12 Free Payroll Software Providers for Small Businesses

Learn about 12 free payroll software services, including truly free software, and software that offers free trials for small businesses.

4 min read • Last updated on October 17th, 2018

Free payroll software helps small businesses automate the time-consuming process of paying employees without having to cut into their budget. It's also a way to systemize the payroll process, making errors less common.

Our Pick

#1 Small Business Payroll Software

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Best Free Payroll Software:

Our Ranking

Payroll Software Company

Free Offer



30-day trial.



30-day trial.



60-day trial.



Free with purchase of Xero accounting software.


Patriot Software

30-day trial.


Sage One Payroll

30-day trial.



30-day trial.


AccountEdge Pro

30-day trial.



30-day trial.



Free for up to 25 employees.


Paycheck Manager

90-day trial.



7-day trial.

Free Payroll Software FAQs:

Should I consider a paid payroll software solution?

Possibly. Paid platforms start between $25 and $40 dollars per month. The time that you or your people in human resources save will most likely cover the cost of the service.

Are there any truly free payroll programs that aren't just free trials?

Payroll4Free.com offers totally free payroll software, but only if you've got 25 or fewer employees. Other than that, we couldn't find any free payroll services for small business or otherwise that were free beyond a trial.

What Is The Best Free Payroll Software For Small Business
What is the best free payroll software for small business?
  • QuickBooks.
  • Payroll4Free.com.
  • Paycheck Manager.
  • AccountEdge Pro.
  • Patriot Payroll.
  • Xero.
  • Sage One Payroll.
  • Gusto.

How can anyone offer payroll software for small business free? Don't they need to make money?

Really, it's all freemium in the end. Most of the companies we found offer free trials of their software. One offered it for free up to 25 employees, so they're likely hoping that by using their payroll for small business free, your company will grow, and you'll be able to pay down the road. Win-win.

Is there payroll software for 1099 employees?

Yes, Payroll4Free.com, Xero, Zenefits, Gusto, QuickBooks, Patriot Payroll, and Sage One Payroll all offer payroll software that works for 1099 employees.

Are payroll programs for small business free to check out?

Most payroll software we looked at offers online payroll free trial options specifically aimed at small business customers. The typical small business payroll software free trial lasts 30 days.

Where can I find a payroll software free download?

We were unable to find any free payroll software online that was available to download. If you want to use payroll programs free, you'll have to use a cloud-based one.

Are there any online payroll services free?

No, payroll services typically include someone who actually runs payroll for you. It's one thing to find a payroll app free, another to find someone to do the day-to-day word without charging. Check out our article on payroll services for more.

Is there any payroll check software free?

Yes, Payroll4Free.com offers check printing as part of its free package. The software is totally free for up to 25 employees.