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Top 5 Payroll Services for Small Business

Making errors in your payroll can cost your small business. Every year 1 in 3 small business owners get penalized by the IRS for payroll errors. So why not consider a payroll service?

Payroll services help businesses pay employees correctly, manage tax withholdings and ensure deductions for your retirement, benefits and garnishments are taken care of. Online payroll companies offer an easy solution for all your small business payroll and payroll tax needs.

Make sure you pick a payroll service that matches your small business’s needs and don’t be afraid to cancel if you find that the system is not working for you. There are many different options available in the marketplace but here are we have picked five of the best for you to consider.

NOTE: FreshBooks Support team members are not certified income tax or accounting professionals and cannot provide advice in these areas, outside of supporting questions about FreshBooks. If you need income tax advice please contact an accountant in your area.


While OnPay doesn’t have all the tools and add-ons that Intuit offers, it does provide a simpler pricing setup with straightforward payroll necessities that are especially great for small business needs.
For $47.95 per month, you get up to 10 employees’ worth of unlimited pay runs, tax filings and deposits in one state (with additional states running you extra), and check printing. This mobile-friendly system is easy and quick to use and doesn’t have a steep learning curve.

If you have more employees and need a payroll service that can handle a bigger business, OnPay can still manage that. You can add on extra employees for $1 per month for each employee after your first 10. Plus, you can add on a direct deposit functionality for an additional $8 per month.

2. Gusto

Previously known as ZenPayroll, Gusto is an intuitive payroll service for all sorts of small businesses.

On top of automatically filing your local, state and federal taxes, Gusto will integrate with your accounting software. Plus, it will give your employees access to their information like pay stubs and W-2s even after that has left the company. All of these features mean less data entry for you, more convenience for your employees and generally an easier time for everyone.
After Gusto’s one-month free trial ends, it costs only $39/month, plus $6 per month per employee. That includes benefits planning, direct deposit, check services and more.

3. Namely

Namely is one of the biggest new human resources services in the market.

Their prices are undisclosed but Namely offers a full suite of payroll and HR tools to help you cut down on wasted time. Namely will automatically deal with benefits deductions, pay and file all of your payroll taxes, provide year-end reporting and time-tracking, ensure your small business is compliant with regulations and give employees access to their payment history.

Namely also helps with employee benefits like health insurance, life and disability insurance, wellness programs, commuter benefits and other plans. Plus, get assistance with hiring and management with onboarding documents and performance reports.

Namely is a modern, comprehensive HR service for small businesses, not just a payroll tool.

4. Intuit Payroll

Whether you are looking for a barebones payroll service or you want a fully automated and detailed program, Intuit Payroll has a wide spectrum of options for you.

The Intuit Basic option for $20 per month plus $2 per employee per month will run your payroll instantly and calculate (but won’t file) your taxes. The most popular Intuit Payroll package is the Enhanced option that costs $31.20 per month and adds tax form completions, filing and payment on top of the basic services. Finally, there is their Full-Service option that will run your payroll completely, transfer data from other payroll services and guarantee accuracy for $79 per month.

Pick your package depends on how much time and energy you have to input your payroll data. Intuit also offers human resources services for small businesses like workers’ compensation and compliance assistance.

5. Sage

Sage offers different payroll packages depending on how big your small business is. If you have 10 or fewer employees, Sage Payroll Essentials is just $49.95 per month. For comparison, Intuit’s Enhanced plan runs around the same price and offers fewer features.

If your business outgrows this stage, Sage has you covered with its Full Payroll Service, which is priced to match the size of your business and how often you run payroll. This package comes with a dedicated payroll agent, a check delivery service, unlimited deductions, custom report-building and additional benefits administration.

Sage knows how to keep their customers happy. They have the highest customer retention rate in the payroll service industry.


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