What Are the Costs of Employer of Record Services?

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Have you ever wondered how much it really costs to streamline your global workforce management? In today’s fast-paced and increasingly globalized business environment, managing international employees can be a complex and costly endeavor. This is where Employer of Record (EOR) services come into play, offering a seamless solution for businesses looking to expand their operations across borders without the burden of legal and administrative complications.

Employer of Record services are not just a trend; they’re a strategic approach to global workforce management. These services enable businesses to hire and manage employees in different countries while ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations. But what does this convenience cost? And more importantly, how do these costs compare to traditional employment models?

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the multifaceted world of EOR services. We’ll explore the various cost factors involved, including fixed and variable expenses, and examine how these costs vary based on business size, location, and industry. By understanding the nuances of these services, businesses can make informed decisions, ensuring that their global expansion is not only successful but also cost-effective.

Table of Content

What Are Employer of Record Services?

In the realm of global business, the concept of an Employer of Record (EOR) has emerged as a pivotal solution for companies looking to expand their footprint without the complexities traditionally associated with such ventures. But what exactly are Employer of Record services, and how do they function in various business contexts?

Definition and Functioning of EOR Services

At its core, an Employer of Record is an organization that legally employs people on behalf of another company. This arrangement means that while the employee works for Company A (the client company), they are officially employed by Company B (the EOR). This setup is particularly advantageous for companies aiming to hire employees in a country where they do not have a legal entity.

How do EOR services work? The process is streamlined and efficient. When a company partners with an EOR, the EOR takes over various employer responsibilities, including payroll, tax withholding, benefits administration, and compliance with local employment laws. This arrangement frees the client company from navigating the complex web of regulations and administrative tasks associated with employing staff in a foreign country.

Roles and Responsibilities of an EOR

The role of an EOR extends beyond mere administrative tasks. It plays a crucial role in several key areas:

  • Legal Compliance: One of the primary responsibilities of an EOR is ensuring compliance with local labor laws and regulations. This includes staying updated with changing laws, which can be particularly challenging in countries with complex legal systems or frequent legislative updates.
  • Payroll and Tax Administration: EORs manage payroll processing and tax withholding, ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time, and that all necessary taxes are accurately calculated and remitted.
  • Employee Benefits Management: EORs often handle the administration of employee benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks. They ensure these benefits comply with local laws and are competitive within the local market.
  • Risk Mitigation: By taking on the role of the legal employer, EORs assume many of the risks associated with employment, including legal disputes and compliance issues. This significantly reduces the liability for the client company.
  • Recruitment and Onboarding Support: While the client company typically manages the actual hiring process, EORs often assist with onboarding new employees, ensuring that they are integrated into the company smoothly and efficiently.
  • Cross-Cultural Guidance: In a global context, EORs can provide valuable insights into local work cultures and practices, helping client companies navigate cultural differences and build a harmonious workplace.

In various business contexts, whether it’s a small startup looking to hire remote talent globally or a large corporation setting up a presence in a new country, EOR services offer a flexible and compliant way to manage international employment. This enables businesses to focus on their core operations and growth strategies, leaving the complexities of global employment in the capable hands of their EOR partner.

In summary, Employer of Record services are not just a logistical solution; they are a strategic tool that enables businesses to tap into global talent pools while minimizing legal and administrative burdens. As companies continue to embrace remote work and global expansion, EOR services are becoming increasingly indispensable in the modern business landscape.

Types of Costs Associated with Employer of Record Services

When businesses opt for Employer of Record (EOR) services, understanding the various types of costs involved is crucial for effective budgeting and financial planning. These costs are multifaceted and can vary depending on several factors such as the size of the business, the location of employees, and the specific services required. Let’s break down the primary types of costs associated with EOR services:

Administrative Fees

The core of EOR services is managing the administrative aspects of employment. This includes processing payroll, handling tax withholdings, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws. EORs typically charge a fee for these services, which can be a flat rate or a percentage of the employee’s salary.

Employee Salaries and Benefits

Although not a direct cost of the EOR service itself, the salaries and benefits of the employees hired through the EOR are a significant part of the overall expense. These costs can vary greatly depending on the location, the level of skill required, and the prevailing market conditions.


EORs handle the calculation and payment of employee taxes, which can be a complex and variable cost. The exact tax burden will depend on local tax laws and regulations, which can differ significantly from one jurisdiction to another.

Insurance Costs

EORs typically provide or arrange for necessary employee insurances, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and liability insurance. These insurance premiums can vary based on the location and nature of the work.

Compliance and Legal Fees

Ensuring compliance with local employment laws and regulations is a key service offered by EORs. This may involve legal fees, especially when setting up the initial agreement or if there are unique compliance challenges in a particular region.

Customization and Additional Services

Some businesses may require customized solutions or additional services such as talent acquisition support, HR consulting, or specialized benefits administration. These services are typically charged in addition to the standard EOR fees.

Currency Exchange and Transfer Fees

For businesses employing international staff, currency exchange rates and transfer fees can add to the cost. These expenses are influenced by fluctuating exchange rates and the policies of financial institutions involved in the transactions.

Technology and Infrastructure Costs

If the EOR provides technology solutions, such as payroll software or HR management systems, there may be associated costs. These can vary depending on the complexity and scope of the technology provided.

Exit Costs

Termination of EOR services or the ending of an employment contract can involve costs related to severance, final payroll processing, and other exit-related expenses.

Understanding these various types of costs is essential for businesses considering EOR services. It allows for a more accurate assessment of the financial implications and ensures that companies can make informed decisions about how best to manage their global workforce.

Factors Influencing the EOR Cost

The cost of Employer of Record (EOR) services is not a one-size-fits-all figure. Several key factors can significantly influence how much a company will need to invest in these services. Understanding these factors is essential for businesses to anticipate and effectively manage the costs associated with EOR services. Here are five critical factors that can impact EOR service costs:

Geographic Location

The location of the employees is one of the most significant factors affecting EOR costs. Different countries have varying levels of economic development, labor laws, taxation systems, and living costs, all of which influence the overall cost. For instance, EOR services in a country with complex labor laws or high taxation may be more expensive due to the additional work required to ensure compliance and manage financial obligations.

Industry and Job Type

The specific industry and nature of the job roles being filled can also impact EOR costs. Some industries, like technology or finance, may demand higher salaries and more specialized benefits, thus increasing the overall cost. Additionally, roles that require highly specialized skills or are in high demand may command higher wages, which in turn affects the cost of EOR services.

Size of Workforce

The number of employees a company plans to hire through an EOR can influence the cost. Some EOR providers might offer volume discounts for larger workforces, while others might have pricing models that scale based on the number of employees. Therefore, the size of the workforce is a crucial factor in determining the overall cost.

Compliance Complexity

The complexity of compliance requirements in the employee’s location can significantly affect EOR costs. Countries with intricate labor laws, frequent legal updates, or stringent compliance requirements may necessitate more intensive management and legal oversight, leading to higher costs.

Service Level and Customization

The level of service and degree of customization required by the business also plays a role in determining costs. Basic EOR services might be less expensive than those that include additional features like talent acquisition support, advanced technology platforms, or specialized HR consulting. The more tailored the services to a company’s specific needs, the higher the potential cost.

By considering these factors, businesses can gain a clearer understanding of the potential costs involved in employing an EOR service. This understanding enables more accurate budgeting and strategic planning, ensuring that the benefits of using an EOR are maximized while keeping costs in check.

Comparing Costs: Traditional Employment vs. EOR Services

When a business decides to expand its workforce, especially internationally, it faces a choice between traditional employment methods and utilizing Employer of Record (EOR) services. Understanding the cost implications of each option is vital for making an informed decision. Let’s compare the two approaches in terms of various cost components.

Cost Component

Traditional Employment

EOR Services

Legal and Compliance Costs

High – setting up legal entities, complying with local labor laws, and ongoing legal consultations.

Lower – EOR manages compliance with local laws and regulations.

Payroll Administration

Variable – depends on internal systems and processes.

Included in EOR fees – streamlined and managed by the EOR.

Employee Benefits

Variable – can be higher due to the need to establish and manage benefits individually.

Often included in EOR fees – EOR provides standardized benefits packages.

Taxation Management

High – requires expertise to manage different tax jurisdictions.

Included in EOR fees – EOR handles all aspects of taxation.

HR Management and Support

High – requires internal resources or hiring of HR staff.

Included in EOR fees – EOR provides comprehensive HR services.

Risk of Non-compliance

High – potential legal and financial penalties.

Lower – EOR assumes most compliance risks.

Initial Setup Costs

High – costs of setting up entities, legal fees, HR setup.

Lower – EOR eliminates the need for setting up separate entities.


Limited – depends on the company’s resources to expand.

High – EOR services can be easily scaled up or down as needed.

Market Entry Speed

Slower – establishing legal entities and processes takes time.

Faster – EOR services allow rapid entry into new markets.


  • Legal and Compliance Costs: Traditional employment often incurs higher costs in setting up legal entities and ensuring compliance with local labor laws. In contrast, EOR services include these aspects, potentially offering cost savings.
  • Employee Benefits Management: Managing employee benefits can be more challenging and costly under traditional employment, especially across different countries. EORs provide standardized benefits packages, reducing complexity and potential costs.
  • Taxation and Payroll Management: EORs streamline the process of payroll and taxation, reducing the administrative burden and associated costs for the business.
  • Risk Management: Traditional employment exposes a company to higher risks of non-compliance, which can result in substantial financial penalties. EORs take on most of these compliance risks.
  • Scalability and Market Entry: EOR services offer greater flexibility in scaling operations and allow quicker entry into new markets compared to traditional employment methods.

In summary, while EOR services involve specific fees, they can provide cost-effective solutions in many scenarios, especially when considering legal compliance, HR management, and market entry speed. Businesses must weigh these factors against their specific needs and capabilities to determine the most cost-effective approach for their international expansion.

Additional Expenses to Consider

When planning to use Employer of Record (EOR) services, it’s important to account for all potential costs, including those that might not be immediately obvious. Beyond the basic fees for EOR services, there are additional expenses that businesses should consider to ensure a comprehensive and realistic financial plan. Here are some key additional expenses to keep in mind:

Set-Up and Integration Costs

Initiating EOR services might involve set-up fees, especially if there’s a need for integrating the EOR’s system with your existing HR and payroll systems. This could include costs for software integration, data migration, and training your team to use new platforms.

Currency Conversion and Transfer Fees

For international EOR services, currency exchange rates and bank transfer fees can add up, especially if you are frequently converting large amounts of money for payroll and other expenses.

Customized HR Solutions

If your business requires tailored HR solutions, such as specific training programs, specialized benefits packages, or unique compliance support, these customizations can incur additional costs.

Legal and Consultation Fees

While EORs handle most legal and compliance aspects of employment, you might still need to consult with legal experts, particularly for complex employment scenarios or when drafting specific clauses in employment contracts.

Insurance Premium Adjustments

Insurance costs can vary depending on the location, nature of the work, and the risk profile of the employees. Additionally, if your business requires higher coverage limits or additional types of insurance, this will impact the overall cost.

Employee Termination Costs

Terminating an employee can involve costs such as severance pay, final payroll processing, and potential legal fees, especially if the termination process is complex or involves disputes.

Renewal Fees and Price Adjustments

Be aware of the possibility of renewal fees or price adjustments in your EOR service contract. Prices can change based on market conditions, changes in legal requirements, or after an initial contract period.

Travel and Accommodation Expenses

If your business requires employees to travel or relocate, consider the costs associated with travel, accommodation, and relocation assistance.

Training and Development

Investing in employee training and development is crucial, especially in a diverse and international team. Consider the costs for language training, cultural orientation, and professional development programs.

Contingency Funds

Always set aside a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses or fluctuations in costs. This is particularly important in the dynamic landscape of international employment.

By considering these additional expenses, businesses can create a more accurate and comprehensive budget for their global workforce management, ensuring that the use of EOR services is both financially viable and aligned with their strategic goals.

How to Budget for EOR Services

Budgeting for Employer of Record (EOR) services is a crucial step for businesses planning to expand globally or manage an international workforce. Effective budgeting ensures that a company can utilize these services without unexpected financial strain. Here’s a guide to help businesses budget appropriately for EOR services:

Understand the Scope of Services

Begin by clearly defining what services you need from the EOR. Are you looking for basic payroll and compliance management, or do you need additional services like recruitment support and advanced HR tools? Understanding the scope will help you identify the potential costs.

Analyze Location-Specific Costs

Since EOR costs vary significantly based on geographic location, conduct a thorough analysis of the costs associated with the specific countries where you plan to employ staff. Consider local salaries, taxes, benefits, and compliance costs.

Estimate Administrative and Service Fees

Inquire about the EOR’s fee structure. Do they charge a flat fee, a percentage of each employee’s salary, or are there tiered pricing models? Factor these fees into your budget, considering the number of employees and the types of roles.

Include Compliance and Legal Costs

Even though an EOR handles compliance, there may be initial legal costs for setting up the agreement or specific compliance requirements unique to your business. Allocate a portion of your budget for such legal and compliance-related expenses.

Plan for Employee Salaries and Benefits

Allocate funds for the actual costs of employee salaries and benefits. These are typically the most significant expenses and will vary based on market rates, job roles, and the level of benefits offered.

Consider Additional Expenses

Factor in potential additional expenses such as currency conversion fees, technology or software costs provided by the EOR, and any customized service fees.

Prepare for Fluctuations and Contingencies

International employment can be subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, changes in local tax laws, and other unforeseen expenses. It’s wise to have a contingency budget to cover these variables.

Review and Adjust Regularly

Regularly review and adjust your budget as your business needs evolve and as you gain more clarity on the actual costs involved. This is especially important in the initial phases of using EOR services.

Consult with Financial Experts

If necessary, consult with financial advisors or accountants who have experience in international employment and EOR services. They can provide valuable insights and help refine your budgeting strategy.

By following these steps, businesses can create a comprehensive and realistic budget for EOR services, ensuring a smoother and more financially manageable expansion into global markets.

TurnKey Staffing: A Trusted Employer of Record Service Provider

In the realm of global talent acquisition and management, TurnKey Staffing emerges as a beacon of reliability and efficiency, especially for businesses seeking to tap into the rich talent pools of Eastern Europe and Latin America. TurnKey’s Employer of Record (EOR) services promise a “Worry-Free” experience, emphasizing a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to managing the complexities of international hiring and payroll management.

Key Features of TurnKey's EOR Services

Legal and Tax Liability Management

TurnKey excels in shielding its clients from legal and tax liabilities associated with offshore hiring. They have established legal mechanisms to mitigate risks, ensuring their clients can focus on core business activities without the worry of legal exposures. This is particularly beneficial for companies looking to streamline customer contracts, fundraising, or business exits.

Compliance Assurance

Ensuring that the offshore team is fully compliant with local employment laws and tax regulations is a cornerstone of TurnKey’s services. This commitment to compliance is crucial for businesses that need to navigate the often complex legal landscapes of different countries.

Intellectual Property (IP) Security

TurnKey guarantees that all intellectual property developed by your offshore team remains yours. They achieve this by having each team member sign agreements, based on local laws, that assign all IP rights to the client. This is complemented by comprehensive background checks on all candidates, covering education, employment history, criminal records, and more.

Administrative Ease

With TurnKey, administrative hassles are significantly reduced. Clients receive a single monthly invoice covering their entire team, while TurnKey handles all legal, tax, pension, benefits, compliance, payroll, and accounting aspects. Their flexible approach, tailored to the unique needs of each country, ensures that businesses can expand into new offshore locations without the typical administrative burdens.

Coverage Across Eastern Europe and Latin America

TurnKey offers extensive coverage in Eastern Europe and Latin America, providing businesses with a wide range of options for offshore hiring.

Simplified Process

TurnKey’s approach is encapsulated in a straightforward process: they handle the challenging aspects of offshore employment (legal, taxes, payroll, benefits), while clients enjoy the benefits (intellectual property, talent, product).

Summing Up

Navigating the complexities of Employer of Record (EOR) services and understanding the associated costs and considerations is essential for businesses looking to expand globally or manage an international workforce. From evaluating the types of costs and factors influencing these expenses to comparing traditional employment with EOR services, it’s clear that EOR solutions offer a unique blend of flexibility, compliance, and administrative ease.

In this exploration, we’ve also delved into how to effectively budget for EOR services, highlighting additional expenses that businesses must consider. Furthermore, the importance of evaluating EOR providers beyond cost considerations has been emphasized, pointing out the necessity to look at factors such as experience, compliance expertise, and service customization.


What Are the Key Differences Between Traditional Employment and Employer of Record Services?

  • Traditional Employment: Involves setting up a legal entity in each country, managing payroll, tax, and compliance internally or through local partners, and assuming full legal and administrative responsibility for employees.
  • Employer of Record Services: The EOR becomes the legal employer, handling all aspects of payroll, taxation, compliance with local laws, and often employee benefits. This service eliminates the need for a company to establish legal entities in each country and significantly reduces the administrative burden.

How Do Employer of Record Services Impact a Company's Liability and Risk in International Employment?

EOR services significantly reduce a company's liability and risk in international employment. By acting as the legal employer, the EOR assumes responsibilities related to compliance with local employment laws, taxation, and other regulatory requirements. This shift in liability protects the company from potential legal issues, fines, and other complications that can arise from non-compliance or mismanagement of international employment laws.

Can Using an EOR Service Save Money for a Company Looking to Expand Internationally?

Yes, using an EOR service can save money for companies expanding internationally. While there are fees associated with EOR services, these often outweigh the costs and complexities of setting up and maintaining legal entities in each country, managing international payroll and taxes, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws. Additionally, EORs can provide economies of scale, particularly in managing employee benefits and insurance. Companies also benefit from reduced risk and the ability to quickly enter new markets without the overhead of establishing a local presence.

January 4, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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