Choosing the right professional employer organization (PEO) for your company is crucial to ensuring the prosperity of your business.
The right PEO will take care of human resources, compliance, and other tasks for you, freeing up your time and allowing you to focus on important projects, as well as saving you money and giving you access to a slew of insurance providers.
The wrong PEO will cost more money and hassle than it’s worth, leaving you without the mental or financial resources needed to promote business growth.
I looked into over 900 different Minnesota PEO companies, investigating the top 15 and ranking the best 9, which left me with the best PEO in Minnesota.
But before I tell you my recommendations, you should know something about the best PEO.
The Best PEO Isn’t Always the Right PEO
I don’t even want to admit how many hours I’ve spent reading about over 900 different Minnesota PEOs, devising ranking factors, and then rating them all to discover the best PEO in Minnesota. But just because it scores highest on my list doesn’t mean that it’s the best PEO company for you.
- Some PEO companies provide industry-specific services, with knowledgeable support and benefits tailored to meet your needs.
- Some PEO companies cultivate good working relationships with insurance providers to provide you with an array of benefit options and lower insurance costs, saving you money in the long run.
- Some PEO companies make compliance their mission and offer specialized services so that you won’t ever have to worry about meeting legal compliance requirements.
The only guaranteed way to find out which PEO service is right for you is to determine your unique business needs and then compare those to each Minnesota PEO’s services. Doing so ensures that you’ll come away not with the best-scoring PEO, but the PEO that scores highest in the factors that matter most to you (like what the PEO costs you and what coverage its associated insurance providers offer to your workers).
If you’d like a free analysis of your business and a personalized PEO recommendation, fill out the form below. I’ll contact you within 24 hours with your recommendation.
If you’d like to know about the Minnesota PEOs that scored the highest on my list, keep reading for my recommendations.
1. Vensure — 9.45/10 (Best Overall PEO)
Vensure earned the title of the best PEO in Minnesota because although they don’t provide any truly unique or stand-out services, they do provide all their services efficiently. You’re not likely to encounter any critical issues with them.
They provide all the services you need from a PEO in Minnesota:
- Human resources paperwork
- Employee benefits management
- Tax withholding
- Compliance assistance
- Tax rates
- Employee contracts
- Dental insurance
- Risk management
- Health insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Administrative services
- Employee benefits administration
- HR support and other HR tasks
They back up their PEO services with reliable customer service. If you email them, they’ll contact you within 24 hours, but if you need more prompt responses you can call them.
One of the best aspects of Vensure’s PEO services is that while they have the capacity to service big corporations, they focus on small- and medium-sized businesses. So as your company grows they’ll be able to support and work with you.
Vensure may be the best PEO in Minnesota, but they don’t provide any extraordinary PEO services.
- While you’ll find all the basic services you need among their offerings, you won’t find any luxury services.
- Their customer service team is very capable, but they lack any personal touches that would make them really stand out.
- Their prices are just low enough to compete in the industry, but there are PEOs in Minnesota that charge less. So while they have great services and provide access to a variety of insurance providers, and your workers are likely to appreciate their services, they’ll cost you.
While Vensure is a great PEO service on paper, they don’t offer any unique services that’ll blow your mind.
I chose Vensure as the best PEO service in Minnesota because they offer all the services you need and they deliver them all efficiently. They provide competitive prices, great customer support, and a slew of PEO services that are sure to meet your business needs.
Every professional employer organization (PEO) determines their prices based on factors such as how many employees you have and your business needs, so you need to contact them to find out how much their services will cost. Click here for a price quote from Vensure.
2. CoAdvantage PEO — 7.90/10 (Best Customer Service PEO)
Don’t be fooled by the fact that CoAdvantage is #2 on my list. Just because I didn’t name them as the best PEO in Minnesota doesn’t mean they aren’t a good choice. In fact, they beat out Vensure in one area.
CoAdvantage offers all the services you expect from a Minnesota PEO service, such as assistance with payroll management, access to several health insurance providers, benefits management, risk management, workers' compensation, compliance tasks, onboarding new workers, and additional features.
Their pricing is very competitive so you won’t be disappointed there, and it’s easy to get set up with their system.
That’s all pretty great, but I found one area where they really shine: customer support.
I ran three separate customer support tests on them, and it took them an average of 46 minutes to reply to emails, and it typically took less than two minutes to get someone on the phone, which is outstanding.
Not only was their support team lightning fast, but they were also quite helpful and efficient. The agents I spoke with provided a solution to my problem without transferring me to other agents.
While I haven’t received any personal notes or birthday cards from them, that’s the only thing I can think of that they could do to improve their excellent customer service.
The main reason that CoAdvantage wasn’t named the best PEO in Minnesota is that their pricing is more expensive than Vensure’s. I got three different price quotes for three different fictional businesses, and each time their prices were about 10% more than Vensure’s.
Another drawback is the fact that their system was difficult to manage and I was forced to call their customer support team.
Neither of these issues are enough to eliminate them from my list, but they are enough to bump them to the #2 spot on this list of the best PEO services in Minnesota.
CoAdvantage is a reliable professional employer organization that provides all the services you need at competitive prices, and they back that with awesome customer support. Their system isn’t the most user-friendly, and they’re a little more expensive than Vensure. However, if you’re looking for a PEO service with excellent customer service, then CoAdvantage is a great option for you.
As with any other Minnesota PEO, you’ll need to contact them with information about your business (like how many employees you have and which services you’re interested in) before they’ll discuss pricing with you. To get a quote from CoAdvantage, click here.
3. Amplify PEO — 7.41/10 (Best Value PEO)
My third recommendation is Amplify PEO. They offer a full range of services, and great pricing, but there are drawbacks to their services.
Amplify offers the typical PEO services you should expect from a good Minnesota PEO service, such as a variety of health insurance providers to choose from, benefits management, human resources paperwork and other HR tasks, workers' compensation, payroll processing, risk mitigation, and other additional features.
Even though I had some trouble navigating their system after I’d gotten set up in it, it was quite easy to complete the setup process. Their customer service team was able to answer any question I asked them, and they had a very quick response time.
But the area in which they outshine both CoAdvantage and Vensure is their pricing. When I got quotes for all three of my fictional businesses, they were the top three best quotes I got from any Minnesota PEO. This was even more impressive when you consider that I added all the features and service options to these quotes.
I mentioned previously that even though Amplify provides great prices, there are some drawbacks to this Minnesota PEO service.
It was easy to complete the setup process, but I found the system difficult to navigate, even though I was attempting to complete some fairly routine tasks within the system.
I had to contact their customer support team to assist me with these issues, and while they responded in a reasonable amount of time, they weren’t as helpful as CoAdvantage’s customer service.
So they’re a good Minnesota PEO service overall, but they’ve got no stand-out features.
Amplify PEO is a dependable Minnesota professional employer organization that provides all the services you need for your business, as well as superb pricing. Their system is difficult to navigate and people who don’t have much technical knowledge will really struggle with it, and their customer service isn’t as helpful as it could be. But you won’t find a better price for PEO service in Minnesota. Amplify is a good choice for anyone looking to save money on PEO services.
Just as with the other professional employer organizations on the list, you’ll need to contact them for prices. To get a quote from Amplify PEO, click here.
Started in 2012, JustWorks is relatively new compared to other professional employer organizations. But it has grown fast, and now it’s providing PEO services in every state in the country.
They provide the basic services you should expect from a Minnesota PEO, like health insurance, risk management, human resources paperwork and support, legal compliance assistance, benefits management, and workers' compensation, and they’ll manage payroll tasks. But they also offer one benefit that none of the other professional employer organizations on my list provide: transparency.
They openly display their pricing structure on their website. Other professional employer organizations do their best to hide their pricing structure by requiring you to call them with more information before you get a quote. So this sort of transparency is not only refreshing, but it also lends them a degree of trustworthiness.
But I had to plug them into the #4 spot because of their age. It’s important in the professional employer organization industry that PEOs be well established and reliable.
It takes a lot of time and work to get set up with a new PEO, and most people can’t afford to go through the process all over again if their startup PEO company abruptly goes out of business.
I recommend waiting a few years for Justworks to become an established Minnesota PEO before trusting them with your business.
5. Infiniti HR
Infiniti HR stands out from the other professional employer organizations on this list because they offer a service that makes them unique.
Of course Infiniti offers all the services that a good Minnesota PEO should, such as health insurance, risk management, human resources paperwork, workers' compensation, payroll processing, compliance assistance, benefits management, and assistance with the onboarding process (which is an important process when hiring new employees). Their unique service is recruitment, which is massively beneficial to any business hiring new employees.
If you’ve ever experienced a quality employee, then you know that hiring the right employees can benefit your entire company.
The reason Infiniti is so far down my list is that, as with Justworks, they’re one of the more inexperienced professional employer organizations on my list. They’ve only been in the PEO game for the past decade, so they don’t have the same reliable performance history that other companies do, and it’s a good idea to pass on their services until they have a chance to establish themselves.
TriNet is the professional employer organization with the most seniority. They were first founded in 1988, and since then they’ve created an umbrella company that covers more than 16,000 companies and employs over 330,000 people.
They tick all the boxes when it comes to Minnesota PEO services, such as health insurance, human resources tasks, workers' compensation, payroll processing, risk mitigation, benefits management, compliance assistance, and onboarding forms.
But even though they offer the basic services you’d expect from a quality professional employer organization in Minnesota, they don’t offer any benefit that makes them worth their price. Rather, it appears as though they use their reputation to lure in new customers, instead of offering quality services or great rates to save you money.
Their customer service is lacking, they don’t provide any new services or specialize in any existing services, and they won’t go out of their way to earn your business because they know their reputation will earn them customers one way or the other.
So while TriNet may be a dependable option with a great reputation in the professional employer organization industry, they’re never going to offer any services or prices that will sweep you off your feet.
7. Oasis Outsourcing
Oasis is another long standing veteran in the PEO industry. They’ve been in business for the past 20 years and although they were recently bought out by PayChex, they kept their Oasis name.
Oasis is one of the professional employer companies I mentioned previously that offers industry-specific PEO options. In particular they specialize in the retail, education, banking, and hospitality industries. But they offer an array of PEO services that are sure to cover your Minnesota business needs, no matter your industry, like benefits management, access to several health insurance providers, and payroll management.
The reason I put Oasis down here in the “don’t bother” section of my list is that they force their clients to commit to a 12-month contract to serve them. The difference is that nearly every other professional employer organization in the industry works with their clients on a month-to-month basis, so Oasis is really shooting themselves in the foot with this practice.
8. ADP Totalsource
ADP is a large PEO company, serving businesses in over 140 different countries all over the world.
They offer the services that most small businesses need, such as health insurance, workers' compensation, HR services, help to manage payroll tasks, and compliance services to ensure your business follows Minnesota laws. They also offer a number of industry-specific services.
The best benefit of ADP’s PEO services is that their customer service isn’t limited to you as the business owner. Your employees have access to their customer service and can call ADP to ask questions about their services, filing unemployment claims, quarterly tax filings, or about their insurance benefits. This is a great benefit—by giving other workers access to your PEO’s customer service, it cuts out the middleman (you), which should save you time and headaches.
ADP’s downfall is the same as TriNet’s: small businesses won’t get the attention and support they need to grow because they’ll be lost among ADP’s bigger customers.
Insperity is a Minnesota PEO that I had high hopes for, but those hopes were dashed by one of Insperity’s mediocre service offerings.
They offer the same basic services that the other professional employer organizations on this list do, such as insurance, workers' compensation, and assistance with quarterly tax filings and unemployment claims, benefits management, HR paperwork, compliance, and they’ll manage payroll.
But the one aspect where they really fall short is their insurance. It’s no secret that health insurance is a major expense for any small business. It requires a lot of research and work to find providers that will cover all the benefits that your employees need, because every employee has different health care needs. Offering a variety of providers and options is a must for any PEO company, and a necessity for any business considering hiring a PEO.
So I’m baffled by the fact that rather than offering an array of insurance providers to choose from, they only have one. And I can’t tell you why this is because they haven’t given me a good reason for this shortcoming either.
The Best PEO For Your Business
There are more than 900 different professional employer organizations to service any Minnesota business, no matter how big or small. This can make the process of choosing the right PEO for your business in Minnesota perplexing.
Over the past six years I’ve spent over 230 hours researching the PEO industry in Minnesota, which led me to name Vensure, CoAdvantage, and Amplify PEO as the best PEO options in Minnesota.
Please note, these PEO companies are the best overall, which means they’ll cover the needs of most businesses in Minnesota. To get a recommendation for a PEO that will meet the individual needs of your Minnesota business and your employees, you’ll need the following information:
- The number of employees on your payroll
- What you want the PEO to help with (payroll, HR compliance, workers' compensation insurance, etc.)
- Employee benefits you want to offer to your team (such as health insurance and workers' compensation insurance)
- How much you can afford to spend on employee benefits
- The location of your small business
- The location where you conduct your business (if outside the office)
- How much customer support you’ll need
- Your technological capabilities
- How large you plan to scale
- Your industry
To find the right PEO for your company, simply enter your details below and I will provide a free assessment of your company needs.
The Best PEO Selection Process
I used a comprehensive process to choose the best PEO in Minnesota. But before I tell you all about my process, here’s a bit of background on me.
Why You Should Trust Me
You can trust me when I make a PEO suggestion because I’ve spent more time researching the PEO industry in Minnesota than nearly any other person on the planet. I’ve earned this knowledge both through hiring PEO companies for my own businesses and helping other people find their ideal PEO companies as well.
I first learned about PEOs with my first business, an online health company. I was drowning in all the work involved in owning my own business, such as managing the website, writing articles, and managing employees. I didn’t have the time or energy to adequately perform HR tasks like payroll processing, benefits management, finding good health insurance providers, and meeting the compliance requirements specified by Minnesota laws. All these HR tasks took up more time than I could afford to spend on them.
So I hired a staffing company to help me out, but they weren’t adequate to suit my business needs because they didn’t address these HR concerns. I eventually hired a fantastic PEO company.
After dealing with those hassles, I took some time off to catch my breath and prepare for my next business venture: a cafe! To say that these two businesses were unsimilar would be an understatement of epic proportions.
But even though the two businesses were different, I still found that I had the same HR headaches with my new business. I went back to the drawing board to find the right PEO for my business. I read through websites and online reviews, and listened to countless sales pitches when all I wanted was a simple answer to a simple question. It was information overload. But it helped me find the perfect Minnesota PEO for my business.
It didn’t take me long to realize that I don’t have the personality for a business in the hospitality industry. So I sold that business and considered my next project. The answer came in the form of several friends and colleagues asking me for a solution to their HR problems.
I made many PEO recommendations for my friends’ businesses, and as I did I wrote them down. Since then, I’ve made PEO recommendations for over 1,200 people.
How We Selected The Best PEO
I used a four-stage investigative process that whittled down a list of over 900 different PEO companies in Minnesota down to only 9.
Stage 1: Reviews
Reading online reviews was the first stage of my process.
Any PEO company that has been in business for longer than a year will likely have online reviews. Online customer feedback gave me enough information to figure out which companies were worthy of more research and which should be immediately eliminated.
I read through the most popular online review sites to find out which of the companies provided measly service offerings, expensive rates, or lousy customer service, and then crossed them off my list.
Stage 2: Offering Analysis
Unfortunately, the PEO industry in Minnesota isn’t uniform. Each PEO company offers different services and prices. It doesn’t matter how good a company’s reviews are if they don’t offer the services you need (like productivity-tracking tools or access to specific insurance providers).
This is why the second stage of my investigation included comparing the services of each Minnesota PEO company on my list. This gave me a baseline understanding of what the standard services and rates were and revealed which companies had inadequate services or inflated prices.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
No matter if a company has all the fancy services you want (like productivity tracking tools and specific insurance providers), has won several awards, and has great online reviews, it still might not be the best fit for you. Of course, online reviews can give you basic knowledge about a PEO company, but online reviews are skewed to extremes and limited to short character counts.
Because of these limitations, I reached out through my website to customers of each PEO company on my list and asked them in-depth questions about their service experience. Their detailed responses gave me a better idea of what it’s like to work with each PEO company.
Stage 4: Speaking with Their Sales Teams
One of the most important things you can learn about any company is how its staff reacts to feedback. So I took the feedback I’d gathered and asked the sales teams about it. Then I took note of whether the company used feedback to improve their business or if they shifted blame to their customers instead. The way companies handled feedback and presented themselves let me know whether they were serious about improving customer relations or if they had an unprofessional and negative company culture.
Here are the five ranking factors I used to place each PEO company on my list.
Factor 1: Offerings
It doesn’t make sense to choose a PEO if they don’t offer the health insurance and employee benefits that you need for your Minnesota business, or access to several insurance providers. So to make sure that you got quality services, the first factor I judged each Minnesota PEO by was the services that each PEO company provided, compared against the others.
Factor 2: Price
No two PEOs offer the same prices, even if they offer the same services and providers. And it’s hard to find out their prices because they make you call and give them information about your business before they’ll give you a quote. So I made price my second ranking factor and went through that whole annoying process myself and found out about the prices of each PEO for you so that you wouldn’t waste money on an overly expensive PEO service.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
Some PEOs require you to file mountains of paperwork and produce obscure documents or information, all of which make the already lengthy sign-up process take longer. Other PEOs gather most of the information that they need about your Minnesota business from government documents and automate the sign-up process.
To save you some time and prevent a few headaches on your end, for my third factor I tested each PEO on my list to find out how difficult it was to complete their sign-up process and then ranked them accordingly.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
Some PEO companies go out of their way to maintain upgraded servers and features for their systems and ensure a seamless user experience. Other PEO companies still house ancient servers and software, tacking on new features to an already clunky system, and their solution to navigating a confusing and slow system is to provide you with a gigantic user manual to explain it all.
Of course you don’t want to deal with a user-unfriendly computer system. Neither you nor your employees should have to put up with a confusing system when dealing with important aspects of your PEO service, such as payroll, benefits, or compliance with Minnesota laws. So to fulfill factor four I chose only the Minnesota PEOs with the most intuitive systems.
Factor 5: Customer Service
No matter how easy it is to use your Minnesota PEO’s system, you’ll eventually have questions about payroll, insurance benefits for your employees, forms, or a technical issue that requires you to call customer service.
Some PEOs don’t prioritize their customer service, so you’ll wait on the phone for hours before eventually being connected with an agent who doesn’t know anything about important aspects of PEO services (like helping to manage payroll and health insurance benefits for your employees) and has to transfer you to several other people—and by the end you still won’t feel like anyone helped you solve your problem. Other companies provide excellent customer service by answering the phone quickly, giving you helpful answers to your questions about payroll, health insurance and benefits, and technical issues, and make you feel good about partnering with a company that has such wonderful representatives.
The Best PEO For Your Business
While it’s true that Vensure is likely a good bet for most Minnesota businesses, it may not be the best fit for your Minnesota business.
It’s impossible for anyone to provide you with a recommendation for the best PEO for your business without knowing the size of your business and how many workers you employ, your average payroll costs, the type of insurance you want to provide, and the legal compliance needs of your Minnesota business.
If you’re looking for a great PEO to help your Minnesota business manage payroll and provide you with less paperwork and better benefits for your employees, fill out the form below for a personalized recommendation.
This is a free service, and once you fill out the form I’ll send you a recommendation for the best PEO for your Minnesota business.
So to get started with a Minnesota PEO that can provide you with better benefits, great insurance coverage, legal compliance assistance, and less paperwork, fill out the form below.
In the meantime, another aspect of your Minnesota business that you should consider is how to structure it. There are several options, such as a corporation, sole proprietorship, or LLC. To learn more about how to form an LLC, read my article about How to Start an LLC in Minnesota.
While you’re checking out PEOs, it’s a good idea to check out registered agent services, as well. A registered agent is a person or business that accepts mail, service of process, and legal documents on behalf of your business. To find out more about registered agents, check out my article about the Best Registered Agents in Minnesota here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to use a PEO?
How much it costs to use a Minnesota PEO service depends on several factors, like the number of workers your company employs, and which insurance coverage or providers you choose. However, you can expect it to cost somewhere between $1,000–$2,000 per employee per month for a Minnesota PEO.
How does a PEO charge?
Minnesota PEO services use two different methods to determine the cost of their services: flat rate fees or percentage of payroll.
If your Minnesota PEO charges a flat rate fee, then your PEO services will cost a fixed price per employee each month. This is a good structure for any company that needs to stick to a strict budget, expects certainty with their monthly billing costs, or wants to avoid any unexpected cost.
If your Minnesota PEO charges a percentage of payroll fee, then your PEO service costs will be based on a percentage of the total payroll payments you make to your employees each month. This is a good option for Minnesota businesses in low-wage industries because typically their payroll payments will be low, which results in lower PEO costs.
How long does it take to get set up with a PEO?
It’s important to know that it takes time to get set up with a Minnesota PEO. Not only do they need to obtain paperwork from you, they need to file a ton of paperwork with the Minnesota state and federal government before they can serve your business.
It can take between three and six weeks to get set up with a PEO company, but it takes about four weeks on average for most Minnesota PEOs.
Does it cost to change PEOs?
None of the Minnesota PEOs I’ve mentioned in this article charge an exit fee. However, every PEO charges a setup fee. This means that while it won’t cost you anything to leave a PEO company, there will be setup costs to get started with a new PEO company.