Employer of Record: Meaning, Services, Benefits & Difference

Employer of Record

Over the last two years, employment has become a much more international affair. People have moved, and hiring managers have expanded their search for top talent beyond the confines of their immediate area. That has impacted where individuals dial, how small organizations have become, and how employment is set up. In this piece, we explain in detail what the Employer of Record is, the benefits of employing one, and the difference between PEO and EOR service.

What Does an Employer of Record Mean?

The official employer of a worker in a nation is known as an Employer of Record. As such, the Employer of Record takes care of all compliance aspects of employment, including payroll, taxes, statutory benefits, employment contracts, and more.

The EOR model is not new. It was first used in the US to deal with the difficulty of hiring workers from different states. People in the US are considered state tax residents. Their employer is required by law to file annual tax returns on their behalf and be registered to pay taxes in the same state. A small company with many employees in several states may soon find itself in a reporting and compliance bind. The rescue team is an Employer of Record.

A three-sided, co-employment contract is signed by the employer, the employee, and the PEO when a corporation uses an Employer of Record:

  • By assigning them responsibilities and overseeing their performance, the employer keeps a close working relationship with the employee.
  • As the person in charge of ensuring that an employee is lawfully employed, the EOR handles the administrative aspects of things like payroll, taxes, benefits, etc. It also makes sure that both the employee and the client comply with all applicable employment laws.
  • The employee, as a third party to the agreement, performs all of their duties as an employee of the business.

Businesses are now hiring more workers in more nations across the world, frequently in locations where it requires much more than just registering for a tax ID number and submitting annual returns to comply with all applicable tax and employment laws.

The stress and uncertainty of hiring workers in more complicated jurisdictions can be effectively managed by using EOR.

An Employer of Record takes care of employment not performance management

We frequently lump together managing someone’s performance and employment. That, however, isn’t the case, as one is a legal relationship, while the other is a working one.

Giving someone the incorrect assignment has different repercussions than giving them the incorrect statutory requirement. Employment is a legal position that carries with it the legal obligation to ensure that an individual has all employment rights in a specific jurisdiction as defined by local employment legislation. On the other side, performance management is a working arrangement centered on the nature of the work itself.

When the employer and the employees are based in the same country, the corporation normally handles both the legal responsibility and the performance management. Geographical separation alters this, as a new jurisdiction necessitates a separate employer registration. A corporation has two options to address this: either it undertakes the difficult job of directly registering as an employer, which entails setting up foreign payroll, or it hires an EOR.

What Is the Difference Between PEO and EOR?

Despite their similarities, PEOs, and EORs offer various services. An EOR adds a chunk of your company and employees to its payroll. A PEO manages all of your employees and handles all HR-related duties. Also, when working with a PEO, you retain ownership of the employment contracts, whereas an EOR retains ownership of the employment contracts while using you under a service arrangement.

Why is this important? You run the danger of breaking the law if you mix the two. A PEO cannot legally operate as a PEO since it must be registered as such. Of course, using the appropriate recipe will yield greater results. Similar to that gin and tonic, your business needs the ideal accompaniment for a positive HR experience.

Where PEOs and EORs Differ

Both PEOs and EORs serve as an extension of your business. Their four main areas of difference are minor but significant:

#1. Replacement or compliment

It’s occasionally preferable to let a bartender prepare the cocktails, even though you might be able to make it yourself. Similarly, a PEO can undertake most of your HR functions and all of your company’s employees onto the PEO’s payroll. The PEO manages all of the onboarding, dismissals, employee reviews, State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA), health insurance, and other tasks.

Even if you don’t want to make the beverages, you might be able to pour the wine without much difficulty. Well, an EOR enables you to outsource a portion of your HR duties. This relieves your HR department’s administrative burden for a portion of your workforce. Seasonal workers, contractors, project-specific recruits, and out-of-state staff are all under the EOR’s purview.

#2. The minimum wage for employees

Most PEOs require a minimum of five to ten workers to attend the party to ensure that there will be adequate attendees; most EORs do not. EORs are normally more likely to work with small enterprises that may only have one or two regular employees. This is because they are typically utilized for variable or contractor-based workforces.

Using contractors for brief periods might cause HR issues, especially on such tiny teams. Without an EOR, one of those regular employees must be knowledgeable about the Fair Labor Standards Act and associated employment rules. EORs are in charge of all contingent worker taxes, insurance, and benefits because they are intimately familiar with these regulations.

#3. Business registration

One thing a PEO won’t do for you? Registration of your business in each state where you have employees. On the other hand, an EOR enables you to hire personnel in states where your business is not registered. It can be easy or difficult to register your business in a different state. You just need to file doing business as documentation whether you’re a solo proprietorship or partnership. There are many more factors to take into account for C corporations, S corporations, and limited liability firms.

If you belong to the latter category, think about an EOR as an alternative. If you have to go to tremendous measures to acquire mint, you’ll probably yank mojitos off the menu.

#4. Insurance coverages

The biggest unforeseen expense associated with using PEOs may be insurance. While PEOs may need you to offer your insurance, EORs often include general liability (GL) and workers’ compensation (WC) insurance coverage. EORs make sure the workers they are responsible for are protected from both work-related diseases and accidents, as well as harm to property or other people.

PEOs often need help acquiring WC in non-clerical industries. You’ll probably require insurance if your business fits this description. This may not make or break your choice, but it’s crucial to be aware of upfront. The party can go on as long as the company owner has the necessary liquor license.

Employer of Record for Contract Staffing

The employer of the record acts as the contractual employee’s legal employer when it comes to recruiting firms that offer contract staffing. A contract staffing back office, a third party, frequently assumes the role of employer of record. Recruiters have the option of handling the back office tasks themselves. They can also contract them out to a contract staffing back office.

You must determine who will be the employer of record for your contractors if you decide to expand your recruiting business to include contract employment.

Be sure you have the time and resources to handle the back office yourself if you choose to do so.

Last but not least, a contract staffing back-office supplier might take over if you don’t want to manage the back office yourself. The employer of record is responsible for funding the payroll of the staffing agency (recruiter), paying the employees, and managing all other aspects of employment.

Responsibilities of an Employer of Record

Let’s take a closer look at the duties an employer of the record has to comprehend the significance of EOR for businesses preparing to create global headquarters.

The majority of the time, EOR groups carry out the following vital duties:

  • Oversee payroll and represent a business as a proxy entity that is authorized to employ people in the area.
  • Verify adherence to regional labor and tax laws (e.g. drafting valid contracts and agreements).
  • Fill out tax and insurance paperwork on behalf of the employer (W-2, I-9, and other documents).
  • If an overseas employee needs to be relocated, arrange for the required work permits and visas.
  • Provide consulting services to the business regarding the region’s best methods for hiring new employees, paying severance, or terminating contracts.

Five Benefits of Employing an Employer of Record

Collaboration with EOR providers is a standard procedure for multinational corporations. Reaching out to a firm that can act as a go-between for a foreign-based corporation and the regional administration aids business owners in minimizing risks, lowering management expenses, and enhancing team productivity.

Let’s examine the primary advantages of working with an employer of record in greater detail:

#1. Eliminate obstacles to international trade

Many business owners are hesitant to hunt for talent abroad due to the difficulties involved in establishing a business organization abroad. Although there are many advantages to creating teams abroad (cheap labor, a broader talent pool, and workplace diversity).

Waiting for the embassy’s approval to begin commercial operations abroad might take months in nations with a high level of bureaucracy (Ukraine, Argentina, and India). Business owners have been in limbo for a while, unsure of whether they should keep attempting to break in or concentrate on hiring local people and give up on a worldwide office.

How EOR helps: An employer of record (EOR) is a legally recognized business. It has the authority to employ and compensate workers. To avoid trying to circumvent red tape, engaging an EOR vendor enables business owners to begin recruiting personnel abroad and working on projects straight away.

#2. Adhere to local laws

International enterprises frequently experience costly lawsuits as a result of failing to understand local trade and labor rules. For instance, firms in Europe are required to grant female coworkers a 14-week maternity leave. Because there are no comparable restrictions in the United States, American business owners may find themselves in a legal bind because they are unaware of the subtleties of EU law.

How EOR helps: Business owners rely on employers of record to prevent such situations and manage staff in a way that is compatible with the law. EOR agencies will ensure that all business procedures are compliant because they have a thorough understanding of labor and business legislation. The employer of record shall be held accountable in the event of a legal violation, not the business owner.

#3. Save time, third

It takes a lot of time to keep track of paperwork, manage benefits, process payments, and terminate employee contracts. Business owners who try to manage a large number of duties on their find that they are unable to devote enough time to developing the company’s key competencies, such as enhancing the product, developing strategy, and cultivating deep relationships with customers or partners.

How EOR helps: Having a dependable vendor handle tax payments, employee payroll, and other formalities frees up a ton of time for company managers to focus on other important tasks.

Instead of spending hours learning international rules and processes, business owners who work with an EOR may develop their talents in areas they are passionate about and experienced in.

#4. Reduce risks

Employing an employer of records allows business owners to transfer accountability away from their organization and toward a vendor. Since the organization is listed as the employer of record in all official documents, contracts, and tax filings, it will be responsible for any mistakes made.

So, by engaging an EOR, a business owner can stop worrying about the repercussions of unintentional errors in tax documents or noncompliance with local labor rules.

#5. Lower the costs associated with opening a global office

Opening an office abroad entails significant costs. Building a team overseas from start ends up costing business owners an arm and a leg in terms of everything from the costs associated with establishing a subsidiary to the hiring of legal and financial assistance.

Employer of record (EOR) assistance: Using an EOR enables business owners to save money on engaging financial, HR, and legal consultancy firms. In case the relationship is not as successful as the company management initially anticipated, the great flexibility of EOR agencies allows for the exploration of new markets and the closure of international offices without having to worry about maintenance and headquarters termination fees.


You do need an Employer of Record if you want to be completely compliant without earning a degree in international employment law. You will not be able to get assistance from multinational payroll service providers or HR consultancies that do not offer Employer of Record services. In contrast, it will take a long time to develop the necessary infrastructure, gain the necessary local knowledge, and locate trustworthy partners.


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