A smiling young man wearing an apron sits at a table in a rustic restaurant or bar. He writes on a yellow notepad with one hand and holds a smartphone with the other. Arranged on the table are a small calculator and several pieces of paper. In the background are a few more wood-topped tables, a bar, and a wall of shelves filled with bottles.
Many payroll services allow you to send digital or print versions of tax forms directly to employees. — Getty Images/andresr

The best payroll software for small businesses is easy to use, simplifying payroll and tax-filing processes. Many systems also provide human resources (HR) features, like state new hire reporting and paid time-off (PTO) tracking. Payroll services offer mobile apps for employees, which let them view pay stubs and time-off balances. Discover 10 small business payroll systems that can give you peace of mind and let you run payroll from anywhere.

Gusto: best full-service payroll system

Gusto is a full-service payroll provider offering automatic federal, state, and local tax filing for small businesses in all 50 states. It has three plans starting at $40 plus $6 per person monthly. All subscriptions include unlimited payroll runs, PTO policies, holiday pay, and state new hire reporting. Gusto provides employees with lifetime access to tax forms and digital pay stubs. In addition, it automatically generates and sends digital copies of 1099s and W-2s to your staff.

[Read more: How to Choose a Payroll Service for Your Small Business]

Wave: an excellent payroll system for solopreneurs

If you use Wave’s free invoicing and accounting software, its payroll service is a natural addition. Wave can pay and file state and federal payroll taxes for businesses in 14 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin). It costs $40 plus $6 per active employee or independent contractor monthly.

For companies outside of these states, you can choose the self-service option. In this case, Wave calculates your payroll taxes, but you file the documents and pay the taxes yourself. This version costs $20 plus $6 per active employee or independent contractor monthly.

OnPay: better for employee record-keeping

OnPay provides one plan that costs $40 plus $6 per person monthly. It integrates with QuickBooks Online and Xero. According to PCMag, “OnPay’s employee profiles are some of the most thorough.” You can customize the forms with various data fields, including drop-down lists and text boxes. “You could use these in employee records to, for example, track computer equipment or t-shirt sizes,” said PCMag.

Rippling: a complete HR workforce solution

Rippling is a customizable workforce management platform. You can add modules for payroll, professional employer organization (PEO) services, device management, and more. It integrates with more than 500 third-party tools and can sync to your general ledger. Rippling provides mobile apps for employers and employees, allowing small business owners to run payroll on the go and workers to check pay stubs from their cell phones. Pricing is available by contacting the company.

If you use Wave’s free invoicing and accounting software, its payroll service is a natural addition.

Intuit QuickBooks: great option for contractor-only payroll

Intuit QuickBooks has a unique contractor-only plan for $15 per month. It includes unlimited payments to up to 20 freelancers, and you can add more contractors for $2 per person. Each contractor can set up a free account to complete their W-9 forms and provide banking information online, so you don’t need to handle their confidential data. QuickBooks Payroll also lets you create and e-file an unlimited number of 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC forms.

[Read more: Managing Your Own Payroll and Benefits? Why It Might Be Time to Consider a PEO]

ADP: ideal for scaling your small business

ADP has several plans for companies with one to 49 employees under the program ADP Run. These versions provide multi-jurisdiction payroll and unlimited runs. ADP files, pays, and reconciles payroll on your behalf, and new hire onboarding tools come with all subscriptions. As your business grows, you can move into ADP Workforce Now for companies with 50 or more workers. It includes advanced reporting and HR features. Pricing is available by contacting ADP.

Patriot: a low-cost no-tax-filing option

Patriot payroll software starts at $17 plus $4 per employee or contractor monthly for no-tax-filing plans or $37 plus $4 per employee or contractor monthly for full-service payroll. Patriot states, “The average customer runs payroll in under 3 minutes.” Along with affordable service plans, Patriot provides a free payroll setup. You give them your information and they handle the rest, or you can use the payroll startup wizard.

Paychex Flex: best for 24/7 customer support

Paychex Flex works in all 50 states and offers 24/7 customer service, even on its base plan, Paychex Flex Essentials. It automatically calculates, files, and pays payroll taxes. Employers can perform payroll tasks with voice assistant integrations with Siri and Google or receive text notifications. Paychex Flex pricing starts at $39 plus $5 per person monthly.

Square: best payroll service for seasonal businesses

Square Payroll is the only provider that lets you pause payroll services for seasonal inactivity. Others require employers to pay the monthly subscription price. It costs $35 plus $6 per employee or contractor monthly. Square Payroll automatically files your federal, state, and local payroll taxes and can handle multistate payroll for no extra charge. Plus, it mails W-2s and 1099-NEC forms.

[Read more: Online Payroll Software and Service: A Guide for Beginners]

SurePayroll: for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees

SurePayroll is owned by Paychex and only offers payroll services for companies with fewer than 10 employees. After you’ve processed six rounds of payroll without any non-sufficient funds incidents, SurePayroll may let you pay employees on the same day or the next day. Otherwise, the vendor processes payroll over two to four days. It has a no-tax-filing option and a full-service solution, with pricing available via a custom quote.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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