After conducting extensive research on professional employer organizations, we recommend TriNet as the best PEO service for very small businesses in 2018. To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology, and a comprehensive list of PEO services, on our best picks page.
Focused on small business
TriNet's service structure and contract setup makes it an ideal choice for very small businesses. Many companies require an employee minimum and a long-term contract for small businesses looking to enroll in a full-fledged PEO service, but TriNet provides flexibility on all these points. It also features world-class customer service and should be considered by any small business owner looking for a PEO service.
No employee minimum: You can access all TriNet's services regardless of how big your company is. This allows for flexibility: If you're running a small business, you don't have to worry about keeping people on to remain with your PEO. It also allows companies to get started with a PEO service when they're extremely small – even if you have only one to two employees. There are vital services a PEO supplies, like HR consulting, that can be used by small business owners in any stage of development. TriNet provides very small businesses with the ability to implement PEO services to further aid business growth.
Pricing structure: TriNet charges on a per-employee basis, so you'll know how your costs will change if your workforce numbers shift. This per-employee cost is in addition to benefits and healthcare costs. This pricing model is ideal for very small businesses, however, because it allows for flexibility with your business and provides the proper infrastructure to predict costs. Anyone running a very small business knows how precious each dollar is, so this structure provides a positive PEO environment for very small businesses to grow.
No contract requirement: TriNet also doesn't require long-term contracts. Businesses have the option to cancel their service at any time if they provide 30 days' notice. The absence of a formal contract allows even more flexibility for very small businesses: Business owners can terminate their service if things change without breaking a long-term contract.
Industry-specific consultants: TriNet, like many of the PEOs we reviewed, provides a team of consultants and experts for you to work with on various PEO-related issues. What separates TriNet, however, is it's one of the few companies we reviewed that offers HR management and consulting teams that are industry-specific. They provide teams for a host of industries, like, for example, the automotive, financial services and health care industries.
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TriNet also offers a full-suite of PEO services, including benefits administration, HR outsourcing, payroll processing and risk management. Specific TriNet services and features include:
- Employee onboarding
- Workforce reporting and analytics
- Performance management
- Employment tracking
- Recruiting services
- Workplace safety training
- Claims management
- Workers' compensation
- OSHA compliance
- HR guidance and resources
- Online payroll processing
- Time and attendance software
- Expense management
- ACA compliance
- Health and retirement benefits plans
- Training resources
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
TriNet provides access to all of it services regardless of your business's size. Some PEOs we reviewed bump businesses to an ASO or an HR outsourcing plan due to size. With TriNet, you can get PEO coverage and agreement even if your company consists of only one or two people.
It's also a full-service offering, so you'll have the same access to all the features a larger business would have. This offering is ideal for very small businesses looking to build out their business alongside certain PEO services.
- Support: TriNet provides support via live chat, email, phone and FAQ pages for quick reference. This means you have multiple avenues to get in touch with TriNet for support. These support options are, of course, in addition to the ability to reach out to your designated HR consulting team. We interacted with TriNet representatives on live chat, email and phone. All the representatives we interacted with were both helpful and informative. They provided great information about TriNet and its services.
- Training: TriNet comes with a technology platform that features a built-in learning management system. Employees can track resources and build their education over time. This can also be used to administer virtual training seminars and tailor training resources to specific employees.
TriNet's services, while they are robust, can't be mixed and matched to fit your business's needs. Whether this is a drawback or not depends largely on your business's needs – while you'll have the opportunity for coverage in all areas of your business, you may not use all the services if you only require a few.
Ready to choose a PEO solution? Here's a breakdown of our full coverage: