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ADP vs. Gusto: Which Payroll Service is Best for Your LLC


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Managing payroll can be complex and time-consuming when running a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Choosing the right payroll company is crucial to ensure your employees are paid accurately and on time and to comply with tax regulations. Two popular payroll service providers are ADP and Gusto. Both have their strengths, but they cater to different business needs. This blog will help you understand which payroll companies fit your LLC best.

What is ADP?

ADP (Automatic Data Processing) is a well-established payroll service provider known for its wide range of services. It offers:

  • HR Management: Tools to manage your human resources effectively.
  • Employee Onboarding: Streamlined processes for bringing new employees into your company.
  • Background Checks: Services to ensure your new hires meet your company’s standards.

ADP is renowned for its comprehensive features, exceptional customer support, and reliability. It’s popular among larger businesses with complex payroll and HR needs.

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a newer, user-friendly payroll service popular among small- and medium-sized businesses. It offers:

  • Full-Service Payroll: Handles all payroll tasks, from calculating wages to filing taxes.
  • HR Tools: Features for managing employee benefits, onboarding, and more.

Gusto stands out for its affordability and ease of use, making it a favorite for businesses that need a straightforward, cost-effective payroll solution.


Comparing ADP and Gusto

To help you decide which payroll service is best for your LLC, let’s compare ADP and Gusto on several key factors:


ADP offers a comprehensive suite of features:

  • Payroll processing
  • Tax filing services
  • Time and attendance tracking
  • HR management tools
  • Employee benefits administration
  • Retirement plan services
  • Background checks
  • Mobile app for easy access

Gusto, while not as extensive as ADP, provides all the essential features for payroll and HR:

  • Full-service payroll
  • Automatic tax filing
  • Benefits management (health insurance, retirement plans)
  • Time tracking
  • Employee self-service portal
  • HR resources and compliance help
  • Simple onboarding tools


Ease of Use

  •  Due to its wide range of features, ADP has a more complex interface. It might take some time to get used to, especially for small business owners new to payroll systems. However, its extensive functionality can be very beneficial once mastered.
  • Gusto is known for its user-friendly interface. It’s designed to be easy to navigate, making payroll processing straightforward and less time-consuming. This simplicity is a significant advantage for small businesses that don’t have a dedicated HR department.


  • ADP doesn’t list its prices publicly because it offers customized pricing based on your business’s needs. Generally, ADP is more expensive due to its extensive range of features and tailored service plans.
  • Gusto offers transparent pricing with three main plans:
    • Core: $39 per month + $6 per employee
    • Complete: $39 per month + $12 per employee
    • Concierge: $149 per month + $12 per employee

Gusto’s pricing is generally more affordable, especially for small businesses.


Customer Support

  • ADP is known for its exceptional customer support. It offers 24/7 service, and its representatives are knowledgeable and helpful. This level of support can be critical for larger businesses with complex payroll needs.
  • Gusto also provides vital customer support, though it may not be as extensive as ADP’s. They offer phone and email support during business hours. Gusto is known for its helpful and friendly service, making it a reliable option for small businesses.



  • ADP integrates with various third-party software, including accounting systems, HR management tools, and time-tracking applications. This flexibility makes managing all your business operations easier from a single platform.
  • Gusto also offers integrations with software like QuickBooks, Xero, and time-tracking tools. While its integration options might not be as extensive as ADP’s, they cover the essentials most small businesses need.


Suitability for Business Size

  • ADP is better suited for larger businesses with complex payroll and HR needs. Its extensive features and superior customer support justify the higher cost for companies that require a robust payroll solution.
  • Gusto is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. Its affordability, ease of use, and essential features make it a perfect fit for companies that need a straightforward and effective payroll service without breaking the bank.


How to Choose the Right Payroll App for Your LLC

When looking for a suitable payroll app for your LLC, consider these factors to find the best fit for your business needs:

  1. Identify Your Business Needs
    • Think about the size of your business, the complexity of your payroll, and any additional HR services you might need. For instance, a larger company with many employees may benefit more from ADP’s extensive features, while a smaller company might prefer Gusto’s simplicity and affordability.
  2. Evaluate the Features
    • List the most important features to you, such as payroll processing, tax filing, employee self-service, benefits management, time tracking, and software integrations. Compare the features of different payroll apps to see which one matches your needs.
  3. Consider the User Experience
    • Ease of use is key, especially if you or your staff are unfamiliar with payroll systems. Look for an app with a user-friendly interface. Reading reviews and trying out demos can help you determine how easy the software is.
  4. Check Pricing and Plans
    • Understand the pricing of each payroll app and how it fits your budget. Look at the base price and any additional costs per employee or for extra features. Like Gusto’s, transparent pricing plans can help you predict your monthly expenses.
  5. Look at Customer Support
    • Good customer support is crucial for resolving issues. Look for a provider that offers robust customer support, ideally 24/7. Read reviews to learn about the responsiveness and helpfulness of their support team.
  6. Integration with Other Tools
    • Your payroll app should work well with your existing software, like accounting tools, HR management systems, and time-tracking apps. Smooth integration can save time and reduce errors.
  7. Read Reviews and Get Recommendations
    • Reading user reviews and getting recommendations from other business owners can provide valuable insights. Look for feedback on reliability, ease of use, customer support, and overall satisfaction.


Which is Better for Your LLC?

Choosing ADP

ADP is a better fit if your LLC is a more extensive operation with complex payroll and HR requirements. The comprehensive features and exceptional customer support justify the higher cost. ADP’s robust system can handle the intricacies of large-scale payroll management, making it a reliable choice for established businesses.

Choosing Gusto

Gusto is an excellent option if your LLC is small to medium-sized and you want an affordable, user-friendly payroll service. Gusto’s straightforward interface, essential HR tools, and transparent pricing make it a practical choice for businesses that want to streamline their payroll processes without extensive HR management features.


ADP and Gusto have their strengths, and the right choice depends on your business needs. If you value a wide range of features and have the budget, ADP is the way to go. On the other hand, if affordability and ease of use are your priorities, Gusto is an excellent choice.

Evaluate your business size, budget, and payroll needs carefully. By understanding what each service offers, you can make an informed decision to benefit your LLC in the long run. Whether you choose ADP or Gusto, having a reliable payroll service will help you manage your business more efficiently and focus on what you do best – running your company.

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