used accounting software for small businesses, QuickBooks Payroll is our runner-up for best overall.

While Intuit is slightly more expensive than Gusto, it still provides decent value, and good service, and is a good fit for almost everyone, especially if you use QuickBooks.

Wave Payroll

Wave Payroll is our best pricing option because they charge a fixed amount based on the state you’re in, rather than increasing the price based on feature levels.

Also has a free accounting and invoicing program that you can use in conjunction with Payroll to make it even more economical.

It is a simple payroll program that is simple to use, and you can try it for 30 days for free.


Paylocity is all about data and efficiency. They’ll handle your payroll and compliance for you, and they’ll provide you with a variety of reports to assist you better understand your company’s payroll. Paylocity also includes online integrations with retirement providers, wellness programs, and point-of-sale systems if you want more functionality.


SurePayroll is a desktop and mobile app that allows you to manage your small business’s payroll services at any time. They offer a guarantee on federal, state, and municipal taxes, allowing you to rest easy.

SurePayroll caters to small businesses by providing flexible payroll schedules, simple online reporting, a payroll tax guarantee, and contract hire possibilities.

Payroll and other operations may be conveniently managed through their full mobile app, which is ideal for small business owners on the go. If you need to pay childcare providers or home-based workers, it has particular alternatives for you.


Paychex offers payroll services to any company, but their small business solution, Paychex Flex, is well worth investigating.

It’s an excellent solution for payroll and taxes, business insurance, 401(k)s, and HR management if you have one to 49 employees.

Paychex is a cloud-based, mobile-friendly payroll service. Has a top-notch support team available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any complex inquiries or issues.


ADP is the most experienced payroll service provider. They cater to organizations of all sizes, and while they may be a little pricey for smaller businesses or those with only a few employees, they can easily handle hundreds.


OnPay is a reliable payroll service that integrates with a wide range of accounting and time-tracking software. Even if OnPay does not presently offer direct integration, their API makes it simple to integrate.

That’s why, if you’re seeking integration solutions, we recommend OnPay. Payroll processing is equally quick and easy with OnPay. Also, you can do it all from your mobile device. They provide a simple, flat-rate price system that is both reasonable and understandable.

Which Payroll Service Company is Cheapest?

The 9 best cheapest payroll companies include

  • Gusto
  • SurePayroll
  • Square Payroll.
  • QuickBooks Payroll.
  • Remote.
  • OnPay.
  • Justworks.


How much is Payroll Per Employee?

Most payroll services charge between $30 and $150 monthly, with an additional $2 to $15 per employee.

What is the Easiest Payroll Program?

QuickBooks. Those who are already familiar with QuickBooks will have no trouble getting the most out of QuickBooks, which is why it is recommended as the program with the easiest initialization. In addition to helpful representatives, their payroll service also provides a wealth of informational materials that can be accessed online.

Is there a Free App for Payroll?

TimeTrex is recommended as the top free payroll software because it does more than Payroll4Free and Aside from payment processing, it offers free time tracking, scheduling, paid time off (PTO) monitoring, and HR administration tools.

Is there a Stand-alone Payroll Software?

Payroll Mate® is thorough, stand-alone, desktop-based payroll software designed for small businesses and accounting firms. Download your free trial now and begin conducting payroll in-house on a Windows desktop, laptop, or tablet computer.


How do you choose amongst some of the best payroll services for your small business listed here? To make your decision, consider the factors we discussed earlier, such as budget, features, and industry.

Furthermore, many of the finest small business payroll providers provide free trials, making it simple to compare features and determine which offers the greatest value for your needs.

Try out the packages that seem perfect for you, see which systems you and your employees are most familiar with, then look at the cost to see what you can afford.

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What Are Payroll Services?

Payroll services refer to the software and/or third-party vendors that are used to process payroll for businesses. A payroll provider will typically give you not only a mechanism to conduct basic payroll, but also a slew of other capabilities.

How Do Payroll Services Work?

Businesses utilize a payroll service, often known as payroll software, to calculate and execute payroll automatically. In most cases, you’ll either set up an automatic connection with whatever system you use to collect your employees’ time or manually enter work time into your payroll service each week.

How Much Do Payroll Services Cost?

If you have even one employee, these payroll services are usually well worth the money because of the time and risk they save you and your company. You could do this yourself if you have a thorough understanding of employee regulations, taxes, and accounting for your company, but the expense and liability of missing deadlines or paying workers erroneously might wind up costing you much more than the cost of a simple payroll service or software.

Can a small business do their own payroll?

Do-it-yourself Payroll is a popular alternative for some new businesses, but it will only save you money if you have the expertise and resources to execute it effectively, just like any other DIY job. The amount of time it takes to handle payroll on your own, as well as the potentially costly fines that can result if you make mistakes, can soon overwhelm you. As a result, many small businesses seek help from a payroll service provider.

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