Global Payroll
for Distributed Teams

Ready to take your workforce international? Global payroll services allow you to pay your team members all over the world with ease. Whether you have 
a few remote employees or a fully distributed team, Remote is here to help.

How to pay your distributed workforce with international payroll services

You can use global payroll services to manage payments for your employees and contractors in multiple countries. For employees, global payroll services may include things like benefits management or handling of payroll deductions, such as Social Security. For contractors, global payroll services may cover tasks like invoice management and automation of recurring payments.
To pay international workers, you must first make sure you are compliant in the countries where you wish to hire. For more information on managing global payroll, see our Guide to Global Payroll Management.

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International Payroll Services

How do you run global payroll?

To run international payroll, your company works with a global payroll services provider who can help you manage payroll, benefits administration, taxes, compliance, stock options, and other tasks. A reliable provider can:

  • Act as an employer of record (EOR) by hiring employee on your behalf
  • Offer country-specific knowledge to help you hire like a local
  • Manage contractor payments for workers worldwide

Remote provides employer of record services (including payroll administration) and contractor management all from within one easy-to-use platform. With a few clicks, you can manage invoices and payments for your entire international team.
Remote even offers customized employment contracts; specialized protections for your intellectual property and invention rights; support when using contractor tools; and more.

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What are the benefits of payroll services?

Payroll services, and international payroll services in particular, primarily serve to ensure your entire team — no matter where they live — receives accurate, on-time payment for their work.

On the legal side, payroll services help businesses stay compliant with local and international labor laws. Any payroll provider you use should know the ins and outs of local payroll laws everywhere your company hires.

Good payroll services help businesses cut costs by eliminating hidden fees and upcharges; provide contract services to protect intellectual property rights; and stand out with their stellar customer service. When your employees’ livelihoods are involved, it’s best to work with an honest partner.

Learn more about Remote’s Fair Price Guarantee!

Latest statistics and trends for the international payroll industry

Research from Remote found that 66% of companies plan to add more remote and flexible work options for employees. Concerning location, 81% of those surveyed stated that they wished to move without jeopardizing their work prospects.

Yet, 30% of business decision-makers named compliance with local laws as a top challenge when executing global payroll. Companies that want to be part of the remote work future and avoid accompanying challenges should consider partnering with an experienced payroll provider.

Types of international payroll providers

If you're looking for international payroll providers, you have two options:

  • Partner-dependent global employment solutions providers.
    These entities rely on a network of third parties and are usually more costly than owned-entity providers. Since partner-dependent providers outsource their services, you and your employees will have to wait for fund processing and may even pay withdrawal fees. Some providers own entities in certain countries but not others — be cautious and ensure your provider owns entities everywhere you want to hire.
  • Owned-entity global employment solutions providers.
    Owned-entity providers provide more reliable, affordable, and effective services than partner-dependent providers. These partners offer better IP protection, data security, customer service, and customization. If possible, always choose an owned-entity provider for your international payroll needs.

Lowest Price

Hidden Fees

Strongest IP Protection

Best Employee Experience

Strongest Data Security

Faster Customer Service

Superior Service Quality

Greater Customization

Best International Compliance

Owned Entity
Partner Dependent

Difference between 
a PEO and a global payroll provider

Not all payroll providers offer the same types of services. Traditional professional employer organizations (PEOs) work with you to co-employ workers. With a traditional PEO, you need your own entity in the country where you plan to hire

A global PEO is the same as a PEO, just with a presence in multiple countries. PEO services specifically involve co-employment, so if you do not own an entity in a country, you should be looking for the services of an employer of record, or EOR.

An employer of record employs people on your behalf in other countries. These workers operate just like any of your other employees, but your EOR partner manages things like payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance on your behalf.

Best practices for global payroll

Choosing the best payroll services provider can be challenging. How do you know which company is worthy of your trust, time, and money? Follow these steps to avoid the most common global payroll mistakes.


Choose the right global payroll partner.

When choosing the global payroll partner, consider compliance management practices. Most countries often alter their labor and tax codes. Your provider should keep you updated on all the latest changes to keep your operations compliant.
Consider customer support as well. You will have many questions with any new payroll system, as will your employees. Your partner should be able to offer a superior customer service experience.


Prioritize the employee experience.

Ensuring a positive employee experience is imperative. Happy employees stay with you longer and attract new hires. They also have high engagement and productivity levels.
You can influence your employees' satisfaction with your company by delivering a positive payroll experience. Accurate and timely payments, an intuitive platform, always available technical support, and seamless communications channels will keep your employees satisfied and increase their trust in your company.


Classify employees and contractors correctly.

Are your workers employees or contractors? Don’t leave the distinction to chance — if you do, you could find yourself in trouble with local authorities.
Employees are entitled to benefits and protections that contractors are not. Misclassifying an employee as a contractor may lead to fines, legal penalties, and other unpleasant consequences. Learn how to spot the difference between employees and contractors to keep your company protected.


Establish an equitable compensation plan.

Meeting the needs of an internationally dispersed workforce can be challenging. Not only do you need to ensure your workers are paid in full and on time, but you must also confirm your compensation plan is equitable and sustainable everywhere you hire.
Remote’s own team is distributed across dozens of countries all over the world. See our guide to creating a global compensation plan for more information on how to create a plan that will help your business grow.


Consider whether you need your own entity.

Do you need to open your own entity in another country? That depends on a variety of factors, including how many employees you plan to hire, whether you have relationships in the region, and what your plans are for the local market.
Opening a new entity can take a lot of time and money. Only go down this path if you plan to hire lots of local employees and are prepared to invest in new relationships with local payroll, legal, and benefits experts.
If you want to open an entity eventually, you don’t have to wait until you finish the process to begin hiring. Use an EOR to hire international employees as quickly as you want, then transfer your employees to your own entity once the paperwork is complete.


Guard your intellectual property closely.

Your IP is at the base of your business: patents, trademarks, designs, databases, and trade secrets. Employment contracts often determine who owns which creations — as do contractor agreements. If your payroll provider in the area does not have robust IP protections, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
Remote knows how significant your intellectual property rights are, which is why we created Remote IP Guard. Our industry-leading process uses a three-stage approach to transfer the maximum intellectual property rights directly to your business when you work with international employees and contractors.

Watch video: How Remote makes global payroll easy

Frequently asked questions about

global payroll services

Global Employment Services

Whether you need to pay one person or 1,000 people, in one country or all over the globe, Remote is here to help. Our best-in-class global payroll solutions make it easy to onboard and pay employees in multiple countries through one easy-to-use platform. Schedule a demo today to see how easy global payroll can be!