Deel and Gusto are two of the most popular international payroll software platforms. They also offer HR tools and contractor management features, and Deel also provides the option to engage Employer of Record (EOR) services. In this guide, we’ll examine the similarities and differences between Deel and Gusto to help you decide which global payroll solution is right for your needs.

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Deel vs. Gusto: Comparison table

Global payrollYesYes
Contractor managementYesYes
Employer of RecordYesForthcoming
Forever free planYesNo
Mobile appNoYes

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Deel vs. Gusto: Pricing

Deel pricing

Deel offers multiple pricing plans that include different features to suit different businesses needs. The three pricing plans are:

  • Contractor: $49 per contractor per month.
  • Employer of Record: $599 per employee per month.
  • Direct employees: Free for companies with less than 200 employees. If you have more workers than that, you must contact Deel’s sales team for a custom quote.

The direct employee plan serves as Deel’s free trial and allows you to test drive the software for a long period of time before committing to a paid plan. For more information, see our full Deel review.

Gusto pricing

Gusto also offers multiple transparent pricing plans so you can choose the one that fits your needs. The four pricing plans are:

  • Contractor: Special discounted base price of $0 per month for the first 6 months, plus $6 per contractor per month. After 6 months, this plan costs $35 per month, plus $6 per contractor per month.
  • Simple: $40 per month, plus $6 per month per person.
  • Plus: $80 per month, plus $12 per month per person. Option to add on priority support and HR services for an additional $8 per month per person.
  • Premium: You must contact Gusto’s sales team for a custom quote for this plan.

Gusto lets you set up an account and company profile for free. You will only be charged when you run payroll for the first time so you can take as long as you want to explore the platform. However, Gusto does not offer a forever free plan like Deel. For more information, see our full Gusto review and check out our list of the top Gusto competitors.

Deel vs. Gusto: Feature comparison

Global payroll

Deel is well-known for its easy-to-use international payroll platform (Figure A), which is available in more than 100 countries. Deel covers compliance, taxes, benefits administration, visa support, and PTO admin all in one system, and its local experts are available to assist with any related issues. However, it lacks a mobile app, whereas Gusto offers the Gusto Wallet app for employees — which is why it made our list of the best payroll apps of 2023.

Figure A

Deel payroll.
Image: Deel

Gusto’s easy-to-navigate platform (Figure B) lets employers run payroll and direct deposit money in just a few clicks. If you enable the Payroll on AutoPilot® feature, payroll will run automatically one day before your payroll deadlines. Deductions and tax filing are automated to make compliance easy, and employee I-9s and W-2s and contractor 1099s are all stored in the online platform.

Figure B

Gusto payroll.
Image: Gusto

HR features

Deel also includes other HR tools (Figure C) besides just payroll, including onboarding and offboarding tools, employee engagement surveys and a people database. However, its tools are not as comprehensive as a dedicated HR suite like BambooHR, and it also lacks a couple HR features that Gusto does have, most notably time tracking.

Figure C

Deel HR dashboard.
Deel HR dashboard.

Gusto also offers a wide range of HR features that small and big businesses alike will find helpful. They include benefits administration, native time and attendance tracking, hiring and onboarding, talent management and performance management (Figure D). While Gusto offers more HR features than Deel, you will need to get the Premium plan to unlock all of them, which might be a hindrance for small businesses.

Figure D

Gusto performance management.
Gusto performance management.

Contractor management

Deel’s contractor management plan (Figure E) is not as affordable as many on the market, including Gusto’s, but it does come with some cool features. In addition to 15 different payment methods, Deel also offers the Deel card, a debit card that contractors can use to make payments straight from their Deel account using a stable currency.

Figure E

Deel contractor management.
Deel contractor management.

If you have U.S. workers, you can generate W-9s for U.S. team members and file 1099s with a single click. And if you’re willing to upgrade to Deel Shield or Deel Premium, you’ll get additional protections from contractor misclassification.

Gusto’s payroll platform allows you to pay both full-time employees and contractors in 120+ different countries (Figure F), or you can opt for the Contractor Only plan. With Gusto, contractors can self-onboard and receive automatic payday emails and 1099-NEC forms. Just like with full-time employees, tax calculations, forms and filing are all automated.

Figure F

Gusto run payroll.
Gusto run payroll.

Employer of Record

Deel currently offers Employer of Record (EOR) services in 90+ countries (Figure G). An EOR acts as a third-party go-between that assumes all the hassle and compliance risk of hiring and paying employees internationally.  Deel owns all of its international hiring entities except for China, instead of contracting with third-party organizations, so your company can have a seamless experience. Deel provides localized benefits for each country and allows you to edit and sign contracts directly in the app with document management tools.

Figure G

Deel EOR.
Deel EOR.

In contrast, Gusto currently does not offer its own Employer of Record of services. Its website states that later this year, it will partner with Remote to officially launch the EOR service Gusto Global in 75 countries (the service is currently in beta in Canada only). Remote is another international payroll and HR software company that is actually one of Deel’s main competitors (see our Deel vs. Remote comparison for more information).

So if you need EOR services right now, you should choose Deel or work directly with another alternative, such as Remote, instead of waiting for Gusto’s services to launch.

Deel pros and cons

Pros of Deel

  • Free for companies with under 200 employees.
  • Dedicated account reps for enterprise accounts.
  • Easy-to-use payroll system.
  • EOR services in 90+ countries.

Cons of Deel

  • Does not offer a mobile app.
  • Contractor management plan is more expensive than competitors.
  • Must pay extra for contract misclassification protection.
  • Not as comprehensive as dedicated HR software.

Gusto pros and cons

Pros of Gusto

  • Easy-to-use automated payroll platform.
  • Lots of good HR features.
  • Contractor-only plan is more affordable than Deel’s.
  • Very transparent pricing system.

Cons of Gusto

  • EOR services are not yet available.
  • Some HR features are limited to the Premium tier.
  • Does not offer 24/7 customer support.
  • Quickbooks integration can be clunky.

Review methodology

To compare Deel and Gusto, we looked at their global payroll and HR tools. We also considered their Employer of Record (EOR) services and contractor management plans. We weighed additional factors such as pricing, user experience and ease of use. And we consulted product documentation, user reviews and demo videos to see how they worked.

Should your organization use Deel or Gusto?

Both Deel and Gusto are excellent options for businesses looking for global payroll and contractor management tools. Deel’s and Gusto’s payroll platforms are similar, with the main difference being Gusto’s fully automated feature and employee app. That being said, Deel offers a forever free plan to companies under 200 employees, which will no doubt be very appealing to small businesses on a budget.

Both platforms also offer HR tools that will be beneficial for small and medium businesses especially. Gusto offers more HR features overall, including performance and talent management, while Deel offers employee engagement surveys. If native HR features matter to you, Gusto has the slight edge in this category.

When it comes to their contractor plans, Gusto’s is more affordable, especially when you account for the six-month introductory offer. However, Deel provides some additional features, such as the Deel Card for contractors and an option to upgrade your misclassification protection, so it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth the extra money.

Lastly, Deel is the only one that currently offers EOR services, making it the clear winner in this particular category. Even when Gusto Global does launch later this year, it will be run and managed through another company. Since Deel owns all its EOR entities except for China, you’ll have a much more seamless experience with them.

Still not sure if Deel or Gusto is right for your needs? Check out our list of the best international payroll services for 2023 to see what your other options are.

1 Paycor

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Payroll can be a time-consuming, administrative task for HR teams. Paycor’s solution is an easy-to-use yet powerful tool that gives you time back in your day. Quickly and easily pay employees from wherever you are and never worry about tax compliance again. Key features like general ledger integration, earned wage access, AutoRun, employee self-service and detailed reporting simplify the process and help ensure you pay employees accurately and on time.

Learn more about Paycor

2 Multiplier

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Multiplier is a SaaS-based global employment solution, providing payroll, EOR and benefits solutions for over 150 countries across the world including the US, Europe, and APAC.

Learn more about Multiplier

3 Deel

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Deel's full-suite of HR tools allows companies to manage the entire employee lifecycle—from recruitment and onboarding and beyond—in 150 countries. All this from a single, easy to use interface. US and Global Payroll allows you to pay any type of worker in 100+ countries, and all 50 states, in whatever currency you choose. And with 200+ in-house legal experts and entities in 120+ countries, using Deel means you’ll always be compliant with local regulations.

Learn more about Deel