Employer of Record Explained: Roles and Global Impact

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This article delves into the essence of EORs, exploring their roles, functions, and the burgeoning need for such services in the era of global employment.

What is an employer of record?

An employer of record ( EOR) is essentially a legal entity that takes on the responsibilities of formal employment, acting as the official employer on paper. This arrangement is particularly useful for companies hiring in countries where they do not have a physical presence.

Key functions and responsibilities of an EOR

  • Legal compliance: Ensuring adherence to local employment and labor laws in each country where employees are hired.

  • HR management: Administering HR functions including payroll processing, administering tax deductions, and managing employee benefits such as health insurance.

  • Contract administration: Handling the creation and management of employment contracts and agreements.

  • Global employment facilitation: Serving as the official employer for international employees in multiple countries, particularly where the client company lacks a local legal entity.

  • Day-to-day employee management: Overseeing the daily operations related to staff, which can include both permanent employees and independent contractors.

  • Payroll and tax administration: Handling payroll processing and tax-related responsibilities for employees in different jurisdictions.

  • Employee onboarding and support: Assisting with the onboarding process of new employees and providing ongoing support.

The rise of global hiring and the need for EORs

The trend in international hiring and workforce globalization is rapidly growing, with businesses increasingly seeking specialized skills from a global talent pool. Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to collaborate across borders, encouraging companies to embrace cultural diversity and innovation.

This shift towards global employment is becoming a strategic move for organizations aiming to expand their presence in international markets and maintain a competitive edge in a connected world.

Challenges in global employment

  • Navigating diverse local labor laws and employment laws.
  • Cultural and logistical complexities in international markets.
  • Managing legal employment and compliance challenges in unfamiliar territories.

Role of EORs in addressing these challenges

EOR services have emerged as a vital solution in this context. By acting as a global employer, EORs enable companies to employ international workers seamlessly.

They manage the complexities associated with different local employment laws, cultural nuances, and the legalities of hiring international employees.

For businesses, this means a more streamlined approach to entering new markets and expanding their global workforce without the burden of managing intricate legal and compliance issues.

EORs, therefore, not only facilitate international expansion but also ensure that businesses remain compliant and efficient in their global operations.

Benefits of using an employer of record

Utilizing an employer of record offers numerous advantages, particularly for companies expanding their operations internationally. Here are some key benefits:

1. Simplification of legal and compliance issues

EORs, acting as the legal employer, navigate the complexities of local laws and legal responsibilities in various countries. This simplification is especially beneficial for companies hiring in a new country where understanding local legal nuances can be challenging.

2. Cost-effectiveness and efficiency

EOR services allow businesses to hire employees, including independent contractors, in new global markets without the need to establish their own legal entity. This approach is more cost-effective than setting up a direct entity, saving on entity establishment and operational costs.

3. Risk mitigation in foreign employment practices

An EOR minimizes compliance risks associated with employment agreements and day-to-day operations in a local country. They ensure payroll compliance, manage payroll taxes, and handle other HR functions, which are critical in foreign markets.

4. Professional employer organization (PEO) collaboration

Many EOR service providers also work in tandem with PEOs, allowing businesses to benefit from both services. This collaboration enhances performance management and staffing agency functions, making it easier to hire abroad efficiently.

5. Streamlined hiring and management processes

EORs streamline the process of hiring workers, including international employees, by handling all aspects of employment from payroll processing to ensuring compliance with local employment laws. This streamlined approach is particularly advantageous for companies exploring new markets without the infrastructure to manage these processes internally.

6. Flexibility in global workforce management

EORs offer flexibility, allowing companies to quickly adapt to the demands of global markets. Whether it's hiring in the same country or multiple countries, EORs facilitate the efficient scaling of the workforce as per business needs.

When to use an employer of record?

Using an employer of record can be highly beneficial for businesses in various scenarios, especially when expanding internationally or managing employees across different jurisdictions.

Here are key situations when considering an EOR is advisable:

  • International expansion without a local entity: If a business is looking to expand into new global markets but doesn't have a physical presence or legal entity in the target country, an EOR can act as the legal employer, facilitating local hiring without the need to establish a separate entity.

  • Quick market entry: Businesses looking to quickly enter new markets and hire local talent can leverage EOR services for speedy and compliant market entry, avoiding the lengthy process of setting up a local entity.

  • Managing a remote, international workforce: For companies employing remote workers in different countries, an EOR can manage the diverse legal and administrative aspects of international employment.

  • Short-term projects or assignments: If a company has short-term projects in a foreign country and needs to hire local or expatriate employees for a limited period, using an EOR is a practical solution.

  • Reducing administrative burden: Small businesses or startups without extensive HR or legal departments can benefit from an EOR’s expertise in handling employment-related administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on core business activities.

  • Hiring independent contractors internationally: For businesses that need to hire independent contractors abroad, an EOR can ensure that these arrangements comply with local labor laws, reducing the risk of misclassification.

  • Testing new markets: Before committing significant resources to establish a permanent presence in a new country, companies can use an EOR to test the market with a smaller team, gauging potential before making a larger investment.

In summary, an EOR is a valuable resource for businesses looking to expand globally, manage international teams, and ensure legal compliance in foreign markets without the complexities and risks associated with setting up and maintaining a legal entity abroad.

How do employers of record work?

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Engaging with an employer of record involves a structured, step-by-step process that ensures legal compliance and efficient management of international employees. Here's how it typically works:

  • Initial consultation and needs assessment: The process begins with a consultation where the EOR service provider assesses the specific needs of the business. This includes understanding the company's international hiring objectives, the target markets, and the type of employees they intend to hire (e.g., full-time, part-time, independent contractors).

  • Proposal and agreement: Based on the initial assessment, the EOR provider presents a proposal outlining their services, costs, and terms of engagement. Once agreed upon, both parties enter into a formal agreement, detailing the responsibilities and expectations.

  • Establishing legal framework: The EOR then sets up the necessary legal framework to employ staff on behalf of the client company. This involves establishing or utilizing an existing local entity in the target country to legally hire employees.

  • Employee onboarding: The EOR assists in the recruitment and onboarding process. This includes handling employment contracts, ensuring compliance with local employment laws, and setting up payroll and benefits.

  • Ongoing management and support: Once employees are onboard, the EOR manages all day-to-day HR functions, such as payroll processing, tax deductions, and administering benefits. They also ensure ongoing legal compliance with local labor laws and regulations.

  • Regular reporting and communication: The EOR provides regular updates and reports to the client company, ensuring transparency in operations and finances. Communication channels are established for efficient coordination and problem resolution.

By following these steps, an EOR helps businesses seamlessly navigate the complexities of hiring and managing an international workforce, ensuring legal compliance and operational efficiency in global markets.

Choosing the right employer of record

Choosing the right employer of record is crucial for ensuring successful international employment and compliance. Here are important factors to consider when selecting an EOR:

  • Reputation and reliability: Research the EOR’s reputation in the market. Look for reviews, testimonials, and case studies from other businesses that have used their services. A reputable EOR should have a proven track record of reliability and excellent service.

  • Experience and expertise: Consider the length of time the EOR has been in business and their experience in your specific industry or target country. Experienced EORs will have a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of different markets.

  • Global reach and local expertise: Ensure the EOR has a strong presence in the countries you are targeting. They should have local expertise and understand the nuances of employment laws, taxation, and cultural practices in those regions.

  • Compliance and legal acumen: The EOR should have a strong focus on compliance and be well-versed in the legal aspects of employment in each country of operation. They should be able to navigate local employment laws and ensure legal compliance.

  • Service range: Look at the range of services offered. A good EOR should provide comprehensive services including payroll management, tax compliance, HR support, and legal assistance.

Useful Read: Payroll Services Costs for Small Business: A Complete Breakdown

By carefully evaluating these factors, businesses can select an EOR that not only meets their international employment needs but also contributes to their overall global expansion strategy.

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EORs offer a vital solution for businesses navigating the complexities of global hiring and workforce management.

They provide essential services in legal compliance, payroll, and local employment laws, easing the challenges of international expansion.

Choosing the right EOR is crucial for seamless global growth and ensuring operational success in diverse markets.

Topic: Employer
Rinaily Bonifacio

Written by:

Rinaily Bonifacio

Rinaily is a renowned expert in the field of human resources with years of industry experience. With a passion for writing high-quality HR content, Rinaily brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities of the modern workplace. As an experienced HR professional and content writer, She has contributed to leading publications in the field of HR.


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