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Find a Solution HR Solutions

Best Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)

Best Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)
Credit: Zudy/Shutterstock

To help you find the right professional employer organization (PEO) in 2017, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of the PEOs we think are best and an explanation of how we chose them.

Want to take a step back and learn more about PEOs? See what experts advise in our guide to choosing PEOs, and then come back here to see our best picks.

Insperity offers a wide array of PEO services, including benefit plan sponsorship, payroll administration, training and development, performance management support, recruiting and outplacement support, and government compliance. The company offers both online and mobile employee access and caters to businesses in all 50 states. Insperity also offers top-notch customer support. Go here for our full review of Insperity.

Oasis Outsourcing offers everything very small businesses would want from a PEO. It combines an extensive array of payroll, human resources and employee benefit offerings with hands-on customer support. Oasis is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), the official accrediting agency of the PEO industry. Go here for our full review of Oasis Outsourcing.

Editor's Note: Looking for information on PEOs? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

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Paychex offers a wide collection of PEO services, as well as administrative services that startups can take advantage of before they hire their first employees. Paychex's services include benefits administration; medical, dental and life insurance; 401(k) retirement plans; payroll administration; workers' compensation insurance; and a variety of human resources services. Paychex is accredited by the ESAC and the BBB, and provides excellent customer support. Go here for our full review of Paychex.

To determine the best PEOs, we started with a pool that included all the vendors on the list below. After some preliminary research, including looking at other best picks lists and doing initial research on each, we interviewed small business owners to discover new ones to add to our list.

Ultimately, we settled on 14 PEOs to research further: ADP, Ahead Human Resources, Alcott HR, Algentis, Best Employment Solutions Team, CoAdvantage, Employer Solutions Group, FrankCrum, Insperity, Oasis Outsourcing, Paychex, Premier Employer Services, TriNet and XcelHR. (See the full list of PEOs and their websites below.)

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, considering its pricing structure, watching videos on employee access platforms, and reading customer reviews and complaints. After narrowing down the list to eight contenders, we contacted each company by phone and posed as new business owners to gauge the support each provider offers.

Our process involves putting ourselves in the mindset of a small business owner and gathering the data that would be readily available to such an individual. We perform all of our research by visiting company websites, making calls to customer service and interviewing real users.

We analyzed each service based on the following factors:

  • Payroll services
  • Benefit options
  • HR guidance and support
  • Additional services
  • Pricing structure
  • Online employee access
  • Mobile access
  • Customer service
  • Accreditations
  • Size of companies serviced
  • States served

Here is a full list of PEOs and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

Abel – Founded in 1992, Abel is a family-owned and -operated PEO that provides small and midsize firms with human resources management services. Services include HR compliance and administration, workers' compensation, training, employee benefits management, and payroll. abelhr.com

AccessPoint – AccessPoint provides a wide range of human resources services to hundreds of companies across all industries. It enables businesses to outsource the management of human resources, employee benefits, payroll and workers' compensation. accesspointhr.com

ADP – ADP is a global provider of business outsourcing services, including payroll, human resources, time and attendance, and benefits administration. ADP TotalSource, the company's complete HR management program, handles tax filing, payroll, employee benefits, compliance and workers' compensation. In addition, it provides HR advice and expertise. Its customers include small and midsize businesses. adp.com

Ahead Human Resources – Ahead Human Resources specializes in working with small and midsize companies. The company handles many HR-related tasks, including 125 plans; federal, state and local tax filings; health, dental, vision and life insurance; 401(k) administration; and new-hire reporting. aheadhr.com

Alcott HR – Alcott HR provides comprehensive HR outsourcing programs to small and midsize businesses. Services include regulatory compliance and risk management, payroll and payroll taxes administration, human resources administration, employee benefits program design and administration, and training and development. alcotthr.com

Acadia HR – Acadia HR works with small and midsize companies throughout the United States. It offers payroll, PEO and human resources outsourcing services. The company's PEO package includes payroll, payroll tax compliance, HR management services, workers' compensation, state unemployment and employee benefits. acadiahr.com

ARC Consultants – ARC Consultants is a PEO consulting firm. The firm helps businesses find the PEO that best suits their specific needs. ARC Consultants assists in every area possible: the proposal process, decision, implementation, onboarding and enrollment. In addition, it maintains its relationship throughout each client's partnerships with specific PEOs. arcpeo.com

ARCH Resources Group – ARCH Resources Group is a professional employer organization that manages payroll, employee benefits, human resources and workers' compensation. In addition, the company offers financial and retirement services, recruiting services, background check verification, and employee self-service options. archresourcesgroup.com

Best Employment Solutions Team (BEST) – BEST is a Michigan-based PEO that provides businesses nationwide with human resources management, payroll services, labor law advice, compliance monitoring for federal and state labor laws, and benefits packages. The company serves many business sizes, from sole proprietors (even as a partner) to a large organization's HR department. bestpeo.com

CoAdvantage – CoAdvantage is a PEO that offers small and midsize businesses a comprehensive package of outsourced human resources services. The company integrates payroll and tax processing, employee benefits plan administration, risk management, government compliance, and other human resources services into a single vendor solution. CoAdvantage serves clients in all 50 states. coadvantage.com

Emplicity – Emplicity offers full-service PEO support or individual PEO and administrative services such as customized employee benefits, workers' compensation, payroll administration, employee leasing and HR consulting. emplicity.com

Employee Management Services – Employee Management Services was founded in 1994 and provides professional human resources solutions to more than 160 companies and their 5,500 employees. It focuses on companies in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but it's licensed to provide services in other states. Its PEO services include employee selection and retention, manager training and development, human resources and benefits administration, payroll, workplace safety programs, and employee benefits analysis. emshro.com

Employer Solutions Group – Employer Solutions Group provides payroll, benefits, workers' compensation, risk management, human resources consulting, and all of the related administrative services to small and midsize businesses. esghr.com

Engage PEO – Engage PEO offers a comprehensive HR solution that includes workers' compensation, training, claims administration, government reporting, payroll administration and benefits administration. All of Engage's HR service professionals are also attorneys, so you can be sure you're compliant with labor laws. engagepeo.com

FrankCrum – FrankCrum has been providing outsourced human resources, payroll, employee benefits, risk management and workers' compensation since 1981. As a PEO, FrankCrum helps businesses offer and administer employee benefits, including health and dental coverage and 401(k) plans. The company's online human resources information system allows employees and employers to access and manage information anytime from computers or mobile devices at work or home. frankcrum.com

Globalization Partners – Globalization Partners is a good PEO choice if your company has employees in different countries around the world. This PEO service works in over 150 countries to take care of employees with benefits and other HR services. Instead of you having to worry about laws and regulations in each country, Globalization Partners does this for you. They file payroll and other taxes and ensure that you still compliant, so that you can worry about your business. Globalization-partners.com

Group Management Services (GMS) – GMS is a PEO and third-party administrator that serves companies of all sizes nationwide. It handles payroll and tax responsibilities, human resources administration, employee benefits administration and risk management services. groupmgmt.com

HROplus Inc. – HROplus provides various types of managers to help you run your business. You can outsource the role of HR manager, risk manager, benefits administrator, payroll manager or HR software technician. hroplus.com

Human Capital – Human Capital is a division of the Michigan-based Trillium Group. In addition to the PEO services of payroll processing, employee benefits, workers' compensation insurance and human resources, Human Capital now offers consulting services in regulatory compliance, risk management and health care reform. human-capital.com

Insperity – Insperity, our best pick for small businesses overall, is a large PEO that serves more than 100,000 businesses with more than 2 million employees. Insperity offers a full-service HR package, as well as individual services, to companies with five to 5,000 employees. Read our full review here. insperity.com

Justworks – Justworks is a platform that automates payroll, benefits and compliance services in an all-in-one PEO solution. Since it groups its clients under the Justworks umbrella, businesses have access to better health insurance at lower rates, normally only available to larger companies. Benefits available through Justworks include medical, dental and vision insurance; 401(k) retirement plans; commuter benefits; HSAs and FSAs; disability insurance; workers' compensation insurance; life insurance; and accidental death and disability insurance. The PEO services also include complete payroll and paid time off management. The system includes an employee dashboard where workers can enroll in benefits, request time off and review their paystubs. justworks.com

Landrum Human Resources – Landrum Human Resources handles the human resources needs of more than 1,800 small and midsize businesses. Among the services it provides are job descriptions and employee handbooks, payroll and taxes, medical benefits, retirement plans, liability coverage, risk management, employee complaints, business development, staffing, recruiting, and consulting. landrumhr.com

Lever1 – Lever1 is a Kansas City, Missouri-based PEO providing a multitude of resources for small and midsize businesses across the country. The company's services include payroll, employee manuals, recruiting, management training, health benefits, 401(k) plans, life and disability insurance, and workers' compensation. lever1.com

Modern Business Associates – Modern Business Associates (MBA) offers customized payroll, tax, benefits, risk management and HR administrative services. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, MBA partners with organizations ranging from small businesses to large corporations and multiunit franchises. MBA has an internal staff of HR professionals who are licensed employment-law attorneys. They work with clients to keep them informed of relevant labor and employment requirements. mbahro.com

MyPEOAgency – MyPEOAgency is a management consulting firm that helps companies compare, select and form successful HR outsourcing and PEO partnerships. Working with MyPEOAgency can help you find the best PEO to assist your business with HR management, employee benefits, risk management and much more. mypeoagency.com

National PEO – Founded in 1999, National PEO offers a wide variety of services, including workers' compensation insurance, safety management and payroll. It also offers a multitude of human resources outsourcing services, such as labor law compliance, employee handbooks, FLSA and Fair Pay Act compliance, training and development, corrective action and conflict resolution, group and individual benefits management, 401(k) plans, and strategic planning. nationalpeo.com

NetPEO – NetPEO is an HR brokerage firm, not an individual PEO. The company helps connect businesses to companies that provide outsourced HR services. netpeo.com

Oasis Outsourcing – Our best pick for very small businesses, Oasis Outsourcing serves 7,500 clients and 230,000 employees nationwide. Oasis provides human resources services, employee benefits, payroll administration, employee hiring assistance and risk management. Read our full review here. oasisadvantage.com

OneSource Business Solutions LLC – OneSource Business Solutions provides human resource outsourcing to small and midsize companies. OneSource's integrated service package includes payroll administration, workers' compensation, human resources, benefits administration and government compliance. onesourcepeo.com

Optimum Employer Solutions – Optimum Employer Solutions is a human resources outsourcing company that helps small and midsize businesses manage their employer obligations. The company's PEO offerings include human resources services like interviewing, background screening, electronic onboarding, employee handbook creation, performance management, corrective actions, employee separation counseling and training. Optimum's PEO services also include payroll, employee benefits and risk management. optimumhr.net

Paychex – Paychex, our best pick for startups, serves more than half a million small and midsize businesses. Services include payroll processing, retirement services, insurance, and fully outsourced benefits and HR services. Read our full review here. paychex.com

PEO Select – PEO Select provides services to every industry, from accounting to waste management. Human resources assistance, payroll, risk and safety management, benefits management, and workers' compensation are among the services PEO Select provides. The company also offers online employee access. peoselect.com

Pinnacle PEO Corp. – Pinnacle manages all aspects of payroll administration, employee benefits, workers' compensation coverage and claims administration. Through its HR services, it can even assist with recruiting, selecting and hiring employees. Pinnacle currently has clients in 32 states across a variety of industries, including health services, restaurants, financial organizations and light industrial companies. pinnaclepeo.com

Premier Employer Services – Premier Employer Services is a PEO that provides customized human resources services, including health benefits, talent acquisition, human resources administration, payroll, payroll tax compliance, workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. premieremployerservices.com

Prestige Employee Administrators – Prestige Employee Administrators is a human resources outsourcing firm that offers strategic human resources support, payroll services, employment services and benefit programs to small and midsize businesses. All employees can get assistance via a toll-free call center during business hours and a website 24 hours a day. prestigeemployee.com

Regis HRG – This PEO service offers solutions in several categories, including human resources, payroll, benefits administration, and training and development. Corporate citizenship, regulatory compliance, workers' compensation and employee wellness programs are also available. You can choose what services you need, and each plan is tailored to your business needs. regishrgroup.com

Resource Management Inc. – Resource Management Inc. (RMI) is a PEO that serves more than 10,000 employees in 48 states. RMI says it is strictly regulated, insured, audited and professionally licensed. In addition to payroll and benefits, RMI is involved in hiring, firing, job descriptions, performance evaluations, promotions and transfers. rminc.com

Staff One – Staff One is a professional employer organization that provides strategic HR services, risk management, compliance management, employee benefits, payroll outsourcing and tax administration for a variety of small and midsize businesses across the country. The company serves industries including business services, manufacturing, distribution, retail, property management and health care. staffone.com

Synergy HR – Synergy HR delivers a wide range of PEO and human capital management services. The company provides human resources services, payroll processing, benefits administration, employee training and workplace safety programs. Synergy also offers an online HR portal. mysynergy.com

Total Team Solutions – Since 1988, Total Team Solutions has provided payroll, employee benefits and human resources services to small and midsize companies. The company's PEO offerings include payroll administration, workers' compensation, employee benefits and risk management. ttspro.com

TriNet – TriNet provides HR outsourcing to small and midsize businesses with its bundled HR packages, cloud applications and strategic services. The PEO's bundled packages are tailored to each industry. TriNet's services include payroll, benefits, and risk and compliance. The company has more than 14,000 clients in a variety of industries. trinet.com

UniqueHR – UniqueHR is a Texas-based PEO offering human resources, benefits and payroll services that are tailored to the needs of each business. In addition, its self-insured workers' compensation offers businesses stable and predictable costs with no premium down payments. Company leaders have served on the board of directors of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations, the Employer Services Assurance Corporation, the Certification Institute of Workers' Compensation Risk Management and the Center for Fiduciary Excellence. UniqueHR currently serves clients in 16 states across the country. uniquehr.com

XcelHR – XcelHR offers PEO, ASO and HR outsourcing services to small and midsize businesses. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all package, XcelHR creates unique HR packages based on the needs of each customer. Comprehensive bundle packages or a la carte options are available. The company serves businesses with workforces ranging from 10 to more than 250 employees. xcelhr.com

Are you a PEO that would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Jeanette Mulvey at jmulvey@purch.com.

Want to know more about choosing a PEO? Here’s a breakdown of our full coverage:

Editor's Note: Looking for information on PEOs? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

buyerzone widget

Additional reporting by Chad Brooks.

Jill Bowers

Jill Bowers is a technical writer by day and a fantasy author by night. She has more than 10 years of writing experience for both B2C and B2B content, focusing on topics like travel writing, consumer finance, business marketing, social media marketing and other business categories. She spends an inordinate amount of time singing love songs to her dog, composes handbell music and writes YA fantasy novels.