Gusto Payroll Review 2024 — Is It Right for Your Startup?

HR employee with tablet, standing next to Gusto review.

Payroll services make employee management for startups and small businesses quick and easy. Often allowing the business to automate the payroll process and grant autonomy to employees to manage their own details using self-service platforms. 

Gusto is a strong choice for payroll services for startups. With their extensive features, customizable plans, and no long-term commitments, Gusto is a valuable resource for businesses looking to better manage their employees and HR needs. But is it right for your startup? We’re here to help you decide with this Gusto payroll review. 

Best Payroll Software: Gusto

Don’t let administrative tasks distract you from meaningful work – Gusto makes payroll, benefits, and HR simple for startups.

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Pros & Cons of Gusto


  • Free Account Setup: Not only can you switch or cancel your plan anytime, but it’s free to sign up for a Gusto account. 
  • Commitment-Free: With Gusto, you are not required to pay annually or sign a long-term contract, giving you optimal freedom. 
  • Extensive Features Included: Whether you opt for Gusto’s lowest- or highest-cost plan, you can expect a robust suite of features included in your plan. 
  • Customizable Plans: Gusto offers add-ons to customize your plan’s payroll, health benefits, and more. 
  • Flexible Contractor Plan Available: Small companies relying on contractor work can receive an impressive deal on their Gusto plan. 


  • Multi-State Features Are Limited: In order to conduct multi-state payroll,  you will need to subscribe to a higher-cost plan. 
  • Some Benefits Features Cost Extra: While Gusto does offer multiple benefits features, several require you to purchase an add-on. 

Best Payroll Software: Gusto

Don’t let administrative tasks distract you from meaningful work – Gusto makes payroll, benefits, and HR simple for startups. Get started today!

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Gusto Pricing & Features

Gusto offers several packages for businesses to choose from, each with its own set of valuable features, from self-service employee portals to HR resources. The base package cost denotes the type and amount of features you receive with your plan. From there, you will pay for each employee’s account individually, allowing you to scale your plan with your team. 

Simple ($40/month + $6/month/user)

Notable Features:

  • Full-service single-state payroll, including W-2s and 1099s
  • Employee profiles and self-service features
  • Basic hiring and onboarding tools 
  • Payroll and time-off reporting

Plus ($80/month + $12/month/user)

Notable Features:

  • Full-service single-state payroll, including W-2s and 1099s
  • Next-day direct deposit 
  • PTO management and policies 
  • Advanced hiring and onboarding tools

Premium (Custom pricing)

Notable Features:

  • Full-service single-state payroll, including W-2s and 1099s
  • HR resource center and access to certified HR experts 
  • Health insurance broker integration 
  • Waived fees and exclusive pricing

Contractor Only ($6/month/contractor)

Notable Features:

  • Unlimited contractor payments across all 50 states 
  • Four-day direct deposit 
  • End-of-year 1099-NECs 
  • New hire reporting

Whether you’re an SMB or a fast-scaling startup, Gusto’s packages are marketed to businesses of all sizes. Choosing the right package for your business depends largely on the type and amount of features your business requires, as well as team size. It is also important to note that Gusto’s packages are highly customizable, with a myriad of add-on features available to tailor any plan to your business’s unique needs. 

Gusto Reviews

Gusto is rated fairly highly by their customers, many of them small to mid-sized businesses. Praise for Gusto is centered largely around the ease of using the platform, especially for businesses that prefer to put their payroll and employee management processes on autopilot. 

Negative reviews for Gusto commonly cite difficulty receiving support from the customer care team as well as a lack of features to support other business processes such as accounting or bookkeeping. However, it is important to note that Gusto does offer integrations with some of these services. 

Here are some verified customer reviews from TrustRadius about Gusto:

“Our day-to-day needs are met with ease. Our employees are able to onboard super quickly and easily, and their pay is consistently delivered. On my end, entering my employee’s work times is quick and painless. The fact that Gusto runs in the background with very little thought on my end (other than the recent issue with submitting some state forms in a timely manner), is a testament to how well they do.”

“Gusto is great for an easy-to-use perspective of employees. Many find it to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. I feel like this tool works the best when you have someone on your team that is knowledgeable of the platform and can help other employees, as sometimes Gusto’s customer support team can be difficult to get a hold of.”

“Gusto is [a] great one stop shop tool for HR and administrative tasks. It empowers workers to edit their payroll information, enroll for benefits, and request time off. It can also accomplish other tasks like tracking expenses and reimbursements. On the employee side of things, it’s a pleasure to use and makes life much easier.”

“Gusto has worked perfectly for my small business payroll needs. It was easy to setup and has required very little maintenance to ensure I stay compliant with local and federal regulations. However it is not a full accounting suite, so you need to make sure you have an accounting solution set up for your business needs.”

Gusto Alternatives

Gusto is a strong choice for payroll services, but if you aren’t sure it is right for your business, see how it stacks up against competitor OnPay. Both services offer comprehensive payroll features for businesses of varying sizes, here’s how the two services compare side-by-side. 


Pricing starts at $40 per month, with an additional $6 required per user per month as well. Additionally, Gusto offers three other package options. 

Best For: Small teams and small businesses

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OnPay offers one pricing option at $40 per month plus $6 per month per user. 

Best For: Small teams and small businesses

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Both Gusto and OnPay offer comprehensive payroll services for businesses of different sizes. Both are likely best suited for small businesses with 50 employees or less, however. Therefore, if you are seeking a payroll option with a little more scalability, you may want to shop around using our guide to the best payroll services for startups.

The Bottom Line

If you are a small to mid-sized business looking for a complete suite of payroll services, Gusto is a great option to take the monthly headache out of getting your employees paid. While benefits features are slightly limited on the platform, Gusto offers a myriad of add-ons and integration options to create a perfect tech stack for employee management. 

With several plans to choose from, including a custom pricing enterprise plan, Gusto makes it easy to ensure your business is able to hire, onboard, and manage employees with ease. 

Gusto’s comprehensive payroll solutions are tailored for entrepreneurial success. Get started today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a payroll solution for small businesses and beyond. With Gusto, employers are able to hire, onboard, and manage employees, including running payroll, issuing W2s and 1099s, and tracking employee time. 

Can I trust Gusto?

Yes, Gusto is a trustworthy payroll service for businesses to manage employees. The service offers a range of features to support businesses in their commitment-free packages, meaning you don’t have to worry about committing to a long-term contract to use their services. 

Is Gusto good for self-employed?

Gusto offers a comprehensive contractor package, making it easy for self-employed contractors to manage their payments. Plus, the service is super affordable for both sole proprietors and contractors, starting at $0 per month. 

How much is Gusto Payroll per month?

Gusto payroll services start at $40 per month plus $6 per user per month for their business packages. 

Does Gusto have hidden fees?

Gusto boasts no hidden fees and no long-term contracts or commitments. Plus, signing up for a Gusto account is free. However, some features not included in their pre-packaged plans require a fee to add on the feature. 

How can I contact Gusto?

You can contact the Gusto team via phone at 800-936-0383 or online on their website

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