7 Best International Payroll Services 2023
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
The best international payroll services provide you with online solutions for managing and paying workers located in other countries. Using these tools and services, you can be assured that your company complies with local tax and hiring laws. Some even let you pay contractors, while others offer employer of record (EoR) solutions—allowing them to handle your international employment needs. Most also provide or connect companies with professional employer organizations (PEOs) to hire, onboard, and manage foreign employees on-site.
In this guide, we evaluated 14 of the most popular international payroll providers and narrowed our list down to the seven best.
- Papaya Global: Best overall for businesses planning to expand internationally
- Rippling: Best all-in-one HR, payroll, and IT solution
- Deel: Best for multiple payment options (includes a contractor card)
- Remote: Best international payroll service with stock option tracking tools
- OysterHR: Best for onboarding and payroll support
- Multiplier: Best budget-friendly multicountry hiring and payroll solution
- Globalization Partners: Best for compliance support and digital assets protection
Best International Payroll Services Compared
All of the global payroll providers we reviewed offer EoR services, international tax support, online onboarding, payments for employees and contractors, and access to localized benefits packages. They also have in-country experts who can guide you through the complexities of managing local laws and regulations. Here are some of each provider’s key features.
Starter Monthly Pricing
Special Contractor Management Plan
Number of Countries
Other Tools and Services
$12 per employee for global payroll
$770 per employee for EoR
$25 per worker monthly
$20 per employee for global payroll*
$599 per employee for EoR*
$20 per worker monthly
Starts at $599 per employee for EoR
Starts at $49 per worker monthly
Custom-priced for global payroll
$699 per employee for EoR
$29 per contractor monthly
Starts at $599 per employee
Starts at $29 per worker monthly
Starts at $20 per employee for global payroll
Starts at $300 per employee for EoR
$40 per worker monthly
Custom-priced for global employee payments
Starts at $49 per contractor monthly
*Pricing is based on a quote we received
Papaya Global: Best Overall International Payroll Service
- Intuitive platform with transparent pricing
- Responsive local support
- Consolidated payroll reports
- Cross-border payroll payments in as fast as 72 hours
- No free trial
- Business intelligence reports and immigration services cost extra
- No check mailing support
- Lacks local entities; only has partners in countries that it services
Papaya Global is a fast-growing, well-funded international payroll service that touts a 99% customer retention rate. It offers complete payroll services in over 160 countries and serves companies such as Microsoft, Toyota, Intel, and Wix. Aside from providing payroll and EoR services, the provider has standalone solutions for businesses looking for data analytics, supplemental benefits, third-party workforce-related payment services (such as pension and national insurance payments), or an online platform to manage employee data.
This multicountry payroll service scored 4.59 out of 5 in our evaluation, with perfect scores in many of our criteria. Transparent pricing, solid HR features, in-country and onboarding support, and advanced reporting options contributed to its high ratings. While it also provides nearly any type of foreign payroll services your business may need, including tax filings, it didn’t get a perfect score in payroll features since it lacks local entities in the countries that it services and a tax penalty guarantee. It also scored lower on our popularity measure because it has very few reviews (fewer than 100) compared to Rippling’s 1,000+ reviews.
Papaya Global offers several services and solutions:
- Full-Service Payroll: $12 per employee monthly
- Includes access to the payroll platform, embedded payments, employee portal, and partner network
- Employer of Record: Starts at $770 per employee monthly
- Employee payroll + advisory services and compliance tools
- Contractor Management: Starts at $25 per employee monthly
- Payroll + compliance and contractor management
- Global Expertise Services: Starts at $250 per employee monthly
- Supplemental benefits plans and immigration support
- Payroll Platform License: Starts at $3 per employee monthly
- Access to Papaya Global’s platform to consolidate and manage employee data (no payroll services)
- Payments-as-a-Service: Starts at $3 per employee monthly
- Add-on services to facilitate ad hoc workforce payments (eg. national insurance and pension payments)
- Data and Insights Platform License: Starts at $150 per location monthly
- Includes access to real-time headcount and payroll costs
- Money-back guarantee: Papaya Global is the only payroll provider in this guide that offers a 60-day money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with its performance.
- Robust payroll and tax filings: Papaya Global will help you stay compliant with labor laws, file tax forms, and process payments with agencies like the IRS and national insurance. Payroll payouts are made in the local currency and language and, if possible, through local bank transfers or direct deposits. Papaya Global’s acquisition of Azimo, a digital money transfer service, also enables it to offer fast cross-border payments (guaranteed payouts in 72 hours) to more than 150 countries.
- Solid HR tools: Papaya Global handles hiring, onboarding, employment compliance support, benefits, and HR reporting. Its state-of-the-art employee and document management system securely stores all staff information and forms. It even integrates with popular HRISes (SAP SuccessFactors and Workday), expense management tools (Expensify and SAP Concur), and ERP solutions (NetSuite). However, if you need robust integration options, consider Rippling, as it has a network of 500+ partner systems.
- Extensive immigration services: Unlike the other payroll services we reviewed, Papaya Global offers robust immigration services that include obtaining visas, residence permits, and work permits for expatriates and short-term assignments, as well as spouse and family permits. Remote may also have a strong immigrant program but is targeted at refugees, while Deel and Globalization Partner’s visa support solutions aren’t as extensive as Papaya Global.
- Accessible and expert support: It has 24/7 phone and email support, online training documentation, and set-up assistance. Papaya Global also has in-house experts on labor laws, compensation and benefits benchmarks, and compliance to help you when needed.
Rippling: Best All-in-One HR, Payroll & IT Platform for International Workers
What We Like
- Integrates with over 500 business apps
- Offers modular HR, payroll, and IT solutions; can create a custom plan to fit your requirements
- Onboarding and document management
- Easy to use
- Pricing isn’t all transparent
- Doesn’t offer special discounts for startups and refugee hiring
- Benefits administration, IT tools, and HR advisory services are paid extras
- You can’t buy its payroll solution (and other modules) without purchasing its core workforce management platform first
Rippling offers payroll services, as well as HR and IT support, in more than 150 countries. Its strength lies in its ease of use, robust automation tools, and supreme ability to work with other applications. Its HR solution suite has evolved over the years, with the addition of EoR services and finance solutions for managing expenses and corporate credit cards. Companies with international workers can use Rippling’s feature-rich platform to manage essential HR, payroll, and IT processes—from tracking employee attendance to monitoring the inventory of laptops assigned to employees across 150+ countries.
Since Our Last Update: Rippling has released its new headcount planning and compensation bands solution. This feature provides you with a single source of truth for all your headcount numbers and compensation costs, streamlining the process of having to manually track approved headcount for new hires while preventing out-of-compensation band salary offers.
Scoring 4.44 out of 5, Rippling earned high ratings (4+) in most of our evaluation criteria. While it has efficient payroll processing tools, its paid time tracking add-on and tax penalty guarantee that only covers mistakes its representatives make prevented Rippling from getting a higher score. It also lost points because Rippling’s pricing isn’t fully transparent for all of its products and services. You have to contact the provider to get pricing information.
For multicountry payroll and hiring, Rippling offers the following services:
- Global payroll: $20 per employee monthly
- Global contractor payroll: $20 per worker monthly
- EoR services: $599 per employee monthly
*Note that the above pricing is based on a quote we received
- Automated payroll and tax filing: Rippling syncs hours worked, PTO, benefits deductions, and taxes and withholdings automatically to process payroll in 90 seconds. You can make payroll payments by check or direct deposit where available. It calculates hours worked and deductions and processes employee payments in the appropriate currency via international wire. Rippling also automatically files payroll taxes for your employees.
- Robust reporting: Rippling offers HR, payroll, and tax reporting. You can either use its extensive library of pre-built reports or configure your own payroll report. It even has Excel-like formulas that you can add to custom reports, allowing you to generate data showing calculations for tenure, fixed bonus amounts, and more.
- Time and task management: Unlike Multiplier, Remote, Deel, and Oyster, Rippling can automatically track your employees’ time in/out, location, and activities in real time. You can also change employees’ pay rates as they move from one job to another.
- Device and app management: With Rippling’s device and app management tools, employers can remotely manage and protect international employees’ devices. It can also help you set up and disable all of your employees’ business apps, like Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft 365. This is another unique feature for Rippling, which is not present with the other providers in this guide. Further, Rippling integrates with over 500 apps, so it’s extremely versatile. No other software on our list has this breadth of flexibility.
- Ease of setup and use: Large companies can deploy in weeks and small companies within an afternoon with Rippling. It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface. If you have questions about its features, you can contact its customer service reps via live chat, although one-on-one HR support is also available (but this is a paid option).
Deel: Best International Payroll Service With Multiple Payment Options
- Assigns a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) to its clients
- Built-in expense and time-off management tools
- Dedicated support with contractor misclassification protection services
- Multiple payment options (bank transfer, crypto, bitcoin, digital payment processors, and contractor card)
- Doesn’t offer a special plan or discount for hiring refugees
- Dedicated CSM is not provided to small business (only available to enterprises)
- Contractor misclassification protection services available only in higher tiers
Like the other providers on our list, Deel offers separate plans for its EoR services and contractor management tools to help you hire and pay employees and contract workers, respectively. It also offers localized contracts, compliance support, online onboarding, benefits plans, tax filing assistance, and automated invoicing. What sets Deel apart from the other payroll services we reviewed is its 15 contractor payment options, which include payouts via bank transfers, cryptocurrency and digital payment processors, and a Deel contractor card.
Its Deel HR solution also lets you manage your workers’ information, track and approve time-off and expenses, run payroll, generate reports, and more. Companies with up to 200 workers can use it for free, while those with 201 and more employees can call Deel to request a quote.
Scoring 4.38 out of 5 in our evaluation, it earned ratings of 4 and up in HR features, pricing, reporting, and ease of use. Deel would have ranked higher on our list if it offered time tracking tools and dedicated support for all clients (this is only available for large businesses).
Deel offers the following plans:
- Contractors: Pricing starts at $49 per worker monthly
- Deel offers three contractor plans; higher tiers include contractor misclassification protection services and access to HR support
- EoR Employees: Full EoR service costs $599 per employee monthly
- Direct Employees: Start for free (via Deel HR)
- Ideal for companies that onboard and pay employees hired through their own local entities
- Deel HR: Free for companies with up to 200 employees
- This is Deel’s HR solution for managing your workforce, from direct-hire employees to international workers
Discounts for VC-backed startups with less than $10 million in funding are also available. Note, however, that the discount only applies to the client’s first year with Deel.
- Multiple payroll payment options: Deel is the only payroll provider on our list that can pay employees and contractors in many different ways. Apart from bank transfers, your workers can receive salary payouts via Binance and Coinbase (as cryptocurrency), as well as through digital payment processors like Wise and Payoneer.
- Contractor payment card: With Deel, you can provide contract workers with a contractor card they can use to receive payroll and pay for personal purchases. It has virtual and physical versions—although the physical card doesn’t support ATM withdrawals. Note that the other providers on our list don’t offer a contractor payroll card.
- Dedicated customer success manager: Aside from 24/7 in-app support and compliance assistance, Deel provides a dedicated representative to help with system setup and serve as your point person whenever you have queries about your account. Note, however, that the dedicated rep is only available to large businesses.
- Contractor misclassification protection: Subscribing to Deel’s higher plans provides you access to contractor misclassification protection, wherein Deel will cover costs of up to $25,000 in case there’s a misclassification issue. The amount covers all legal fees and tax penalties, as well as third-party indemnity costs. Apart from Oyster, none of the global payroll providers in this guide offer similar coverage.
Remote: Best International Payroll Service With Stock Option Tracking
- Reasonably priced contractor management tools
- Can serve as EoR
- Available in 178 countries; local entities in countries that it services
- Solid intellectual property protection and stock option tracking tools
- No time trackers
- Contact support by email
- Doesn’t offer a free trial
Remote offers international HR and payroll services across 170+ countries. Like Papaya Global, it has solid payroll functions plus provides compliance tools and assistance, customizable reports, and benefits options for international employees. If you want to provide stock options as an incentive to your employees, Remote can help you track stock option plans and manage the applicable tax requirements that come with granting, vesting, exercising, holding, and selling stocks. It even offers free EoR services if you plan to hire refugees.
Since Our Last Update: Remote has partnered with Coinbase to provide more salary payment options for employees. Your staff can choose to receive payments via a Coinbase account. Workers employed through Remote can also choose to get a portion of their salary as cryptocurrency.
It offers affordable contractor payroll tools, transparent per-employee pricing for its EoR services, and quote-based pricing for global payroll—features that contributed to its overall score of 4.36 out of 5. Its discounts for startup and Series A businesses, social purpose organizations, and companies that hire refugees make Remote stand out from the rest on our list. However, its online support features are not as good as those of Deel and Papaya Global, as it doesn’t provide dedicated support to its clients.
Remote has four plans:
- Contractor Management: $29 per contractor monthly
- Includes contractor payroll tools
- Employer of Record: Starts at $699 per employee monthly ($599 per employee monthly if billed annually)
- Includes automated employee payments, hiring and legal compliance management, employee benefits, invention and IP rights protection, and access to local HR/legal experts
- Global Payroll: Call for quote
- Includes payroll services, invention and IP rights protection, and legal compliance management
- Remote Enterprise: Call for quote
- Includes all of its solutions plus dedicated support, customized reporting, and free consultations with its in-house HR and legal experts
Discounted pricing for qualified startups and social purpose organizations, including refugee-hiring are also available.
- Discounts for startups: Qualifying pre-seed, seed, and Series A businesses can get this and the following perks:
- 15% off its EoR service on all full-time hires for the first 12 months (available for annual plans only)
- 15% off its contractor management services for the first 12 months
- Discounts for social purpose organizations: Qualifying nonprofits, charities, trusts, social enterprises, and benefits corporations get this. Its other special perks and discounts include:
- 15% off its EoR service on all full-time hires for the first 12 months (available for annual plans only)
- 15% off its contractor management services for the first 12 months
- Co-marketing opportunities
- Special plan for hiring refugees: Remote will act as a free EoR for your refugee talent (up to 10 employees only). You can activate this when hiring a refugee who has the legal right to work in any country where Remote has an entity.
- Perfect for hiring contractors: Remote’s contractor management solution lets you onboard contractors locally, pay them in their currency with zero exchange fees, manage their employment documents, and get 1099s for US contractors. The contractor platform works seamlessly with the employee payroll platform, so you don’t have to switch between the two.
- Highly informative website: Remote is not stingy with its information. The website contains a wealth of information about different country regulations and running HR; even if you don’t go with Remote, it’s worth exploring. The websites of other providers on our list may also have similar features, such as Papaya Global’s CountryPedia (which shows per-country payroll and employment details), but Remote’s is the most extensive.
- EoR capability: Let Remote act as your employer abroad. It will onboard, pay, and manage contractors and employees. It provides HR support from local experts, as it has legal entities in every country it serves. Aside from offering competitive benefits, it tracks stock option plans and ensures your intellectual property and invention rights are protected. And while Papaya Global, Oyster, and Globalization Partners can help manage refugee hiring, Remote offers this service for free (for up to 10 employees).
- Multicountry payroll, one invoice: You can view and approve payroll for all of your employees on a single platform. Once payroll is approved, you can send employees’ salary payouts in their local currency with just one click. Further, Remote supports over 100 currencies in 178 nations—and it does not charge interchange fees. It handles your local taxes and ensures you stay compliant with local regulations.
Oyster: Best for Onboarding & Payroll Support
- Affordably priced plans
- Dedicated support for account and system setup; clients who plan to ramp up global recruitment get a hiring success manager to help them hire employees
- Offers online tools to calculate employment costs and analyze worker misclassification risk
- Pricing for EoR services varies, depending on country (can cost $699 per employee monthly for some locations)
- Limited third-party software integration options
- Benefits is a paid add-on
With Oyster, you can hire, onboard, pay, and provide benefits to employees in more than 180 countries. It supports more than 120 currencies, offers invoicing and expense management tools, and provides access to locally compliant contracts. Onboarding employees is a breeze with Oyster’s easy-to-use platform, although new clients also get system setup and initial onboarding assistance from a dedicated customer success manager (CSM). In addition to its support team, it offers the services of hiring success managers if you need recruiting and onboarding assistance.
In our evaluation, Oyster earned an overall rating of 4.23 out of 5, with perfect marks in pricing and high scores (4+) in ease of use, payroll functionalities, HR tools, and in our expert review. It lost points due to the lack of time tracking capabilities and limited report customizations. It also received a low score in our popularity criterion because the average number of user reviews in third-party sites like G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot is fewer than 500.
With Oyster, you can choose from three plans:
- Contractor: Starts at $29 per contractor monthly
- Includes hiring, payroll, onboarding, invoicing, and expense management tools
- Employee: Starts at $599 per employee monthly (pricing varies, depending on country)
- Includes EoR services, payroll, compliance support, and IP protection
- Scale: Custom-priced
- Includes custom global compliance assistance and access to a dedicated hiring success team
It offers discounts for qualified nonprofit organizations and B Corp businesses. Hiring refugees in countries where Oyster has direct entities is also free (up to 10 refugee hires per company only).
- Affordable contractor payroll solution: One of Oyster’s standout features is its reasonably-priced contractor payroll package, which is less expensive than most of the providers in this guide. Oyster’s monthly starter pricing is $29 per worker—lower than Multiplier ($40 per worker monthly). However, it isn’t as affordable as Rippling and Papaya Global’s contractor management solutions, which only cost $20 and $25 per worker monthly, respectively.
- Solid customer support: Oyster prides itself on the type of support it provides to customers. It assigns dedicated customer success managers to new clients and offers access to a team of experts to ensure that you remain compliant with country regulations and labor laws. For those planning to recruit several employees in one go, Oyster will even offer the services of a dedicated hiring success manager to help business owners find and hire candidates that best fit their requirements.
- Access to global HR and employment tools: Oyster’s online platform and website are filled with free-to-use tools to help you navigate global hiring and manage a distributed workforce. Aside from an online calculator that shows your total employment cost, it has a “benefits adviser” tool that provides you with a list of statutory and best-in-class benefits plans that local benefits advisers recommend. It even has an employee misclassification risk analyzer, which is helpful if you are unsure whether to hire a worker as an employee or a contractor.
Multiplier: Best Budget-friendly Multicountry Hiring & Payroll Solution
- Hiring solution covers 150+ countries
- Supports payments in 120 currencies, including cryptocurrency payouts for contractors
- 24/5 assistance from local HR and legal experts
- Lacks time tracking features (only monitors leave accruals)
- Only integrates with BambooHR, as of this writing
- Benefits plans cost extra
Out of all the providers in this guide, Multiplier has the least expensive EoR package. For a monthly fee of $300 per employee, you can compliantly hire and pay international employees. This service already includes localized employment contracts, expense and leave management, benefits administration, and support from local HR experts. The other providers in this guide have EoR services that cost anywhere from $599 to $770 per employee monthly.
In our evaluation, Multiplier earned an overall rating of 4.06 out of 5. Its fully-transparent pricing, efficient payroll tools, and user-friendly interface contributed to its high scores. However, limited report customization and integration options, as well as the low number of average user reviews on third-party review sites (like G2 and Capterra), cost it some points.
Multiplier has two pricing plans:
- Hire Employees: Starts at $300 per employee monthly
- Includes instant employment contracts, multi-country and multi-currency payroll, online onboarding, benefits and insurance administration, expense and leave management, and employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) management tools
- Pay Freelancers: $40 per worker monthly
- Includes instant contracts, multi-currency and crypto payments, and benefits administration tools
- Run Global Payroll: Starts at $20 per employee monthly
- Includes multi-country payroll, benefits and ESOP administration, expense management, and multi-currency payments
- Provide Employee Insurance: Starts at $20 per employee monthly
- Lets you offer locally competitive insurance plans; also comes with benefits administration tools
- Dependent coverage is available but with additional fees
- Cryptocurrency contractor payments: Similar to Deel, Globalization Partners, and Remote, Multiplier can handle crypto payments if your workers chose this currency.
- Instant employment contracts: Multiplier claims that it can quickly generate online employment contracts that are multilingual and regionally compliant. You simply have to provide the new hire’s basic information (such as full name, email address, job title, and compensation details), and its system will create an online contract for you. You can also upload your own contract format into its platform or have the Multiplier team create a custom one for you.
- Laptop and IT asset management: Managing company-assigned laptops and IT accessories can be challenging, especially for companies with a distributed global workforce. Multiplier can help take the stress away from handling all that with its onboarding solution that lets you issue laptops directly from its platform. This is similar to Rippling and Deel’s device management tools that enable you to provide IT assets to overseas employees.
Globalization Partners: Best for Compliance Support & Digital Assets Protection
- Full compliance and local tax support
- Processes payroll in nearly 190 countries
- PEO and EoR services available
- Pricing isn’t all transparent
- Advanced support services cost more
- Requires two-month advance payroll deposit
Globalization Partners provides payroll services in almost 190 countries, which is more than the other providers on our list cover. It is also one of the best services for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance, digital asset and personal information protection, and legal support. While Globalization Partners offers a payroll platform with administrative and employee features, its most valuable offer is its local partners. This service can find local candidates, interview and hire employees, onboard new hires, manage payroll compliance issues, and assist with tax filing.
Since Our Last Update: Globalization Partners has changed its pricing plans, adding more product options (such as the G-P Meridian solution suite) to help you find, hire, onboard, and manage employees in 180+ countries.
Scoring 4.03 out of 5 in our evaluation, Globalization Partners earned perfect marks in HR features and reporting, given its solid HR and compliance support and robust report options. It scored the lowest in pricing and popularity among users because it doesn’t publish its pricing online and has limited user reviews on third-party review sites like G2 and Capterra. Reviewers said that its setup and onboarding processes, including its customer service, are excellent; however, there was a lot of paperwork to accomplish, and it was quite expensive compared to other providers.
Globalization Partners offers several product plans and services. You can get its full employment product suite or select the modules you need.
- G-P Meridian Core: Custom-priced
- Includes online tools for hiring, paying, and managing employees
- Comes with onboarding/offboarding tools, benefits, time and expense management, 24/7 help center access, and a dedicated support team
- G-P Meridian Prime: Custom-priced
- Core + white glove services, employment contract customization, benefits analysis, flexible payments, access to legal and HR experts, and a dedicated customer success manager
- G-P Meridian Contractor: Starts at $49 per contractor monthly
- Includes tools for hiring, managing, and paying international contractors
Since Our Last Update: Globalization Partners is offering a special promotion for its contractor plan. New clients who sign up for G-P Meridian Contractor won’t need to pay the subscription fee until the end of 2023. However, after this period, you’ll be charged the regular monthly rates.
Add-on services and solutions are also available under its G-P Meridian Select option. However, pricing for these are not available on the provider’s website. You have to call Globalization Partners to request a quote.
- G-P Meridian Recruit
- This solution grants you access to recruiting specialists to help you find qualified candidates in key locations globally
- Background checks
- Employment contract enforcement facilitation
- Visa support
- Equity payroll management
- This feature simplifies management of taxable events related to equity-based compensation
- Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) support and transition services
- Includes support to help reduce employee disengagement and improve retention during the transition phase
- Extensive HR tools: Globalization Partners provides complete localized HR, PEO, and EoR services and tax and legal support. Also, unlike Rippling’s HR tools, which serve both domestic and international hires, Globalization Partners offers these features solely for employees hired outside of the US. It even automatically generates employment contracts that comply with local labor laws.
- Automatic payroll services: It handles payroll, deductions, and taxes. It pays employees in local currencies and processes taxes according to each country’s schedule. Once Globalization Partners issues the payroll, it sends you the bill with all employee expenses included.
- Employee payments: It can pay employees through traditional direct deposits or manual checks. Globalization Partners also has flexible payment options, allowing you to fund your payroll either through bank transfer, Venmo, and cryptocurrency.
- Ease of use: Setup, hiring, onboarding, security, compliance, tax, training, and legal services are available. It also has customer support available 24/7 for your needs. However, unlike Deel, Papaya Global, and Oyster, it does not have a dedicated support representative. You have to upgrade to its highest tier to get a dedicated customer success manager.
Not sure how to choose the best international payroll service for your business? Check out our guide on finding the right payroll solution.
How We Chose the Top International Payroll Services
We started our research by comparing 14 reputable payroll providers for criteria such as transparency in pricing, PEO services, HR support, customer support, and payment options. After thoroughly exploring each provider’s offerings, we scored and ranked the services to narrow our list to the six best international payroll services.
Click through the tabs below for our full evaluation criteria:
25% of Overall Score
We looked for convenience features like automatic pay runs, local tax filing, and the ability to pay contractors and employees with manual check capabilities and direct deposit. Providers rank better if their services are available in more than 100 countries, with a team of in-country payroll and HR compliance experts.
20% of Overall Score
We highly favored providers that showed straightforward pricing with multiple plan options. In addition to each software’s per-employee pricing, we checked if any required setup fees. We also gave more points to providers that allow unlimited pay runs and have multiple plan options.
15% of Overall Score
The best global payroll service includes essential HR features, such as onboarding, self-service portals, and benefits. We favored companies that offered tools to help with legal compliance issues. We also considered PEO services and benefit and deduction assistance.
15% of Overall Score
We considered providers that don’t charge setup fees and offer online platforms that are easy to use. We also looked for an intuitive user platform, including live phone support, training options, and flawless integration with other software.
10% of Overall Score
In addition to the number of payroll reports, we considered whether they are customizable or if you could create special reports for your specific need.
10% of Overall Score
Sometimes, a service can check all the boxes but not be the best fit for a small business. The expert review is our opinion on how well a service meets SMB needs for payroll and HR, including its general value for the dollar.
5% of Overall Score
We took the average review ratings from third-party sites like G2 and Capterra, which are also based on a 5-star scale. Any option with an average of 4+ stars is ideal. We also favored software with 1,000+ reviews on any third-party site.
International Payroll Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A global payroll service helps you manage pay processing functions for all of your business locations across the world. It ensures that you pay international workers (either employees or contractors) correctly and on time, while keeping you compliant with country tax and labor laws. Its services also involve calculating the applicable wages and deductions, remitting payroll tax payments, generating and filing tax forms, and providing pay slips to employees.
In choosing the right payroll solution to handle your international pay processing needs, look at the size of your workforce, the location and number of countries where your business operates, and your budget. You should also consider the features you need (such as online onboarding, time tracking, employee benefits, and locally-compliant work contracts) and whether the provider offers the support services you want (like 24/7 assistance, dedicated support, and access to compliance experts).
Just as with finding and hiring workers in the US, you need to decide what types of employees to get for your business locations. Besides that, you will also need to consider the local employment laws of countries where you’re planning on hiring.
When it comes to paying distributed teams, it’s important to understand the method of payment, labor laws and tax regulations, and operational considerations you must comply with. This will prevent you from facing penalties and fines because of worker misclassification (e.g., you hired independent contractors, but if you direct their work, they are considered employees).
If you choose to hire international employees to manage day-to-day operations, you can control their work schedules, oversee how the work is completed, and even implement performance management measures.
On the other hand, when working with foreign independent contractors to complete specific projects, you are not legally allowed to direct how and when contract workers can do the job—they can set deadlines and define the output of the project. Note, however, that the definition of a contractor can vary in different countries. We recommend you consult with hiring and compliance experts to avoid potential worker misclassification issues.
For some of the pros and cons of employees vs contractors, click through the tabs below.
|Hiring international employees allows you to access a larger pool of candidates||Additional hiring costs when recruiting globally|
|Depending on the country and position, you may hire local employees for less than what you would pay in the US||You need to manage and stay on top of employment laws and compliance regulations of countries where your business operates in|
|You can direct your employees’ daily tasks, specify working hours, and discipline them for poor performance||When paying international employees, you have to be familiar with local payroll and tax laws, including eligibility to standard country benefits (such as Social Security and pension contribution programs)|
|For customer-facing businesses, you get a local employee to directly meet and service local customers instead of your US-staff managing client calls through online meetings||Time zone differences may provide challenges to managing distributed teams|
|Potential travel cost savings because hiring local employees helps limit business trips for your US staff to meet local clients||Additional overhead cost since you need to invest in a physical office and office equipment for your local staff|
|You don’t need to manage visa and work permit requirements (unless you need to relocate US employees in key positions to another country to handle business operations)|
|Hiring international contractors provides you access to a larger talent pool and cheaper labor as compared to paying for a similar role in the US||You don’t have complete control over the contractors’ day-to-day work tasks|
|You can only give contractors projects with a clear scope of work and expected completion timelines||Stay on top of in-country employment laws when hiring contractors to ensure you remain compliant|
|You cannot directly supervise the contractors’ daily tasks and specify working hours||In paying international contractors, familiarize yourself with local payroll regulations (some countries may require twice-a-month payments for contractors) and country tax rulings|
|While you can request for project updates, you cannot conduct performance reviews||If payroll payments for international contractors who work remotely (refers to non-US citizens performing all their work outside of the US) come from within the US, your workers have to file IRS Form W-8BEN and submit it to you (this will help you determine US tax withholding and reporting obligations)|
|Potential overhead cost savings because you may not need to get a physical office for local independent contractors|
International payroll services can help businesses that are expanding their workforce by keeping companies out of legal trouble and ensuring that local tax and employment laws are followed. If needed, they will also provide PEO, EoR, and outsourced HR services locally.
If you are looking to expand your business beyond the US, consider partnering with Papaya Global. It is affordable, offers an EoR solution, and has solid payroll services. In addition to providing local tax filing assistance and compliance support, it can help you manage and administer benefits plans for your global workforce.