Running a Business

Best PEO Companies for Small Businesses

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Last updated on September 7th, 2019 at 07:14 pm

Best PEO CompaniesFor a small business, a professional employer organization or PEO can be a lifesaver, especially in terms of software.

Choosing the best one for your company, however, might seem like a challenge.

So we will break down the best PEO for small businesses: JustWorks vs Insperity vs TriNet.

Our Top Pick for Best PEO Companies: JustWorks

Between the three aforementioned software suites, JustWorks is the one that comes out on top for us.

Why? It offers the lowest prices, is the easiest of the three to use and also comes with phenomenal customer service options.

Out of the three, JustWorks makes it clear how their services work and whether or not they will be a good fit for your business.

Let’s Inspect JustWorks vs. Insperity vs. TriNet

  • Note: Insperity and TriNet are certified by the ESAC (Employer Services Assurance Corporation) whereas JustWorks is not. We excludes no states for any of the listed software suites either.

# JustWorks – The Best For Small Businesses

The table above should give you a good indicator why JustWorks was chosen as the champion of PEO software suites.

Working with any kind of PEO means that you are no doubt looking to make things easier for yourself and your business.

Running a small business takes a lot: payroll, compliance, benefits, etc. – you want to make sure everything is covered with a good PEO.

Therefore JustWorks takes the crown for the best PEO for small businesses. It meets every need that a small business owner can have while also being the most cheaply priced.

It has a full range of services that cover everything from health insurance, payroll, benefits and even employees’ computer passes, among much more.

What makes JustWorks even better is that it operates much more like a software as a service (SaaS) company versus a PEO.

Which makes it one of the easier kinds of software suites to use for PEO and for users. JustWorks is all about taking the stress out of your job.

It is also one of the most technologically forward suites that come with optimized mobile and web interfaces that push the boundaries right up there with modern Android or iPhone features.

And hosting live chat customer support, which neither Insperity or TriNet have. What really brings JustWorks to the top is the ease and transparency of their terms when it comes to doing business with them.

Everything is plainly spelled out and made providing accurate information a breeze. That kind of clarity and ease is definitely another great reason why JustWorks has taken the crown for best PEO for small businesses.

# Insperity – The Best PEO for Customizing Benefits

JustWorks may take the crown for numerous reasons.

But when it comes to customizing your PEO experience, Insperity is the PEO champion.

Insperity has a la carte services they are more than happy to provide business owners so that they can pick exactly what suits their needs best, which is not always an option with most competitors’ wrapped bundles of services.

In terms of service, Insperity offers:

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance benefits
  • Additional medical options like HSAs and FSAs, among others.
  • Payroll services
  • Add-on benefits such as short or long-term disability insurance, life insurance or 401k plans.
  • Reporting / compliance services like the worker’s compensation and unemployment.
  • Recruiting / talent management and HR outsourcing sources

The list goes on!

Insperity is also a phenomenal PEO for businesses that are set to rapidly scale in size in a short amount of time and up to five thousand employees.

They also add even more value with services like employee performance management, employee training and many other options. While JustWorks has stronger customer service options and is more technically pronounced.

Insperity still has plenty of great options for business owners that need customization options or plan on seeing rapid growth up to five thousand employees.

It’s add-ons and scaling ability can make it a great PEO solution for plenty of business owners across the globe.

# TriNet – The Best PEO For Industry-Specific Solutions

While JustWorks and Insperity both work in broad strokes, TriNet is the best PEO when it comes to industry-specific solutions, without question.

The software suite divides itself up into serving specific niche industries such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Non-profit
  • Automotive
  • Financial Services
  • Retail
  • Real Estate
  • Skilled Trades
  • Hospitality
  • Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing

This can help you narrow down the functionality and services that your PEO software provides so that they are specific to your industry.

TriNet, along with its industry-specific aim, has a ton of reporting capabilities built-in Whether it is standard or custom reports.

You can use TriNet to connect to Quickbook and employer HR dashboards to give you greater insight and overall flexibility.

People note that TriNet, as a PEO solution, especially excels with the compliance services that it offers, such as a payroll, risk management, benefits, and so on. Customer reviews tend to parade these capabilities quite highly.

Regardless, TriNet still falls behind JustWorks in the technological department. TriNet has its developers external to the company, which some believe is the reason it costs double that of JustWorks.

Getting any kind of transparency from TriNet in terms of information also proved to be challenging and some of the online reviews for TriNet are a little less than satisfactory.

JustWorks vs Insperity vs TriNet – The Breakdown


A small business owner of any kind will inevitably be worried about the cost of things over others.

When choosing a PEO, cost may very well come down to the deciding factor between the three contenders we’ve discussed throughout the article.

The cost between the three runs a wide gambit, and all three provide free quotes to those who are looking for what PEO service will work with their budget in the most friendly manner.

There’s really no reason not to take advantage of it and find what payment plan and price range works within your budget.

As mentioned before, JustWorks has the most transparent method to getting information about their services; and, fortunately, they also have the lowest prices of the three.

For companies of 5-24 employees, they charge $69/employee per month with benefits and $49/employee per month no benefits. For companies of 25-99 employees, $59/employee per month with benefits and $39/employee per month no benefits.

If you don’t need the full range of services, you can also use it for only certain needs like payroll or compliance for a reduced pricing plan.

This is quite a nice option for small business owners who may not need the full package of PEO services. It also comes with no setup fee, which is always nice.

Insperity’s pricing is still a bit up in the air. Finding information about their pricing proved to be beyond our means, so all we do know is that they base their pricing module on a percentage of the employee’s salary.

As a note, however, it’s a la carte style menu lets buyers customize their price based on what they specifically need.

TriNet follows a pricing module much like JustWorks:

Like the other two, the pricing also varies depending on how many employees there are and how many services your business winds up using.

  • For companies of 5-9 employees, it’s $155/employee per month
  • Companies of 10-19 employees, it’s $140/employee per month
  • For companies of 20-29 employees, it’s $135/employee per month
  • In Case of companies of 30-49 employees, it’s $125/employee per month

However, as you can see, the pricing is much higher than it is for JustWorks. The pricing itself may vary per area and other factors.

But it still stands that TriNet is not only double the price of JustWorks but its prices also continue to rise annually between five to ten percent.

Ease of Use for Admins / Users

Few people like having to figure out their way around the complex technology, whether on the administrator side or the base user side.

If you’re considering a PEO at all, then you no doubt want something that is going to run smoothly.

Onboarding with JustWorks on the administrator side is straightforward, as you get no setup fee and a dedicated onboarding specialist for your company.

This means the setup process should be a breeze. The web interface is supposedly very user friendly and you get a dedicated account manager and customer service options post-setup as well.

For employees, we say JustWorks to be as simple as using an iPhone – that’s telling ease of use. The JustWorks interface is a nice, clean and very intuitive for even technology-challenged employees.

Employees will also still have access to their account manager if they have a question. Insperity gives you an onboarding and orientation team.

That will help whoever is playing the administrator role in your company breeze through the new client process.

The same team will also help present the information to your team in a paperless onboarding process so everyone is enrolled and good to go.

Insperity does, however, charge a setup fee that varies based on the size of the company and you have access to a dedicated account manager and customer service options if you need any help.

For employees, Insperity requires them to use either their web portal or mobile app. There is no live chat support, which can be a major downside for employees.

But the reviews for Insperity have all shone positively in favor of the ease-of-use for employees. Per online reviews, administrator support is where TriNet appears to lose a lot of points – still, this doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance.

Onboarding Plan

TriNet has an onboarding plan that spends fifteen days onboarding both admins and all current employees to ensure that the setup is working as it should be.

After the setup, you will, like JustWorks and Insperity, have access to a dedicated account manager and customer service options.

Like Insperity, TriNet requires that employees use their web portal or mobile app. It also does not have a live chat support and the email support has been called less than stellar.

However, their phone support hours and general employee onboarding process is said to be very straightforward, which is always a plus.

Range of Benefit Options

One of the most important factors in choosing a PEO as a small business is making sure they offer exactly what you will need when it comes to benefits.

The more options you and your employees have, the more than likely you are to have a happier setting.

JustWorks is, again, very transparent about their benefits partners via their website. Health partners include names like Aetna and MetLife, and they also offer 401K partners.

Commuter benefits, HSAs, FSAs, disability insurance, workers’ compensation as well as numerous others.

Insperity works with quite a few medical insurers for medical insurance and then works directly with UnitedHealthcare for dental and VSP for vision.

For disability and life insurance, they work with Cigna. Insperity has their own brand for FSAs and HSAs as well as for commuter benefits and educational help.

As we mentioned before, one of the biggest benefits to working with Insperity is the customization options when it comes to choosing services, so it’s definitely worth a look.

TriNet has one of their main benefits in its size and that comes from its partnerships with a handful of major medical insurance providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna and so on.

401K plans, disability, and life insurance plans, among many other benefits, are available but it is uncertain whether you partner them with services like TriNet or platform-specific benefits.

Customer Service Options

As a small business owner, you know that good customer service is a must. Good customer service from your PEO is key, without question.

JustWorks offers live chat on the web as well as phone support that operates Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm EST. Their hours will expand to 8:00 am to 8:00 pm soon.

Insperity offers email and phone customer service options, though no live chat. Their hours are from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm CST, Monday through Friday. The customer service representatives have a very good reputation when it comes to providing support.

TriNet has email and phone support available from 7:30 am to midnight EST, Monday through Friday. That’s a big window of time for those who like working late.

Our Final Thought:  JustWorks Is Best PEO For Small Business

When picking a PEO service for your small business, no matter what, do your research. Get quotes from multiple PEO services to get an idea on what will work best with your budget.

And figuring out what services and benefits will work best for you. We recommended JustWorks out of the three, but that doesn’t mean it will be the best option for you.

You need to do your due diligence to ensure that any PEO service you bring on is going to be an asset to your business rather than a hindrance.

The WiseSmallBusiness Team is full of industry experts and successful business owners  willing to contribute important business articles.


  1. Most business owners agree that their employees are their most valuable assets. PEO firms provide small employers the unique opportunity to offer their staff a robust and medical plans,Insurance, healthcare, hospitality, financial security and many more.

  2. Tina Connors Reply

    I really Agree with this blog article. Really Amazing Blog!!! Peo Services handles the all employee requirements and health insurance.Employee benefits play a important role.

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