EOR vs. PEO: What’s the Difference?

In the world of HR management, businesses often seek external partners to manage their workforce efficiently and compliantly. Two popular options are Employer of Record (EOR) and Professional Employer Organization (PEO). While they offer similar services, the way they operate and their impact on your business can be quite different. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between EORs and PEOs, focusing on their roles and benefits within the United States.

What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a third-party organization that becomes the legal employer of your workforce. This arrangement allows businesses to hire employees without the need to set up a local entity. The EOR handles all employment-related tasks, including:

  • Payroll processing
  • Tax compliance
  • Benefits administration
  • Employment contracts
  • Onboarding and termination

The EOR assumes full legal responsibility for compliance with labor laws, ensuring that your business avoids potential legal pitfalls.

What is a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)?

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a co-employment arrangement where the PEO shares certain employer responsibilities with your company. Unlike an EOR, the PEO does not become the legal employer; instead, it collaborates with your HR department to manage HR functions such as:

  • Payroll processing
  • Benefits administration
  • Workers’ compensation
  • HR compliance
  • Employee relations

The PEO helps your business access better benefits and reduce administrative burdens, but you retain legal responsibility for your employees.

Key Differences Between EOR and PEO

Legal Responsibility

One of the main differences between an EOR and a PEO is the level of legal responsibility they assume. An EOR takes on full legal responsibility for employment compliance, which is particularly beneficial for companies looking to simplify HR processes in the U.S. A PEO, on the other hand, shares legal responsibility with your business, making it more suitable for operations where your company already has a legal presence.

Scope of Services

Both EORs and PEOs offer comprehensive HR services, but their scope differs. EORs manage everything related to employment, including handling employment contracts and compliance with labor laws. PEOs typically focus on HR functions, providing support for payroll, benefits, and compliance, but they require your company to have a local entity.

Cost Structure

The cost structures of EORs and PEOs can vary. EORs usually charge a fee per employee, covering all employment-related costs such as payroll, benefits, and compliance. PEOs often charge a percentage of payroll or a flat fee per employee, with additional costs for specific services. EORs may be more cost-effective for businesses looking to streamline HR processes in the U.S.

Flexibility and Control

EORs offer flexibility for companies looking to manage employees across various states without establishing local entities. This can be particularly useful for businesses with a distributed workforce within the U.S. PEOs, however, provide more control over HR functions and are better suited for companies with established operations in specific locations.

Compliance and Risk Management

EORs mitigate risk by assuming full legal responsibility for compliance with employment laws. This can be a significant advantage for companies unfamiliar with the regulatory landscape. PEOs share compliance risks with your business, providing guidance and support but requiring your company to maintain compliance as well.

When to Choose an EOR

An EOR is the best choice for businesses looking to streamline their HR processes within the United States without setting up multiple local entities. Key scenarios where an EOR is advantageous include:

  • Hiring employees across various states
  • Managing a remote or distributed workforce
  • Reducing the risk and complexity of compliance
  • Quickly scaling operations without significant upfront investment

When to Choose a PEO

A PEO is ideal for businesses that need comprehensive HR support within their existing operations. Consider a PEO if your business:

  • Operates primarily within one state or has established local entities
  • Needs to offload HR administrative tasks and reduce costs
  • Wants access to better benefits and insurance options
  • Seeks to improve employee retention and turnover rates

Best Employer of Record USA

When looking for the best Employer of Record in the USA, consider factors such as their expertise in local labor laws, the quality of their HR services, and their track record. Reputable EOR providers can help you navigate the complexities of domestic employment landscapes, ensuring compliance and reducing risk.


Choosing between an EOR and a PEO depends on your business needs, growth plans, and the level of control you wish to maintain over HR functions. Both options offer valuable support, but understanding their differences will help you make an informed decision.

If you’re considering expanding your workforce and need expert assistance, consider Amtec’s Employer of Record services. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to compliance, Amtec can help you navigate the complexities of employment within the United States. Learn more about Amtec’s Employer of Record services and see how they can support your business growth.

By understanding the distinct advantages of EORs and PEOs, you can better align your HR strategy with your business goals, ensuring a smooth and compliant operation.

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