Free HR and Payroll Software for Small Businesses

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If you’re an entrepreneur or run a small business, you know you have a lot to think about. Fortunately, there are a couple of free solutions that could let you put payroll and human resources on auto-pilot.

Zenefits offers free HR software

Is compliance with federal regulation hampering your ability to run a small business? There’s a free solution for compliance and so many other human resources issues out there that you should know about.

Dealing with benefits, payroll, health insurance, and compliance issues is a hassle and a big expense for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Enter a company called This Silicon Valley startup automates all the moving parts of human resources. The free offerings are subsidized by commissions the company earns on acting as a health insurance broker to small businesses.

Zenefits is a direct head-on challenge to industry incumbents like ADP and PayChex. In fact, ADP has been blocking clients that also try to use Zenefits. When the Zenefits CEO mouthed off about this, ADP hit him with a slander suit. But the funny thing is, by ADP making a big stink about this, they’re just bringing more publicity to Zenefits!

Regardless, the question with Zenefits is, how is the customer service? If something goes wrong, how do they deal with it? I haven’t used Zenefits for my own company yet…but I’m thinking about it.

The neat thing is even though Zenefits is a licensed broker for health insurance in all 50 states, you are under no obligation to buy anything from them. There are no gotchas. You can just use their HR suite of free software and nothing else from them.

Here’s a quick overview of what you get for free:

  •     HRIS (HR Platform)
  •     Employee Onboarding
  •     Benefits Administration
  •     Vacation & Paid Time Off
  •     Time & Attendance
  •     Stock Options Tracking
  •     Benefits & Insurance
  •     Payroll & Taxes
  •     Compliance

Gusto takes the hassle out of payroll

Gusto is another startup designed to offer payroll at a fraction of the cost that companies usually have to pay for big-name services like ADP and Paychex.

The cost is $39 a month, plus $6 per employee. Gusto also offers a free trial service.


The service is highly rated by PCMag for offering an easy-to-use interface, as well as ‘impressive’ innovation and automation — all for a good price.

Some of the best features noted by PCMag include:

  • Excellent user interface.
  • Employee self-onboarding.
  • Automates some payrolls.
  • Can cancel payroll.
  • Calculates and pays payroll taxes automatically.
  • Integrates with multiple accounting sites.
  • Free trial. Inexpensive.