Free Payroll Software For Small Business – Is it Worth It? My Experience

free payroll software for small business

Being a small business owner, saving money without lowering quality is key. When I first learned about free payroll software for small companies, I was skeptical. I wondered, could something like this really work well?

But, after some research, I found an amazing fact. On average, small businesses spend 20 hours each month on payroll. Imagine what else they could do with that time – like growing their business even more!

Key Takeaways:

  • Free payroll software for small businesses can be a cost-effective solution.
  • Small businesses spend an average of 20 hours per month on payroll.
  • Choosing the right payroll software can save time and money.
  • Consider the specific needs of your business when selecting payroll software.
  • Free payroll software may lack some advanced features.

The Benefits of Free Payroll Software for Small Businesses.

As a small business owner, I know how vital cost-effective solutions are. They help streamline our work. Free payroll software is a huge help for businesses with few employees.

It handles important tasks like tax calculations. This is critical to avoid errors and save time. And by being free, it saves you money too.

It also lets you pay your employees directly into their bank accounts. This makes them happy and reduces the need for checks. So, you save time and effort.

Free payroll software has a special spot where employees can check their pay and important docs. It makes your team more independent, lowering HR’s workload. Everyone can get to the info they need fast.

“Free payroll software can be a valid alternative for small businesses with a limited number of employees.”

Even though free payroll software doesn’t have all the fancy features of paid tools, it’s still great for small businesses starting out. It frees up time to focus on the core work without spending much money.

Lastly, by using free payroll software, you’ll make your business more efficient. This is by streamlining payroll, being up to date with tax rules, and making your team better at their job.

To illustrate the benefits further, take a look at the table below that summarizes the advantages of free payroll software for small businesses:

Benefits of Free Payroll Software for Small Businesses
Cost-effective solution for small businesses
Automates tax calculations
Enables direct deposit for employees
Provides employee self-service portal
Saves time and reduces administrative tasks

Exploring – The All-Around Best Free Payroll Software.

In search of the best free payroll software, is a standout. It brings a variety of features and a user-friendly design. You won’t have to spend much to handle your payroll.

For businesses with up to 10 employees, is entirely free. This is great news for startups and small businesses. It lets them manage payroll without added costs, keeping their budget in check. shines in tax handling. It accurately deals with federal, state, and local taxes. This means small business owners won’t face tax penalties. They can trust their tax duties are covered.

It also lets employees see and download their pay stubs and tax info. This reduces the load on business owners for providing these documents. It creates a self-service option, cutting down on admin work. offers custom reports for payroll details. These reports are tailored to each business’s needs. They can show labor costs and work hours, helping with smart decisions and planning.

The free payroll service is just the beginning for They offer more services for a monthly fee. Tools for tax prep and HR are included. This setup allows businesses to adapt and grow without changing their payroll system.

Seeking the top free payroll option? is a solid choice. It’s got everything from tax accuracy to extra services. This complete package makes managing payroll easy and cost-friendly.

Overview of Features:

Feature Description
Free Basic Payroll A completely free payroll service for up to 10 employees.
Tax Calculation Accurate calculation of federal, state, and local taxes.
Employee Portal Access Allows employees to access their pay stubs and tax documents.
Custom Reporting Generate detailed reports tailored to your business needs.
Additional Services Professional tax preparation and HR tools available for a monthly fee.

ExcelPayroll – Free Payroll Software for Excel Users.

Small business owners like familiar tools for payroll. That’s where ExcelPayroll shines.

This free software is made for those who love Excel. It lets you do payroll with easy-to-use Excel features.

ExcelPayroll’s biggest plus is its tax form library. It makes tax calculations and filings a breeze.

It also tracks vacation time for employees. This feature helps keep your records accurate and organized.

Why Choose ExcelPayroll?

ExcelPayroll is perfect for Excel fans who want simple payroll software. Here’s why it’s a good pick:

  • It blends perfectly with Excel, making work smooth for users.
  • It relies on Excel’s tech for precise payroll numbers, cutting down on mistakes.
  • It offers templates customized for different business needs.
  • Your data is safe, giving you stress-free control over where it’s kept.

In short, ExcelPayroll is a top choice for small businesses that love Excel. It fits well with your Excel tools. Plus, it has lots of tax forms and tracks vacation time neatly.

best free payroll software

Homebase Payroll – Free Payroll Software for Hourly Employees.

Homebase Payroll is perfect for managing payroll in businesses with hourly workers. It’s a top choice because it’s free and designed with hourly jobs in mind. This software has a lot of features for both employees and employers.

Time Tracking Made Easy

Homebase Payroll shines with its time tracking features. Employers find it easy to keep track of how many hours their employees work. This helps guarantee that the payment amounts are correct. The best part is that it gets rid of the need to manually enter data, cutting down on mistakes.

Efficient Employee Management

This tool doesn’t stop at time tracking; it also helps with managing employees. It lets you onboard new hires, manage their information, and track how they’re doing at work. Everything related to employees, from their data to their work schedules, can be handled in one place.

Flexible Payment Options

With Homebase Payroll, you can pay your employees in different ways. You can use direct deposit or go with the traditional paper checks. This flexibility means employers can pay their workers the way that’s most convenient for everyone. It ensures that employees get their pay on time.

Integration with Popular Applications

Homebase Payroll knows that small businesses use many tools. That’s why it connects well with other popular apps used for scheduling and sales. By syncing data, Homebase Payroll makes dealing with payroll much easier. It helps to avoid mistakes that can happen when information isn’t in one place.

Comprehensive HR Tools

Besides managing payroll, Homebase Payroll also offers HR tools. These help business owners with tasks like onboarding, managing documents, and tracking vacation time. The software has several HR features that can help your business grow and succeed.

All in all, Homebase Payroll is a solid choice for businesses with hourly staff. Its features, options for how employees get paid, and the ability to work with other tools make it a great fit. Small businesses looking to simplify their payroll should consider this option.

Key Features Advantages
Time tracking Accurate and efficient payroll calculations
Employee management Streamlined onboarding and scheduling processes
Flexible payment options Caters to employee preferences
Integration with popular applications Seamless syncing of data across platforms
Comprehensive HR tools Supports HR management and development – Free Multilingual Payroll Software for International Businesses.

Handling payroll for international businesses can be tough due to language barriers. But, steps up to the challenge. This free software can work in 66 languages besides English. lets businesses create payslips in many languages. This means better communication with global employees without needing translations. This makes payroll work smoother and simpler. also offers time tracking, managing expense claims, and HR tasks for multiple users. It brings together what international businesses need in a payroll and HR system. This way, they manage everything easily, no matter where in the world they are.

Being cloud-based, means businesses can manage payroll from anywhere. Plus, it’s hosted software, saving businesses money on servers and updates. This simplifies payroll management for everyone. fits any size international business, from ten to a hundred employees or more. No limit. This makes it perfect for companies with global dreams.

Key Features of

Let’s highlight key features of

  • Payslip generation in 66 languages
  • Time tracking to monitor employee hours and attendance
  • Expense claim management for tracking and reimbursing employee expenses
  • Multi-user HR management to delegate HR tasks and permissions

Best Free Payroll Software Trials for Small Businesses.

Finding the right payroll software for your small business is crucial. Luckily, many providers give free trials. This lets you check out the software before buying. You can see if it suits your needs. Here are some great payroll software with free trials:

  1. Patriot Payroll: They have a free 30-day trial. It includes tax calculations and direct deposit, perfect for small businesses.
  2. OnPay: You can try their service for one month at no cost. It’s easy to use, handles tax filing, and offers employee benefits management.
  3. Wave Payroll: Wave gives you 30 days to try. It features automated tax work, direct deposit, and adjustable pay schedules, which is handy for small companies.
  4. QuickBooks Payroll: Their three-month trial is a good deal. QuickBooks is known for its accounting help. Their payroll software works with QuickBooks and has advanced tax tools.

Trying out these free trials is a smart move for small business owners. You can find out which payroll software works best for you. It’s key to look at the features, how easy it is to use, and the support each software offers. This ensures a smooth payroll process.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Payroll Software for Your Small Business.

Choosing the right payroll software is crucial for small businesses. There are key factors you should consider. Understanding these factors will help you pick software that fits your company’s needs. It will make payroll easier and smoother.

1. Potential for Business Growth

Think about how your business might grow when picking payroll software. Look for software that can grow with you. It should handle more employees and contractors as your business gets bigger. Make sure it’s easy to add new people and change your payroll setup.

2. Number of Employees and Contractors

The size of your team is important in choosing the right software. A basic software is fine for a small team. But, for a big one, you need something more advanced. This includes tools for taxes, direct deposits, and managing employee info.

3. Time Dedication to Payroll Tasks

Decide how much time you want to spend on payroll. Some software can do a lot of the work for you, which saves time. But, if you like to be more hands-on or have special needs, you’ll need software that lets you tweak things manually.

4. Essential Payroll Features

Make sure the software has all the key payroll features your business needs. This might mean it needs to calculate taxes, offer direct deposit, and have employee access. It’s also crucial that the software meets tax rules for where your business is located.

Essential Payroll Features Payroll Software for Small Business
Tax calculations ✔️
Direct deposit options ✔️
Employee portal access ✔️

payroll software for small business owners

5. Additional Features and Integrations

Think about what other features might help your business. Some software includes HR tools, time tracking, or connects with accounting software. Evaluate if these extras will make managing payroll and business tasks easier for you.

6. User-Friendliness and Support

Choosing software that’s easy to use is key. It should be straightforward for you and your team to navigate. Also, make sure the company provides good customer support. You should be able to get help when you need it.

7. Pricing and Budget

Even if you’re looking for free software, think about the overall costs. Consider any fees and charges for extra features. The software you pick should be good for your budget while meeting your payroll needs.

8. User Feedback and Reviews

Research what other users say about the software. Reading reviews can tell you a lot about its reliability and user satisfaction. It’s a key step in making sure you choose a trusted software solution.

When selecting payroll software, think through these points carefully. Doing so will lead you to the best choice for your business. Remember, finding the right software is essential for keeping your payroll work accurate and efficient.

The Importance of Payroll Features for Small Business Owners.

Choosing the right payroll solution is key for small business owners. It helps manage payroll better and stay tax-compliant. I, too, as a small business owner, value finding reliable software that meets my company’s needs. Here’s what to look for:

Federal and State Tax Calculations and Filing Options

Accurate management of federal and state taxes is vital for avoiding fines and keeping in line with laws. Payroll software must calculate taxes automatically, based on up-to-date rates. It should make preparing and filing taxes easy, saving time and hassle for business owners.

Benefit Deductions and Direct Deposit

The software must also accurately handle benefit deductions. This includes things like healthcare costs or retirement savings. It should ensure employees get the right pay for the benefits they choose.

Implementing direct deposit as a pay method is both convenient and efficient. The right payroll software will securely manage direct deposits. This makes paying employees easier for everyone.

Automated Time Tracking

For businesses paying hourly, time tracking is crucial. Good payroll software tracks work hours, breaks, and overtime automatically. This gets rid of manual errors and smoothly links time worked to payroll.

HR Management Tools and Employee Portals

While not every small business needs it, HR tools and employee portals can offer extra efficiency. HR tools help manage employee affairs like onboarding and tracking performance. Employee portals let staff manage their own info, like pay and time off requests, cutting down on extra work for employers.

Focusing on these key payroll features can greatly improve processes for small business owners. The right software saves time, cuts down on admin work, and allows owners to put more effort into growing their business.

Feature Description
Federal and State Tax Calculations and Filing Options Accurate calculation of federal and state taxes, along with user-friendly tax form preparation and filing options.
Benefit Deductions and Direct Deposit Ability to handle benefit deductions accurately and offer direct deposit as a payment option.
Automated Time Tracking Automated recording of employee working hours, breaks, and overtime to streamline payroll processing.
HR Management Tools and Employee Portals Additional features such as employee onboarding, performance evaluation tracking, and self-service employee portals for convenient access to personal information and payslips.

The Pros and Cons of Free Payroll Software.

Free payroll software is a good option for many small business owners. It offers cost savings and basic payroll services. But, before choosing this option, you should know both the good and bad points. Here’s what you should consider:

Advantages of Free Payroll Software

  • Cost savings: It can cut down your expenses a lot if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Basic payroll functions: It includes key features like tax calculation, paycheck generation, and keeping track of your employees’ data.
  • Accessibility: Since it’s often on the cloud, you can handle your payroll from anywhere. This is great for businesses with many locations or employees working from home.

Disadvantages of Free Payroll Software

  • Limited features: It won’t have everything, like time tracking, managing benefits, or HR tools. Those could be vital for certain companies.
  • Limited customer support: You might not get much help if something goes wrong. You’ll need to turn to online resources for support.
  • Data security concerns: Free options might not be as secure as paid ones. Make sure to check the security features before choosing.

Choosing free payroll software works best for simple payroll needs. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles and can handle things on your own, it’s a good option. But, if you need more out of your payroll software or want better support, you might consider looking at paid options.

Always remember, pick what’s best for your business and its future. Whether free or paid, make sure the software is reliable, secure, and fits your needs well.


In summary, free payroll software is perfect for small businesses just starting or with a few employees. You can find good options at sites like , ExcelPayroll, Homebase Payroll, and They have all the key payroll features you need, from tax calculation to direct deposit.

When picking software for your small business, think about your needs and plans to grow. Look at how many employees you have now and might have soon. Also, consider how much time you want to spend on payroll tasks. The right software should suit your current and future payroll management.

Deciding between free or paid payroll software means balancing what you get with what you might not. Free options usually miss some fancy tools and quick customer help. But, they can save you money while still doing basic payroll tasks well. Your decision should match what your business values most.


Is free payroll software a viable option for small businesses?

Yes, it’s a good choice for small businesses with few employees. It does basic tasks like tax handling, direct deposit, and an employee portal.

What features are included in free payroll software?

Free payroll software does basic payroll jobs. This includes tax, direct deposit, a place for employees to log in, and simple reports. Yet, it lacks some advanced tools and customer service.

How does stand out as a free payroll software option? lets you use its basic service for ten employees for free. It handles taxes, offers a portal for employees, and has tailored reports. You can get extra services like tax help and HR tools for a fee.

Can Excel users benefit from free payroll software?

Excel users will like ExcelPayroll, a special free tool. It lets you do payroll in Excel. It includes tax forms and tracks vacation time.

What features does Homebase Payroll offer for small businesses with hourly employees?

Homebase Payroll suits businesses with hourly staff. It has time tracking, managing employees, and paying with direct deposit or checks. It also works with other apps and has HR features.

How does cater to international businesses? is free and available in 66 languages. It helps with payslips, tracks time, deals with expense claims, and supports HR for lots of users.

Are there any free payroll software trials available for small businesses?

Many companies offer trials like Patriot Payroll, OnPay, Wave Payroll, and QuickBooks Payroll. These can go from 30 days to three months. They let owners try different software for free.

What factors should be considered when choosing payroll software for a small business?

Look at how your business might grow. Count how many people you pay. See how much time you can spend on payroll. Choose software that fits these needs well.

What are the essential payroll features for small business owners?

Small businesses need to focus on basics like calculating tax and filing taxes. Also, look for benefits, direct deposit, and tracking time automatically.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of free payroll software?

Free software saves money and does basic payroll. But it might not have everything you need. Think about what’s most important for your business before choosing.

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