We compiled a list of almost 60 PEO services after analyzing industry trends, considering companies featured on other review sites, reviewing top industry players and searching NAPEO's (the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations) website.
After analyzing their small business services, establishing whether they were national PEOs, reviewing their accreditation and NAPEO membership, and grading their online presence, we whittled the list down to 35 companies.
From the list of 35, we conducted further research and chose 12 companies that stood out as industry leaders. We picked these 12 companies by diving deep into their services and reviewing their HR, payroll, benefits, and risk management offerings. We also established the types of training resources and customer reviews the company had.
From the list of 12 companies we selected, we chose five that stood out as best picks for customer service, small business, startups, very small businesses and midsize businesses. We then reviewed each company's pricing structure, contract requirements, online and mobile access, the services the PEO offered, and standout features.
Of the five best picks we determined, we dug even deeper, evaluating the customer service and features the plans offer. We contacted our finalists by phone, speaking as small business owners. We inquired about the PEO's plan structure, pricing and cancellation policy. The five companies withstood each round of our testing and stood out in all of our interactions with them.