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Global PEO

Updated on:
16 Jan, 2024
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Building a remote team?

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As technology continues to evolve, so too do the ways we work. One particular business solution that has grown in popularity with the rise of remote work is the Global Professional Employer Organization (PEO). But what exactly is a Global PEO, and how can it benefit your business?

What Is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)?

A Professional Employer Organization, or PEO, is a type of firm that offers a wide-ranging suite of HR services to businesses, especially small to medium-sized companies. These organizations provide a comprehensive solution to handle an array of human resources responsibilities, essentially serving as an outsourced HR department.

By partnering with a Professional Employer Organization, a business enters into a co-employment relationship. In this setup, both the PEO and the business share certain legal responsibilities for the business's employees. The client company continues to manage and control the daily activities and operations of its employees, while the PEO handles specific employment-related tasks.

These tasks handled by PEOs often include payroll processing, regulatory and tax compliance, risk management, and other HR-related administration duties. By taking over these areas, PEOs enable client businesses to concentrate on their primary objectives and functions, such as product development, marketing, and sales.

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Is a PEO the same as a global PEO?

A common question that arises when discussing PEOs is the difference between a traditional PEO and a Global PEO. While they both provide a similar range of services, their target client base, scale of operations, and areas of expertise vary significantly.

A PEO provides businesses with outsourced HR services. These services include but are not limited to, payroll administration, tax compliance, administration of benefits, workers' compensation, and risk mitigation. The primary focus of a PEO is to relieve businesses, especially small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), from the complexities of HR management. This enables the companies to concentrate on their core business functions and enhance their productivity.

Global PEO

On the other hand, a Global PEO extends these services to an international level, making it an excellent option for businesses with a global workforce or those looking to expand abroad. The globalization of businesses has led to the rise of Global PEOs, designed to address the complexities of managing employees in multiple countries. This includes navigating the intricate network of international labor laws, managing global payroll, tax regulations, and benefits provision across different countries.

Global PEOs bring with them expertise in global employment compliance, thus reducing the risks associated with international hiring and operations. They not only assist in ensuring businesses adhere to the laws and regulations of each country they operate in but also help them understand the cultural and social norms of these countries. This cultural insight can be instrumental in attracting and retaining local talent, improving employee engagement, and ultimately boosting business performance.

While PEOs and Global PEOs both provide valuable HR services, their distinction lies in the geographical scope of their operations. A traditional PEO is often more locally or nationally focused, while a Global PEO provides solutions for businesses operating in multiple countries worldwide. Therefore, when choosing between a PEO and a Global PEO, businesses should consider their current needs as well as their future growth plans.

Benefits of using a Global PEO providers

For businesses looking to thrive in today's interconnected world, Global PEOs can offer a multitude of benefits. In the wake of globalization, many companies are seeking to broaden their horizons and engage with international markets. However, navigating the complex web of international labor laws, tax structures, and cultural norms can be a daunting task. This is where a Global PEO comes in. Here are some notable advantages of engaging a Global PEO for your business:

Simplifying Global Payroll and Taxation

One of the most significant challenges businesses face when expanding internationally is managing payroll and taxes across multiple jurisdictions. Each country has its own unique set of laws and regulations that need to be adhered to. A Global PEO, with its expertise in international payroll and tax regulations, can manage these complexities, ensuring that your business remains compliant while also simplifying administrative tasks.

Navigating Local Labor Laws and Regulations

Understanding and complying with local labor laws can be an onerous task, especially for businesses operating in multiple countries. Non-compliance can lead to penalties and can damage a company's reputation. A Global PEO has knowledge and experience in local labor laws, ensuring your business adheres to all necessary regulations and standards.

Providing International Benefits and Insurance

Providing competitive benefits and insurance is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. However, setting up an international benefits plan can be complex and time-consuming. A Global PEO can manage this process, providing employees with access to comprehensive benefits packages that align with local norms and regulations.

Reducing the Time and Cost of Setting up Foreign Entities

Establishing a legal entity in a new country can be a lengthy and costly process. It involves understanding local laws, filling out paperwork, and incurring various costs. A Global PEO can bypass this need, as they serve as the employer of record in the host country, thereby significantly reducing the time and cost associated with international expansion.

Risk Management

Operating across international borders exposes businesses to a range of potential risks, from legal and compliance risks to financial and operational risks. A Global PEO can help manage these risks through their local knowledge and expertise, providing peace of mind to businesses venturing into new markets.

Access to Local Expertise

A Global PEO typically has an extensive network of local experts and partners in the countries where they operate. This means that they can offer in-depth knowledge and advice tailored to each specific location, providing businesses with a valuable competitive edge.

Global PEO vs. EOR (employer of record)

It's crucial to understand the distinction between a Global PEO and an Employer of Record (EOR), as these terms, while often used interchangeably, represent two different service models.

Employer of Record (EOR)

An Employer of Record (EOR) takes on the legal responsibilities of being an employer. This means they handle the bureaucratic and administrative aspects of employment, such as managing payroll, employee taxes, benefits, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws. The EOR is essentially the 'official' employer in terms of legal and tax purposes.

Incorporating HR functions like this can be advantageous for medium-sized businesses looking to fast-track their international expansion. The EOR already has established infrastructures in place to support immediate hiring, without the need for the client company to establish a legal entity in the new location.

Global PEO

On the other hand, a Global or international PEO offers a broader range of services, including but not limited to those provided by an Employer of Record. A Global PEO provides comprehensive HR solutions tailored to the needs of businesses operating in multiple countries. While they also assist with payroll, benefits, and compliance with local laws, they bring additional value through services like talent acquisition, employee training, and development, risk management, and strategic consulting.

International PEO providers are particularly beneficial for companies seeking to maintain a more hands-on approach to managing their international workforce during global expansion. With a Global PEO, companies can have more control and visibility over their HR processes while simultaneously benefiting from the PEO's expertise in local employment regulations and practices.

In essence, an International PEO acts as a partner rather than just a service provider. It supports businesses in their global expansion strategies, providing them with the necessary tools and expertise to navigate the complexities of global employment.

Which is Right for Your Business?

Choosing between an EOR and a Global PEO depends largely on your business's specific needs and objectives.

If you're looking to quickly expand your operations into a new country with minimal hassle, an Employer of Record might be the right choice. However, if you require a more comprehensive suite of HR services and prefer to maintain more control over your HR processes, then partnering with a Global PEO could be more beneficial.

What Does a Global PEO Service Do?

A Global PEO offers businesses an effective solution to manage and support their international workforce, providing comprehensive HR services that extend beyond what a typical PEO offers. They are essential for businesses planning to expand globally or already have employees in multiple countries. Let's delve deeper into the core functionalities of a Global PEO.

Payroll Administration

One of the main functions of a Global PEO is to manage payroll administration. They ensure that employees are paid accurately and on time, irrespective of their geographic location. This includes taking care of all the complexities related to international payroll, such as currency conversion, local tax deductions, and compliance with local labor laws. It also takes care of payroll taxes for businesses, ensuring they're calculated and submitted accurately.

Compliance with Local Employment Laws

Navigating the intricacies of employment law in different countries can be a significant challenge for businesses. A Global PEO helps to ensure businesses stay compliant with all the local laws and regulations, reducing the risk of potential legal issues. This includes everything from adhering to minimum wage requirements and working hours regulations to ensuring compliance with laws regarding leave and termination policies. They also manage employee onboarding, making the process smooth and compliant with local regulations.

Recruitment and Onboarding of Employees

Global PEOs can also handle the recruitment and onboarding process for businesses. They have the local knowledge and expertise to find and hire the best talent in different countries. They also manage the onboarding process, ensuring new hires have a smooth transition into the company and understand their roles, responsibilities, and health insurance benefits.

Handling of Employee Benefits and Insurance

Providing competitive benefits and insurance is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. Global PEOs help businesses offer locally compliant benefits packages and handle the administration of these benefits. They ensure that employee benefits meet local standards and expectations, and they navigate international insurance markets to provide appropriate coverage.

Employee Relations and Support

As part of their global expansion efforts, Global PEOs serve as a point of contact for all HR-related concerns for employees, which is especially important for a dispersed global workforce. They assist with employee relations, providing guidance and support to employees as needed, and ensuring a positive work environment.

Risk Management

Global PEO services also assist in managing risk. This can include the development and implementation of health and safety programs, creating procedures for dealing with workplace conflicts, and ensuring that businesses comply with local employment laws and regulations, thus mitigating potential legal risks, including those related to payroll taxes.

How to choose a global PEO

Choosing the right Global PEO is a critical step for any business seeking to expand internationally. However, navigating the complex landscape of global employment solutions providers can be daunting. Here are some key factors to consider to ensure you make an informed decision:

Global Reach

This is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a Global PEO platform. The provider you choose for international expansion should have a strong presence in the countries where you intend to expand your business. This ensures they have the local knowledge and experience to navigate the unique legal, cultural, and economic environments of each country.

Expertise in Your Industry

Not all industries are the same. The rules, regulations, and business practices can vary widely from one sector to another. Therefore, it's crucial to choose a Global PEO that has experience in your particular industry. They should be familiar with the specific challenges you may face and offer tailored solutions to meet your needs.

Cost

The cost of a Global PEO can vary widely. It's important to understand what you're getting for your investment. Some providers may offer a seemingly low price, but this could be because they provide a more limited range of services. On the other hand, higher-priced providers might offer a more comprehensive suite of services that could save you time and money in the long run.

Breadth of Services

Global PEOs offer a wide range of services, including payroll administration, compliance, recruitment, and employee benefits management. However, the extent and quality of these services can vary. Make sure the PEO you choose offers all the services your business needs and does so at a high level.

Customer Service and Support

As with any service, the level of customer support provided by the PEO is crucial. You should feel confident that your provider will be there to assist you whenever you have a question or concern. Look for a PEO with a strong reputation for excellent customer service.

References and Reviews

Don’t forget to check the provider’s reputation in the market. Are there positive reviews from other companies that have used their services? Can they provide references from clients in your industry or region?

Technology and Integration

The PEO should have a robust technology platform that allows for efficient management and integration of their services with your existing systems. This includes HR software, payroll systems, and benefits platforms.

When choosing a Global PEO platform, it's not just about finding a provider that can fulfill your current needs—it's about forming a partnership that can help your business thrive in the global marketplace. Take the time to carefully evaluate your options and choose a service that aligns with your business objectives, culture, and long-term growth strategies.

How Much Does a PEO Cost?

The cost of partnering with a PEO can be a significant consideration for businesses. Although there's no one-size-fits-all answer, as costs can vary based on several factors, understanding the general structure can help provide a clearer picture.

Typically, PEOs employ one of two billing models - a flat fee per employee or a percentage of the total payroll. The flat fee model is straightforward, charging a set amount for each employee on your team. This is often in the range of $40 to $160 per employee per month.

On the other hand, some PEOs prefer a percentage of payroll model. This means the PEO's fee is a percentage (usually between 2% and 12%) of your total payroll cost. This model can be beneficial for businesses as the cost fluctuates with your payroll - as your team grows, so does the cost, but in slower periods, your costs can decrease.

Regardless of the billing model, it's essential to understand what's included in the fee. Most PEOs are comprehensive in their service offering, covering aspects such as payroll administration, tax compliance, and risk management. Others might offer additional à la carte services at an extra charge.

How long does the PEO implementation process take?

The process of implementing a PEO in your organization is not an overnight operation. Several elements can influence the duration of the implementation process, from the complexity of your current HR processes to the readiness of your organization to adopt new systems.

Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to fully implement a PEO in your business. The timeline primarily depends on these factors:

Size and complexity of your organization

Larger organizations with more complex HR structures and operations usually require more time to transition to a PEO. The PEO needs to understand and adapt to your existing systems, which can involve a significant amount of time, particularly if there are complications or unique scenarios to consider.

Specific services required

The range and complexity of services you want from the PEO also play a role. For example, if you're seeking help with payroll and benefits administration only, the process might be quicker than if you want a full range of HR services, including recruitment, training, and compliance assistance.

Preparation and cooperation from your organization

How prepared your organization is to adopt the PEO's systems can also affect the timeline. This includes how quickly your team can provide the necessary information, how receptive they are to new processes, and how much training they require to use the new systems effectively.

PEO's experience and resources

The PEO's ability to implement their services swiftly and efficiently also matters. Experienced PEOs with sufficient resources and well-honed implementation processes can often complete the transition more quickly than less experienced providers.

What type of business needs a PEO?

The need for a PEO can span across businesses of various sizes and industries, but certain types of businesses can particularly benefit from their services.

Small to mid-sized businesses often find themselves stretched thin as they try to balance the challenges of growth and scalability with administrative responsibilities. When HR tasks start to overtake the time and resources meant for strategic growth initiatives, a PEO can step in to alleviate this administrative burden. By handling HR operations, PEOs free up time for these businesses to focus on their core activities and strategic growth.

Startups, especially those experiencing rapid growth, can also reap significant benefits from PEO providers. The early stages of a startup are critical for setting up efficient operational structures. Leveraging a PEO during this phase can help set up robust HR systems, payroll, and benefits packages that might otherwise be out of reach for young companies. Moreover, the compliance expertise that a PEO brings can be particularly beneficial for startups that may lack in-house legal resources.

Companies looking to expand into new geographical markets, especially internationally, can greatly benefit from the services of a Global PEO. Expanding businesses are often faced with the task of navigating unfamiliar regulatory landscapes and cultural norms, a daunting and time-consuming task. A Global PEO, with its knowledge of international labor laws and practices, can provide invaluable assistance during this process, allowing businesses to focus on growth and market penetration.

Lastly, businesses without a dedicated HR department stand to gain significantly from a PEO. Even for companies with an HR team, the breadth of responsibilities often extends beyond the capabilities of a small team. A PEO can act as an extended HR department, offering specialized services, scalability, and flexibility. As always, the decision to engage a PEO should be carefully considered in the context of the business's unique needs and circumstances.

Are PEOs worth it?

PEOs provide numerous benefits that can make them a worthwhile investment for many businesses. They can reduce the burden of HR administration, help ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, and provide employees with competitive benefits. The decision to use a PEO should be based on your business's individual needs and circumstances.

For businesses looking to navigate the world of remote work and global expansion, a Global PEO can be an invaluable resource. Whether you're a tech talent working remotely or an entrepreneur building a distributed team, embracing the capabilities of a Global PEO could be your key to success.

With the rise of the remote workforce and the increasing need for businesses to expand their global footprint, the role of Global PEOs has become more crucial than ever. They serve as a strategic partner, enabling companies to thrive in today's dynamic business environment. As discussed in the debate between PEO vs EOR, choosing the right HR outsourcing partner can make a world of difference.

When it comes to selecting a Global PEO, businesses need to make informed decisions. With ample research and consideration of individual business needs, it's possible to find a service that not only meets but exceeds expectations, proving that PEOs are indeed worth it.

Build your globally distributed team with Skuad

Navigating the complexities of global HR operations and workforce management can be a daunting task, particularly for businesses aiming to expand their reach across borders. However, with the right partner in place, organizations can streamline these complexities and focus more on their strategic objectives. That's where solutions like a Global PEO come into play.

As businesses evolve and adapt to the growing trend of remote and globally distributed teams, it's crucial to have a strong partner like Skuad.

With Skuad's robust platform, organizations can hire full-time employees and contractors in over 160 countries without the need to set up subsidiaries or legal entities. This not only simplifies the process but also significantly reduces the cost and time involved in your expansion efforts. Book a demo with Skuad today.

FAQs

What is a PEO partner?

A PEO partner refers to a business that collaborates with organizations to outsource various human resource functions. These can include the administration of benefits, payroll management, workers' compensation insurance, and compliance with employment and tax laws.

How does a PEO work?

A PEO works by establishing a co-employment relationship with its client companies. This means that while the client company retains control over the day-to-day operations and management of its employees, the PEO becomes the employer of record for tax purposes and other legal responsibilities. In this way, the PEO can manage payroll, benefits, and other human resource functions, allowing the client company to focus on its core business.

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Table of Content

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