Managing your payroll isn’t the most glamorous part of starting a company, but it is important. Your employees need to get paid, after all, even if there are only three of them. Unless you have an HR person—and you probably shouldn’t, if you're just getting started—it’s up to you to make sure this happens. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as writing a check for a flat dollar amount from your personal checking account, and you need to tread carefully.
While you’re small, it’s probably simplest to pay an outside company to handle payroll matters for you. There are plenty of companies and startups that are willing and eager to manage that headache for you. Look into ASOs, PEOs, and some of the new guys trying to break into the business of helping you handle your payroll—there’s been a lot of activity in this space recently—then decide which is best for you. Keep in mind that while payroll can be complicated, it’s not that complicated, particularly for a start-up. Whatever solution you go with, it shouldn’t be excessively expensive, and it shouldn’t be overly complex. You have better things to do with your time and money.
Pick a system that works now, that you can grow into, and, above all, that lets you focus on running and expanding your business.Choosing a payroll provider is especially important. It allows you to pay your employees and contractors in a timely manner and avoid those angry emails and phone calls when a check hasn't gone through. ADP, Zen, and Intuit are popular payroll providers.
You can also choose to hire a professional employment organization like TriNet to provide more personal services. The perk of having the latter is that you get the documents you need and extra assistance in areas like hiring and firing and great advice on regulations that apply to employees.