Should you use a PEO or EOR when hiring overseas?

 Should you use a PEO or EOR when hiring overseas?

3 key differences to consider

As businesses expand and strive for greater efficiency, they often find themselves exploring new ways to handle their human resources functions. Two common options that arise during this process are Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) and Employer of Record (EOR) services. While both solutions offer valuable HR support, it is important to understand the key differences between them. In this blog, we will delve into the distinct characteristics of PEO and EOR services, enabling you to make an informed decision for your organisation.

Definitions and Functions:

A PEO is a co-employment arrangement where the provider assumes certain HR responsibilities such as payroll processing, benefits administration, compliance, and risk management. Under a PEO model, the provider becomes the employer of record for tax and insurance purposes, sharing legal obligations with the client.

On the other hand, EOR services, also known as global employer services or international employer of record, are typically utilised by businesses expanding into foreign markets. An EOR acts as the legal employer for an organisation's workforce, managing all employment-related obligations, such as payroll, tax withholding, benefits, and compliance with local labour laws. Unlike a PEO, an EOR does not involve a co-employment relationship.

Employment Relationship:

One of the fundamental differences between PEO and EOR services lies in the nature of the employment relationship. With a PEO, a co-employment arrangement is established, where the PEO becomes a joint employer alongside the client. This means that both parties share certain responsibilities and liabilities related to employment.

Conversely, EOR services do not involve a co-employment relationship. The EOR acts as a legal employer on behalf of the client, taking full responsibility for HR and employment matters. This allows the client to expand into new markets without the need to establish a legal entity or navigate complex local employment regulations.

Global Reach and Expansion:

While PEO services primarily operate within a single country, often focusing on domestic HR needs, EOR services are designed to facilitate international expansion. By partnering with an EOR, businesses can rapidly establish a presence in foreign markets without the need for lengthy legal and administrative processes.

EOR services provide the necessary infrastructure to employ workers in various countries, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations. This allows businesses to focus on their core operations and accelerate their global growth strategies.

Legal and Compliance Responsibilities:

Under a PEO arrangement, both the client and the PEO share legal responsibilities. This includes tax filings, workers' compensation insurance, employment contracts, and regulatory compliance. As a co-employer, the PEO assumes a portion of the risk associated with HR management.

In contrast, an EOR takes on full legal and compliance responsibility on behalf of the client. This entails ensuring adherence to local employment laws, handling payroll tax withholdings, providing statutory benefits, and maintaining employment contracts. By offloading these obligations to the EOR, the client can mitigate compliance risks and focus on strategic business objectives.


Choosing between a PEO and EOR services depends on the specific needs and goals of your organisation. PEOs are suitable for businesses seeking comprehensive HR support within a single country, while EOR services offer a streamlined solution for global expansion. By understanding the distinctions outlined in this blog, you can make an informed decision and select the HR service model that best aligns with your organisation's requirements. Remember, consulting with a trusted HR advisor or legal professional can further enhance your understanding and help you navigate the complexities of these services effectively. 

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