Gusto Pricing: Is It Worth It?

It’s hard to find a payroll company and benefits company that satisfies your business’ needs while being under your budget. Most payroll solutions and benefit solutions provide general payroll processing services but lack any additional features especially within benefits administration. However, compared to others, Gusto pricing is better.

When I say better, I mean for small business owners and modern companies – because Gusto is designed for small businesses and startups with less than 10 – 500 employees.

It’s designed to provide all payroll features, onboarding, and payroll tax processing services. Along with a complete Gusto pricing schedule, the software provides an all-in-one solution for businesses with limited resources.

If you’re interested in acquiring this software, but aren’t sure if it’ll fit the budget, keep reading. In this article, I’ll take you through the different Gusto pricing plans to help you decide.

Let’s get started.

What is Gusto?

Gusto is a complete HR resource center designed to be a full-service payroll provider. The company was founded as ZenPayroll in 2012. Today, Gusto provides human resources services to over 100,000 firms.

Currently, the company only caters to US based companies. Mostly because its tax compliance features are adjusted according to US tax laws and regulations.

Gusto Payroll made for startups and small business owners so its services are SME-based. This means it tends to take care of a lot of redundant processes so you can save time and resources. Additional services like employee benefits, workers’ compensation, comp insurance, and a complete employee directory help make businesses more efficient.

Furthermore, Gusto allows full third-party integration for data migration to their payroll app. If you use software like QuickBooks, Xero, or ADP, you can just transfer all the data to Gusto.

Gusto Payroll Services

Gusto provides its payroll system across the US. The company also provides dedicated support to startups. For example, you can get phone support throughout the week, and if you have minor queries, you can use chat support. Customer support helps you set up the software when you opt for Gusto, and help you get accustomed to the software and its features.

The benefits administration includes several benefits other than health insurance and healthcare-related benefits. You can provide FSA (Flexible Spending Accounts), HSA, commuter benefits, and retirement plans, among others. Most pre-tax benefits can be provided with the software.

Gusto Pricing Plans

Gusto Pricing

PlansBase PricePer Person
Contractor-$6 per month
Core Plan$39/month$6 per month
Complete Plan$39/month$12/month
Concierge Plan$149/month$12/month

Gusto’s pricing plans are divided into 4 main categories. One category is for contractors while the other 3 are for salaried employees.

The company also offers a one-month free trial after you run payroll for the first time – mostly so you can get accustomed to the software and find out whether it works for you or not.

Furthermore, there is no setup fee when you start with Gusto.

The following are details on each of the plans and what features they provide.


Base Price: $0/month

Per Person: $6/month

If you haven’t employed full-time salaried employees (W-2) yet, you can get the contractor (1099) plan.

You can make unlimited contractor payments with this plan. There is also contractor self-service so your contracted employees can check their statuses. Finally, 1099s are created and filed by the company automatically.

Core Plan

Base Price: $39/month

Per Person: $6/month

The core plan is made for companies that are just starting up or starting to automate their payroll. You get unlimited full-service payroll services and a support team to set up and manage your payroll.

There is also an employee self-service option so employees can check their pay stubs, pay rates, direct deposits, and tax forms.

You also have the option for worker’s comp and health benefits administration. Additionally, you can enact PTO policies and manage them from the software.

The plan also produces deductions for wage garnishments, payroll reports, and digital copies of year-end forms.

Starting at only $45, the core plan is one of the most affordable payroll plans in the market. It’s a great option for companies that require payroll processing and basic benefits administration software. It’s made to be easy to use and for teams who want to keep it simple.

Complete Plan

Base Price: $39/month

Per Person: $12/month

The complete plan is made for fast-growing SaaS companies and other businesses. It includes add-on features like time tracking, tax filing, and other tools designed to help busy, fast-growing businesses.

You get all the features that come with the core plan. In addition, you have simple tracking and permissions. The permissions are mostly to regulate how people use the software and how much control Gusto has over your payroll.

There are more detailed PTO policies and time-off requests can be made and tracked in the software. You also get an employee directory and and are able to conduct employee surveys. Furthermore, you can also take care of employee offers and onboarding directly from the software.

To top it off, you can make things like organizational charts for better employee management.

Concierge Plan

Basic Price: $149/month

Per Person: $12/month

The concierge plan is for well-established small businesses that want to automate their entire HR department. It’s also for businesses who don’t have many in-house HR resources or can’t afford them. After all, paying around $200 for automated HR is better than paying $4,000 per month for an HR professional.

That is why the concierge plan works best for startups.

For starters, you get all the features of the complete plan, along with add-ons. Additionally, you get a complete HR resource center and gain access to certified HR pros.

The plan also provides employee handbook templates and training plans for harassment prevention. There are also several JD templates you can use for your new hire checklist.

Is Gusto’s Payroll Software Good?

Gusto is very integration-friendly and integrates easily with most third-party software. Whether you want to shift from another payroll software or just want to transfer data, Gusto has you sorted.

When it comes to additional options like employee benefits and insurance, there are some additional fees.

If you provide 401k retirement plans, there is a minimum $40 per month fee. There is also an $8 fee per participant every month. Lastly, there is a $500 set-up fee to get started.

If you’re providing a 529 college savings plan, there is a minimum fee of $18/month. There is no set-up fee, but there is a $6 per month fee, per participant.

If you’re providing pre-tax spending accounts, there is an annual $200 service charge. It covers FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts), HSAs (Health Spending Accounts), and commuter benefits. If you buy each plan separately, HSAs are $2.50 per participant every month. For FSAs and commuter benefits, there is a $20 minimum per month fee. Plus, a $4 per month fee per participant.

Even if you opt for the concierge plan and all the added features, it will cost you less than an HR department. It’s not only cheaper but also more convenient and streamlined.

Ease of Use

Gusto’s payroll software is known to be very user-friendly. It also has a dedicated mobile app so you can take care of all HR processes on-the-go.

Furthermore, unlike other payroll providers, Gusto discloses everything on their website, such as pricing, features, and any add-on fees you may incur.

Should You Use Gusto for Your Small Business?

As a small business owner, you need to be very smart about your choices – especially when it comes to something like payroll and HR. Ultimately, you need to make the most of your limited resources and finances.

Gusto is one of the few companies that understand this and have based their proposition on it. The one-month free trial is something that not many companies offer in the industry. It’s a great way to find out whether the software works out for your business or not. It also saves you from any kind of long-term commitment.

Besides, the Gusto pricing plans are also very flexible.

It’s best to evaluate your small business or startup to see where you stand. Check your finances, the number of employees, as well as, your HR needs, and then decide whether you should invest in an HR software. However, at $1,188 per year on average, it’s a steal and worth it.

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Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is a business strategy consultant and founder. He's written several world-recognized books on software configuration, speaks Spanish, ballroom dances, and owns The Product Company and Squibler.