What is the difference between PEO and EOR?

A Comprehensive Guide to Choose the Best for Your Company

Deciding on the right way to manage your human resources can be a bit of a puzzle. You’ve probably heard of the two popular solutions: Professional Employer Organization (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR). But how do you decide which one’s right for you? To help you out, we’re going to delve into each service, breaking down their main differences, along with the benefits of each. To start, let’s get a grasp on the basic definitions. 

A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) is a firm that provides a service under which an employer can outsource employee management tasks, such as employee benefits, payroll and workers’ compensation, recruiting, risk/safety management, and training and development. The PEO does this by hiring a client company’s employees, thus becoming their employer of record for tax purposes and insurance purposes. This practice is known as co-employment.

On the other hand: 

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a company or organization that is legally responsible for paying employees, including dealing with employee taxes, insurance, and benefits. The EOR hires the employees of the client company, thus taking over the HR tasks. Unlike PEOs, the EOR fully assumes the employment relationship, which grants them more control over the workforce.


With these basic definitions, we are armed to explore further and understand how these two models impact businesses differently.

PEO - Professional Employer Organization

Firstly, let’s dive into Professional Employer Organization (PEO). When a company engages a PEO, it’s entering into a co-employment relationship. In simple terms, the PEO becomes a kind of shared ’employer’ for your staff members. They handle various HR-related tasks like payroll, benefits management, and regulatory compliance, allowing you to focus on your core business operations. But here comes the critical question: What’s the benefit? Well, here’s what you get with PEO: 

  • Reduced administrative burden: You don’t have to worry about dealing with human resource issues, regulatory paperwork, tax compliance, and the likes, freeing up your time and resources.
  • Cost savings: By aggregating your employees with others under their management, PEOs can negotiate better rates on employee benefits, passing the savings onto you.
  • Compliance expertise: PEOs have experts who are up-to-date with all the varying labor laws and tax regulations, drastically reducing your risk of non-compliance.

EOR - Employer of Record

Moving on, let’s consider Employer of Record (EOR). An EOR relationship takes the shared responsibility model a step further. The EOR becomes the legal employer of your workers, taking on all employer-related liabilities. Don’t misunderstand, you still retain complete operational control. So, what perks does EOR provide? 

  1. Greater liability protection: Since the EOR assumes most liabilities, it offers better protection against potential legal issues related to employment.
  2. Effective global expansion: EORs are particularly useful if you plan to expand into regions where you don’t have a legal entity established, seamlessly handling international employment laws and regulations.
  3. Flexible staffing solutions: With an EOR, you can quickly onboard new employees, deal with contractor issues, and manage seasonal workforce fluctuations with ease.

Which is more cost-effective, a PEO or EOR?

When making a business decision, cost is often a determining factor. So, it’s natural to ask: is PEO or EOR more cost effective? Let’s delve into that query. 

The cost effectiveness of either a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) or an EOR (Employer of Record) largely depends on your specific business needs and goals. 

A PEO usually charges either a flat fee per employee or a percentage of the total workforce’s payroll. They’re responsible for a range of duties including HR management, payroll, benefits administration, and risk management. This can lead to significant cost savings in terms of time and administrative workload. Here are some key points: 

  • Reduced HR-related costs: As a company grows, so does the complexity of HR duties. A PEO can shoulder these responsibilities, giving you the scalability you need without significant extra cost.
  • Better rates on benefits: Since PEOs deal with multiple companies, they can negotiate better rates on employee benefits. This would be less expensive than if a company were to manage benefits in-house.
  • Mitigating risks: Staying compliant with state and federal labor laws can be tricky. A PEO helps ensure compliance, which can save a company a lot in potential fines and legal fees.

In contrast, an EOR generally charges a percentage of the total gross payroll for its services, which can include administering and processing payroll, managing employee benefits, and handling all tax-related issues. Here are some crucial factors to consider: 

  • Global footprints: EOR is especially beneficial for companies looking to expand their workforce globally. They understand and can navigate the complex international labor laws, making the expansion process smoother and less costly.
  • Eases administrative burdens: Similar to a PEO, an EOR can significantly reduce the administrative load related to human resources, payroll, benefits, and tax obligations.

In conclusion, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Your decision will need to depend on your company’s specific needs. If you operate within a single country and require HR support and risk management along with cost savings, a PEO might be the preferred option. On the other hand, if your company is looking at global expansion, an EOR might be a more cost-effective choice. Remember, every decision should be made with the individual context of your company in mind.

To make the right decision, you should evaluate the needs of your business carefully before deciding on either a PEO or EOR model. At the same time, it’s pivotal to assess the offerings and capabilities of the PEO/EOR provider you are considering. Considering PEO or EOR in Colombia or Sweden? Reach out to us on: