A Buyer’s Guide to PEO Services

Starting your search for a new professional employer organization (PEO)? Read this buyer’s guide to explore key features and considerations—checklist included.

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What's included

Whether you’re setting up shop in the US or scaling across new states, managing employment from payroll to compliance is no small feat. It’s complex, it’s time-consuming, and it’s different in every jurisdiction. And as your business expands, managing HR and compliance with local laws increases exponentially. 

As a result, HR and Finance teams are often overloaded with regulatory compliance and administrative overhead burdens.Group 403923646

With the right PEO, you can alleviate some of these burdens by offloading payroll, compliance, HR functions, and benefits administration, allowing your team to focus on core business functions and strategic growth.

Our Buyer’s Guide to PEO Services breaks down everything you need to know to find the best solution for your team, whether you're switching providers or starting your search from scratch:

  • Key features and functions: Learn what essential services a PEO provides, including sophisticated technology platforms and comprehensive HR services
  • PEO evaluation checklist: Our checklist helps you evaluate potential PEOs on critical aspects such as payroll administration, technology integration, HR services, access controls, and risk management
  • Benefits of partnering with a PEO: Discover how the right PEO can transform your operational efficiency through better compliance, scalability, and reduced administrative costs

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Who will benefit from this guide

  • CFOs and Finance Managers looking to optimize costs with a new PEO
  • HR leaders searching for compliance support solutions
  • Founders and C-suite executives focused on scaling in the US

FAQ about choosing a PEO

Learn more about working with a PEO through these frequently asked questions.

What is a professional employment organization?

PEO stands for professional employer (or employment) organization. Think of a PEO as your behind-the-scenes HR powerhouse. They step in to streamline everything from payroll to compliance, making your team’s day-to-day easier and your business run smoother. By partnering with a PEO, you get to:

  • Ease your HR and payroll teams’ workload
  • Stay on top of state-specific compliance
  • Offer more competitive and cost-effective benefits
  • Speed up the employee onboarding process
  • Scale your business seamlessly across the US

Why makes Deel PEO different?

Deel PEO is the market leader for remote team PEO services: 

  • Fast and efficient setup: With a dedicated onboarding manager, you'll receive personalized guidance, customized training, parallel payroll setups, and seamless HR data transitions, all aimed at getting you up and running in weeks, not months
  • Transparent pricing: Experience straightforward and transparent pricing with no hidden costs. You’ll know exactly what you’re paying for, with clarity and control at every step
  • Choose your benefits provider: Enjoy the freedom to continue with your current benefits provider while we handle the bulk of the compliance and administrative tasks
  • In-house expertise: Rely on our in-house experts for US state registration, payroll, taxes, labor laws, and other compliance needs, ensuring you stay informed and compliant at all times
  • Rapid issue resolution: Our PEO services include a dedicated team of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) and 24/7 in-app chat support, with an average first response time of 1.25 minutes, providing quick and efficient help whenever you need it
  • Expand globally on a single platform: Deel supports global teams and ensures full compliance in over 100 countries, making it easier to hire, onboard, and manage international employees through one comprehensive platform

How do I change PEO providers?

Reevaluating your current PEO partnership provides an excellent opportunity to affirm your business needs and aspirations. To successfully change PEO providers, you have to:
  • Audit your current system to identify areas of improvement and goals.
  • Research and select your new PEO provider.
  • Develop a transition plan for your team and workforce.
  • Clearly communicate the transition process to your team.
  • Implement the new PEO and migrate your workforce data.
  • Train and onboard your team on the new platform.
  • Monitor and adjust your PEO services as needed.
Keep reading: How to Change Your PEO in 8 Steps

How much does a PEO cost?

Most PEO companies implement an administrative fee for their services. There are two common pricing models: a flat annual fee per employee, generally near $1,000 USD, or a percentage of total payroll, commonly between 2% and 11%. There might also be additional fees for access to enhanced HR functions, detailed reporting capabilities, or specific system integrations.

How should you evaluate a PEO?

There are several key considerations when choosing the best PEO solution, from automation and integrations to data security and customer service.

Consider the following factors during your PEO evaluation:

  • How scalable and flexible are the services?
  • How much manual work is required?
  • How comprehensive are their benefits packages?
  • Do they have in-house specialists?
  • How user-friendly is the platform?
  • What are the data management and reporting capabilities?
  • How do they protect your information?
  • How responsive is their customer service?
  • How do they ensure legal and payroll compliance?

Learn more: How to Choose a PEO or US Payroll Provider: 9 Questions to Answer