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What is a checklist for choosing a PEO service?

4 min read

The decision to onboard a professional employer organization, or PEO carries a lot of weight for your business. However, choosing the right PEO service can be even heavier. Because a PEO plays such an integral role in the success of your business, you’ll want to find one that perfectly aligns with your organization’s needs and goals. 

At, we help connect you with top-quality PEOs that go above and beyond to provide HR solutions. However, we recommend some preparation before diving into your PEO selection process. Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist of steps to take when choosing a PEO service provider for your business. 

Determine if the PEO Service Meets Your Business Needs

The first step in the PEO selection process is evaluating your business’s needs. Generally, most PEOs will offer a pre-set bundle of services, including general HR solutions like payroll, compliance and risk management, and employee benefits. However, you’ll want to thoroughly evaluate these offerings before making any commitment. To get the most out of your PEO service, you must ensure their services align with your needs. Ask yourself, what current challenges does my business face? Do I anticipate any changes soon that could impact the services I need? The bottom line is to analyze all aspects of your business and determine how a PEO could take it to new heights. 

Assess the PEO’s Credentials and Experience Level

Once you’ve assessed your business’s needs and found a prospective PEO, it’s time to start doing your research. A reputable PEO service will meet state and federal requirements, have proper licensing, and be in good standing with organizations like the Employer Services Assurance Corporation, The Better Business Bureau, and local and state chambers of commerce. You may also keep an eye out for certified professional employer organizations, or CPEOs, which possess IRS certifications allowing them to take sole responsibility for federal employment taxes for wages. If you want to ensure you will not be liable for payroll processing or tax payments, a CPEO is your best option.

Along with credentials, you’ll also want to evaluate your potential PEO’s experience level. Some factors to consider include: how long the PEO has been in business, the average tenure of the PEO’s staff, the PEO’s client retention, and the PEO’s references and testimonials. When it comes down to it, you want to do right by your business by selecting a PEO equipped to take on your business needs. 

Ask for References 

A reputable and reliable PEO service will offer references reflecting positive client experiences. Before signing on the dotted line, you’ll want to reach out to 3-5 references representing both long-term and newer clients. When speaking with a client, you may ask them helpful questions such as: 

  • Why did you choose this particular PEO?
  • How has the PEO helped your business? 
  • What are this PEO’s weaknesses? 
  • What do you wish you had known before you joined the PEO?
  • How long do you plan to stay with the PEO, and why?

If the PEO does not share references or declines your request for some, alarm bells should go off in your head. Talking to clients about their experiences with a PEO will give you a better picture of how the PEO will align with your specific needs and benefit your business as a whole. 

Explore the PEO’s Digital Presence 

A PEO’s digital presence reflects its corporate personality, client engagement, and overall mission. So, before committing to a PEO service, you’ll want to do some cyberstalking. Look at your prospective PEOs’ social media presence to get a good sense of their public persona. When searching, keep a keen eye out for customer complaints, what those complaints are, and how the PEO responds to them. This will give you a good sense of how well they prioritize their client relationships and how well they would mesh with your business. 

Evaluate the PEOs’ Customization

When it comes to choosing a PEO, customization is key. While some PEOs offer one-size-fits-all service bundles, others provide more customized HR solutions specifically tailored to grow your business. When surveying a PEO, look for customizable plans that meet your organization’s needs and align with your current and future goals. If you anticipate your business growing significantly, you’ll want to make sure your PEO is flexible and can expand its services if needed. 

Simplify Your Business with 

At, we make it easier to find the perfect PEO provider for your business. With access to some of the largest PEOs in the country, our agents provide high-performing options that will unlock your business’s true potential. If you’re ready to take your business to new heights, connect with our team today to shop PEO quotes and receive competitive pricing within 24-72 hours!

Ready to take your business to the next level?

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals.

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