here are 11 payroll services for entrepreneurs out there that are a cut above the rest. They are for small businesses heading into 2020. We are not ranking them because they all have different advantages and features. Most good services have other features too, like HR management, tax filing solutions, and more.  These payroll providers have three essential qualities: they're easy to use, scalable, and affordable.

Easy to use

It’s very important that the payroll provider has a simple payroll process since that’s the most vital element of the site. There are some payroll services out there created for accountants, which may be difficult to use for small business owners. A platform that’s easy to use should include language that anyone can understand to create a strong user experience (UX). It also needs to have clear instructions on how to use each feature.  [caption id="attachment_1385" align="alignnone" width="525"]

Payroll services for small business

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The menu should be displayed in an intuitive manner, providing easy navigation. Plus, the dashboard has to be modern enough to suit the needs of a small business owner in 2020. Every button in the platform needs to serve a purpose, and it should be clear what each of them does. The service should have an app, or at least a mobile-friendly site because it allows small business owners to do payroll work on the go.


The service needs to grow with your business. What does this mean? You may have goals for your business several years down the line, and if growth is important to you (which it probably is), the payroll provider you pick needs to be scalable. That means that the service should have features that you’re not even using right now, but may need later on.  The best payroll services for small business owners allow you to file taxes, send tax forms to employees, and make direct deposits. These services can also manage employees’ health and sick leaves, health care benefits, and retirement plans. Such services are vital to your business when it starts growing.  Remember, a good payroll provider helps you not only in the immediate future, but also several years down the line.


It’s also crucial to pay attention to the cost of this business solution. In most cases, the price of your payroll service will not make or break your business. Besides, paying attention to the different fees of your provider can save you a lot of cash in the long run. There are some things you need to consider.  How much is the service charging you to sign up? How much are you going to pay every month? Are there extra costs every time you add an employee or contractor? What other fees are there? These are some of the questions to ask when looking at your budget.  [caption id="attachment_1386" align="alignnone" width="525"]

Sage Payroll

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1) Gusto - For those starting out

Gusto is for for small business owners who are in their early days of being entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs love the platform because it has the essentials you need to run your small business. It is intuitive, easy to use, and it provides simple navigation tools. It processes employee benefits such as health insurance and 401(k) accounts. Plus, it provides external HR support on how to manage your team in case you need it.  Gusto compiles thorough and accurate records of your employees, and it offers a separate payroll for contractors. Tracking your employees’ hours with Gusto is also simple. The provider’s base price ranges from $39 to $149 based on which option you pick.

2) Intuit QuickBooks Payroll - Affordable options

QuickBooks Payroll is one of the best payroll services for small business owners. The solution comes in three pricing tiers. These options include a way to automate taxes, payroll reports, and tools to calculate paychecks. The Intuit product is generally more affordable than Gusto, ranging from $13.50 to $37.50 a month. Each extra employee is $4 to $10 more per month.  Small business owners love QuickBooks Payroll so much that there are now more than 1.4 million who are using it. One of the great benefits of the service is that they put the responsibility of filing your taxes on their shoulders. They take care of any filing errors and pay any penalty fees that they’re responsible for. Plus, they’ll represent you and help you resolve any tax issues with the IRS.  Customer service is big for payroll services moving into 2020, and Intuit knows this. The business provides you with US-based, live-support experts. They help you get your payroll set up as seamlessly as possible.

3) Paychex - Payroll & HR solutions

Paychex is a suite of products to help your business manage payroll on desktop or mobile. It is also a human resources tool to manage your employees and make sure your business is compliant with laws and regulations.  With Paychex, you can also streamline the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process. The service also has advanced time management software, and a dashboard to manage benefits. You can update these benefits in real time.

4) ADP - Quick and easy

When you enter ADP’s page, you’ll get asked whether your business has 1 to 49 employees, or 50 or more. This service - used by more than 500,000 small businesses - has payroll management, tax filing, mobile support and more. You can also pay employees by check, direct deposit, or paycard. One user claims you can complete any of these features in 2 minutes or less.  Besides how fast it is, ADP also has great customer service. Their staff guide entrepreneurs through their payroll and tax needs. This personal touch makes ADP one of the best payroll services for small business owners out there.

5) Square Payroll - Flexible pricing

Square Payroll is among the most cost-effective payroll provider in the market. The subscription will set you back $29 a month, plus $5 per month for every employee you add to your business. The other pricing option is for businesses that only hire contractors. In this case, Square Payroll waives the base price, and you’ll only get charged $5 a month for every freelancer or other contractor you bring in.  [caption id="attachment_1382" align="alignnone" width="525"]

Square Payroll

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Square will also not charge you until you pay your team. They will lower how much they charge you if you pay less employees one month. The service also calculates your withholdings and payments, and helps you file your payroll taxes for you at no extra cost.

6) OnPay - Taxes made easy

For the price-conscious small businesses that's growing, OnPay could be an attractive choice. There is only one price option that begins with a base fee of $36 per month, followed by $4 for every employee you add. The business prides itself in having no hidden fees and running your payroll in minutes.  OnPay calculates taxes and integrates with accounting software to make your life easier. The service also imports your employee data, making tax season easier for you and your workers. OnPay is also experienced, with more than 30 years of payroll services behind them.

7) Sage Payroll - Simple pension management

Sage Payroll is easy to use, offering you a simple process of setting up payroll, broken down step by step. It simplifies some elements such as adding pension information as well. Efficiency is the name of the game for Sage Payroll, reducing the time and increasing the accuracy of an entrepreneur’s payroll needs.  Another element that makes Sage Payroll among the best payroll services for small business owners is how specific it is. You can customize the platform to suit your needs. Do so by calculating an employee’s pay based on hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and more. It is also easy to integrate with other useful accounting tools.

8) Paylocity - On-demand wages

Paylocity has a feature that lets employees deposit earned wages on demand. This functionality empowers employees to get their wages when they need them, instead of waiting for their standard payday. The tool also has an intuitive and attractive dashboard, which many services fail to provide.  The mobile version of Paylocity is user friendly, and it has a news section. You can also read internal comments from employees there. The service is interactive and easy to use, and it also fosters engagement to ensure the voice of employees are heard and valued.

9) SurePayroll - Free trial

SurePayroll is for small businesses with 1 to 10 employees. If you’re on this boat, keep reading. SurePayroll has the basic features we listed in the intro, along with a free, one-month trial to try it out.  The service offers top-notch recordkeeping and payroll processing tools. They also claim to be 100% accurate when automating the process of filing and paying taxes. It also supports several payroll types, and it’s easy to use on both desktop and mobile devices.

10) Namely - Intuitive navigation

With Namely, you can do all sorts of cool HR stuff. On the payroll side of things, one element that stands out is how easy it is to enroll employees for benefits. The service also has a portal that stores pay stubs and other important documents.  Namely's user interface is top of the line too. It also offers good employee management and performance review functionalities. It is easy to navigate, and the customer service is strong. with agents ready to answer difficult questions with ease. Namely also includes training resources in case you need extra help.

11) PrimePay - Customize it

PrimePay is more customizable than most services. It has an intuitive, fast, and simple user experience (UX). Such a UX makes it easy for small business owners to process their payroll in less than 30 minutes. PrimePay is reliable, and its customer service team is solid.  The service offers three pricing options for a basic, advanced, and pro option. The advanced option has a mobile app. Meanwhile, the pro choice includes more sophisticated insurance and compensation tracking capabilities.  Did you know that a Novo business checking account comes with Xero integration? That’s right, so sign up.

The Takeaway

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of the list of the 11 best payroll services for small business owners. Now how do you pick the best one for 2020? We recommend you look at the elements that matter to you most, and make a decision based on that. Are you looking for a solid user experience? Or is price a concern to you? How extensive do you need the features to be? Once you start answering these questions, you’ll get one step closer to finding the right payroll provider for you.

December 9, 2019
Banking 101