Difference Between EOR and PEO

HR team doing discussion

The world of work is changing. Remote teams, international expansion, and a growing gig economy are all becoming increasingly common. But managing these changes can be a headache, especially when it comes to the nitty-gritty of payroll and HR.

This is where two key players come in: Employer of Record (EOR) and Professional Employment Organization (PEO). Both offer solutions for managing your workforce, but they work in different ways. Let’s break down the differences so you can choose the best option for your business.

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What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?

Think of an EOR as a behind-the-scenes helper. When you partner with an EOR, they become the legal employer for your team members. This means they handle things like payroll processing, taxes, benefits administration, and other HR responsibilities. You, on the other hand, still control who you hire, fire, and how you manage your team. Basically, the EOR takes care of the paperwork, freeing you up to focus on running your business.

What is a Professional Employment Organization (PEO)?

A PEO acts more like a co-employment partner. You share the employer responsibilities with the PEO. They handle tasks like payroll, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance, but you remain the legal employer. This means you’re still responsible for hiring, firing, and managing your employees.

Which One is Right for Me?

FeatureEmployer of Record (EOR)Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
Employment RelationshipEOR becomes the legal employer.Shared employment with PEO.
Control Over EmployeesYou have full control over hiring, firing, and managing your team.You share control with the PEO.
Ideal ForBusinesses expanding internationally or managing remote teams without setting up a legal entity.Businesses with a local presence who want bundled HR services and risk mitigation.
CostTypically more flexible pricing based on your specific needs.May have fixed monthly fees or fees based on payroll.
Benefits AdministrationHandled by EOR.Handled by PEO.
Compliance and Legal IssuesEOR ensures compliance with local labor laws and regulations.PEO assists with compliance but you share the responsibility.
Onboarding and OffboardingManaged by EOR, including all paperwork and legal requirements.PEO supports these processes but you remain involved.
HR SupportComprehensive HR services provided by EOR.Extensive HR support services provided by PEO.
LiabilityEOR assumes most legal liabilities.Liability is shared between the PEO and your business.

Compliance and Legal Issues

One crucial aspect that businesses must consider when choosing between an EOR and a PEO is compliance with local labor laws and regulations. Both EORs and PEOs help navigate the complex landscape of employment laws, but their approaches differ:

  • Employer of Record (EOR): An EOR ensures full compliance with local labor laws and regulations, taking on most of the legal liabilities. This is particularly beneficial for companies expanding into new international markets, as the EOR assumes responsibility for adhering to the specific employment laws of each country.

  • Professional Employer Organization (PEO): While a PEO also provides support in compliance, the responsibility is shared. The PEO helps your business stay updated on local labor laws and assists in maintaining compliance, but you still hold some level of liability.


The best choice for you depends on your specific situation. If you’re looking for a way to manage a remote workforce or expand internationally without setting up a local office, an EOR might be a good fit. If you already have a local presence and want extra help with HR tasks and risk management, a PEO could be the better option.

Knowing the difference between EORs and PEOs allows you to make an informed decision about managing your workforce. Whether you choose an EOR to simplify things with a remote team or a PEO to get help with HR, both options can free up your time and energy to focus on what matters most – growing your business!

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