Hire internationally with our Global PEO
If you’re looking to grow your business internationally, or hire employees overseas, Horizons streamlines the process with its global PEO and payroll solutions. This ensures full compliance with local tax and employment laws.
Horizons’ global PEO recruits and hires employees across 150+ worldwide markets, onboards your new team in as little as 48 hours, and saves you up to 85% on hiring costs.
Why choose our Global PEO & Employer of Record?
Horizons’ Global PEO & Employer of Record means hiring new employees, or trading in foreign markets, in as little as 48 hours. Horizons takes care of recruitment, payroll and compliance, leaving you to focus on growing core business in a new market.
Global PEO - how it works
Partnering with Horizons helps clients save thousands compared to the cost of setting up their own foreign entity. With PEO services starting from $200 per employee, companies can expand their global presence quickly, compliantly, and cost-effectively.
What is a Global PEO?
A Global / International PEO provides employee management services that encompass the hiring and onboarding of employees, payroll, benefits, and additional HR duties. Partnering with a Global PEO assists companies seeking to expand internationally by allowing them to quickly hire, onboard, and pay their global workforce.
A PEO acts as the employer of a workforce on behalf of a client company. By hiring employees on behalf of a client company, a PEO becomes the Employer of Record for legal and tax purposes. Even though a PEO oversees global payroll and HR functions, the client company retains autonomy and direction over employees. This allows a company to focus on its core business objectives, while the PEO absorbs all local employer liabilities.
While the services offered by a PEO can vary between providers, key services often include payroll and benefits management, recruitment, onboarding, HR, and legal and tax compliance.
Benefits of using Horizons' Global PEO
There are numerous benefits to using a global PEO to establish and manage your international workforce. These include:
One partner for global expansion
Using a Global PEO allows companies to expand into multiple countries with the support of one designated partner. This not only facilitates a streamlined expansion, but also saves costs that are traditionally spent on multiple providers.
A Global PEO manages a company’s international payroll and benefits distribution, employee onboarding, HR duties, and legal and tax compliance. By acting as an employee’s Employer of Record, a Global PEO also takes on all local employer responsibilities. This ensures that companies quickly and compliantly tap into new markets, with one partner through the lifecycle of their global expansion.
Horizons’ Global PEO is the only global PEO with an in-house recruitment team. As well as providing all the services of a specialist PEO, we connect your business to top local and international talent.
Local legal compliance
Due to the ever-changing landscape of international employment law, it is pivotal that companies maintain compliance with employment regulations that govern their market of operation. Companies need to stay abreast of any changes to local payroll, benefits, and tax laws. Failing to comply with the necessary employment laws can lead to significant fines and additional penalties.
When a company engages the services of a Global PEO, many of the risks around tax and legal compliance are alleviated. A Global PEO is an expert in international employment law and as such, typically has an established legal presence across major international markets.
The Global PEO ensures that employees employees are paid, and tax is withheld, in full compliance with local legal requirements.
Horizons goes above and beyond bare legal compliance — it also ensures that employees receive market-competitive compensation and benefits.
Mitigate permanent establishment risk
Permanent establishment refers to a fixed place of business through which the business of an enterprise is wholly or partly carried on. The existence of a permanent establishment means that corporate income tax is applied to the profits of that permanent establishment.
For businesses that inadvertently create a permanent establishment in a new country, they may be hit with unexpected tax bills and additional penalties.
A Global PEO, such as Horizons, can provide advice on whether the presence of a business in a country is likely to constitute a permanent establishment. This will determine whether a Global PEO solution is appropriate, or whether another option, such as a local legal entity, should be pursued.
Streamlined international expansion
The global business market presents infinite possibilities for companies seeking to grow their brand. While transitioning into a foreign market comes with an element of risk, companies across all industry verticals recognize the opportunities that expansion offers.
When a company is preparing to launch their international operations, a Global PEO provides assistance around a number of key areas. By engaging a Global PEO to oversee and administer payroll and benefits, business owners can rest assured that their global workforce is compensated in a competitive and compliant manner. This ensures that businesses avoid fines and negative publicity. It also helps businesses to attract and retain high-level talent on which to grow their international operations.
Reduced expansion costs
When expanding into multiple overseas markets, HR may be difficult to manage. It takes a great deal of time and manpower to administer payroll and benefits on a global scale.
A Global PEO provides a viable solution to this problem. You’re able to outsource the complexities of HR integration and global payroll to an experienced partner. This allows your business to expand quickly, compliantly, and cost-effectively.
Competitive benefits for employees
It is sometimes difficult for small-to-medium-sized businesses to source a competitive benefits package for employees: Packages that include health care and other supplemental benefits may only be cost-effective for companies with an extensive pool of employees. However, without such benefits, companies may find it challenging to attract and retain high-level talent.
By engaging the services of a Global PEO, companies receive guidance to offer the most competitive benefits to employees. This not only improves acquisition of new employees, but helps to maximize employee retention.
Competitive benefits are vital for companies expanding internationally, as foreign employees may expect guaranteed benefits that are not offered in the employer’s home country. A Global PEO assists companies to administer benefits in a manner that is both compliant and cost-effective.
When conducting international business, companies need to be aware of regulations passed by different countries. As an example, companies expanding their operations into Europe must consider the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – passed by the EU in 2016. This law was implemented to establish privacy and security rights for individuals, in regards to their digital data. For companies transitioning into the EU, GDPR stipulates that any client or employee data needs to be secure, accessible to the individual, and safely transferable. Any company that does not comply with GDPR can face significant fines and penalties.
When a business engages the services of an International PEO with a GDPR-compliant platform, they’re able to navigate the complexities of such a regulation. This ensures that all client and employee data is managed with the highest standards of professionalism and data security.
Improved financial forecasting
Businesses that are new to international expansion may find it challenging to project monthly HR expenses. This can be due to a number of factors that include international banking practices and currency exchanges.
A Global PEO has specialist experience dealing with such factors. For businesses that engage the services of a Global PEO, they’re able to develop accurate projected budgets. Horizons customizes this data in our cloud software, allowing our clients to access the employee data they need, in a user-friendly platform. By streamlining global payroll and benefits in such a manner, businesses can develop more effective budget forecasting.
The Horizons Process: Step-by-Step
Horizon’s one-time and ongoing service fees for onboarding and managing your foreign-based staff are all covered by our PEO solution. When you partner with Horizons as your global PEO, what does the process look like? We set out our process below.
At this stage, the details of the engagement between Horizons and the client will be confirmed. This includes confirmation that the employee is to work exclusively for the client in the country of operations.
2. Employment facilitation
Our team drafts an offer letter and an employment contract, in accordance with client needs. These documents are drafted in English, as well as the country’s local language. Horizons then makes the appropriate statutory declarations with local authorities and registers the new employee at the local labor bureau.
3. Administrative onboarding
Next, we ensure that all immigration, work permits, mandatory insurances, in-country tax registrations, and other key declarations and registrations are made as required by local laws.
4. Monthly payroll processing
5. Ongoing HR and administrative support
Horizons takes on the full employer responsibility in the country of operations and manages all employment-related inquiries. We take care of all appropriate statutory declarations, handle any conflicts, and oversee all employee renewals and/or terminations.
Global PEO Coverage
With coverage that spans more than 150 countries, Horizons supports your business to grow its international presence. Our team of in-country specialists facilitates your expansion and allows you to hire, onboard, and pay your global workforce.
Your global expansion partner
Horizons’ suite of tailored expansion solutions allow you to fast-track your compliant expansion into overseas markets. With solutions that encompass our Global PEO, HR, recruitment, payroll, and legal compliance, you can extend your international operations with the support of one dedicated partner.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Horizons hires your candidates and provides them with compliant employment contracts. This makes Horizons the Employer of Record for your foreign employees.
International PEOs provide benefits to companies of all sizes - from small, localized businesses, right up to large Fortune 500 corporations. Partnering with an International PEO offers flexibility and resource savings for any company looking to expand.
Businesses with the following characteristics can benefit from partnering with a Global PEO:
- SME's with between 1-100 international employees
- Top-tier enterprises with more than 100 international employees looking to expand quickly and compliantly.
- Businesses that need to commence operations in a new country quickly and at a lower cost; when compared to establishing their own foreign subsidiary.
- Businesses that do not have the financial or staffing resources needed to expand with their own entity.
- Any business that is planning a short-to-medium length expansion; that does not have plans for an indefinite market presence.
Yes. We have extensive recruitment networks in the countries we operate in and will recruit candidates for your final approval.
Horizons does not charge any additional fees for employee termination. However, 60 day's notice of a desired termination is required. It's also worth noting that many countries observe probationary periods for termination. We ensure full compliance with local termination laws and severance requirements, whilst assisting our clients through the entire separation process.
Clients often come to us after deciding to switch from another global expansion firm. Some of the advantages of switching to Horizons include:
- Streamlining your expansion with one communication channel and invoice across all your offshore locations
- Reduced costs
- Access to our other expansion solutions such as Horizons' in-house talent acquisition team
- A Global PEO focused with a presence in over 150 countries worldwide.
In the United States, it is common for PEOs to operate on a 'co-employment' basis. This means that both the client and and the PEO are liable as employers. In other countries, Global PEOs become the sole 'Employer of Record' and the client no longer has any legal or compliance responsibility as employer.
PEO stands for 'Professional Employer Organization'. GEO stands for 'Global Employment Outsourcing/Organization'. PEOs can operate either domestically, or internationally. Where they operate internationally, they are often known as a 'GEO'. The terms 'GEO', 'global PEO', and 'international PEO' are often used interchangeably.
An enterprise can outsource many of functions as part of its international expansion. However, outsourcing does not usually relieve a company of its compliance obligations. As an example, if payroll is outsourced, your company is generally responsible for legal compliance. By contrast, with a Global PEO, the Global PEO firm (such as Horizons) usually carries all responsibility for payroll and related compliance obligations.
There is a substantial risk in engaging independent contractors overseas, rather than using a global PEO to employ your workforce. In most countries, tax laws do not permit workers to be engaged as contractors when the substantive relationship is equivalent to employment. This 'employee misclassification', means engaging contractors could leave you liable for unpaid payroll taxes and penalties.
Permanent establishment risk is the risk that your enterprise will be judged to have a sufficiently permanent presence in a foreign country and therefore be liable for corporate income tax there. To mitigate this risk, international enterprises need clarity on the tax status of their outposts. A Global PEO can help you mitigate permanent establishment risk.
Yes. In many cases switching from a local legal entity, such as a subsidiary company, to a Global PEO, saves you time and money. As employment specialists, Global PEOs are usually able to perform the role at a lower cost, compared to a local entity doing it themselves.
Yes. The Global PEO becomes the 'Employer of Record' for your workforce, and takes over key payroll and benefits administration responsibilities. However, your engagement agreement with the Global PEO ensures that you still retain day-to-day oversight of employees.
Yes. The Global PEO withholds all payroll taxes monthly and administers employee benefits (such as insurance and pension contributions) in full compliance with all applicable laws.
PEOs and employee leasing differ according to the nature of the relationship between the employee and the client company. With a PEO, there is an ongoing relationship between the employee and the client company. The PEO becomes the company of record for HR, payroll, benefits, employment taxes, and other HR-related purposes. In employee leasing, the employee is leased to the client company, usually on a temporary basis. The relationship with the leasing company is usually permanent or ongoing.
As the legal employer of your workforce, the PEO takes human resources and payroll responsibilities out of your hands. However, you still:
- Directly supervise the employees on a day-to-day basis.
- Determine all job responsibilities, wages and performance expectations.
- Decide whether employees need to be made redundant or terminated.
Your control over these matters is clearly set out in the engagement agreement between you and the PEO.
The PEO, as the employer, has the responsibility for paying staff, administering their benefits and withholding taxes.
An Employer of Record (EOR) is the legal employer of the workforce and has compliance responsibility for payroll, taxes and benefits. It is common for domestic PEOs in the United States to not be the EOR. International PEOs, like Horizons, are always the Employer of Record where they provide PEO solutions.
Yes. We offer comprehensive health insurance, as well as other kinds of employee benefits, on request.