Pricing for Gusto

Pay your best price,
not their best price.

James Langley | May 28, 2024

Get insight into Gusto pricing and which subscription tier might suit you, and discover how letting Vertice empower your procurement could lower your Gusto costs.

With our guide to Gusto pricing, you’ll get clarity around the subscription tiers and costs for this payroll and HR solution. Then, find out how Vertice could save you time and money with its SaaS purchasing and management platform, helping you control your organization’s spend and procure software at a lower price.

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What Gusto can do for you

Gusto is a SaaS solution that helps businesses manage their payroll, human resources, and benefits administration. Its cloud-based platform enables organizations to streamline payroll processing and tax filings to ensure accurate and timely payments, while offering tools for hiring and onboarding, compliance management, and reporting and analytics alongside. 

Automation is a major advantage of the Gusto platform, making it quick and easy to: 

  • File and pay federal, state, and local payroll taxes; 
  • Generate W-2s and 1099s and send digital copies to your workforce;
  • Deduct for garnishments such as child support;
  • Account for minimum wage requirements with tip credits;
  • File and pay unemployment insurance taxes;
  • Sync your payroll to PTO and holiday pay policies;
  • Automatically run payroll before each payday using AutoPilot.

By leveraging an all-in-one payroll and HRIS solution such as Gusto, businesses can reduce the administrative burden of these often complex and time-consuming tasks. Gusto’s products are also compliant with ACA, HIPAA, and ERISA regulations.

Gusto products explained

Gusto’s functionality is split across three different product areas, and each pricing tier includes features within each. Here’s a more detailed look.


Gusto is a payroll provider first and foremost, and this is where the majority of its capabilities lie. Automatic payroll processing is the bread and butter of the solution, letting users make direct deposits to their employees’ accounts. Integrations with time tracking software allow easy syncing of employee hours with payroll, providing accurate calculation of salaries, deductions, and taxes. 

You can run payroll as many times as you need every month for no extra cost, with Gusto automatically filing local, state, and federal taxes when you do so. Tax registration support is provided for all 50 US states, and Gusto can also handle contractor payments in more than 120 countries. 

Managing payroll through Gusto also eases the burden of compliance thanks to online storage and organization of I-9s, W-2s, and contractor 1099s — and employees can access pay stubs and W-2s at any time through the self-service platform. 

Gusto also makes it easy to manage workers’ compensation within your business. By setting up your policy with its insurance partner, you can sync workers’ comp to your payroll and spread the cost across the year instead of paying a lump sum upfront.


Gusto’s HR software helps you manage your team at all stages, from hiring to offboarding. You can create custom job postings using the platform, which are then automatically posted to popular boards like Indeed and LinkedIn. Gusto lets you track applicants centrally and easily send custom offer letters using built-in templates.

Onboarding tools help bring your new hires up to speed faster, with onboarding checklists to automatically issue documents and obtain signatures, handle benefit enrolment, and provision software.

Talent management tools include performance reviews, goal tracking, anonymous feedback surveys, employee development, and in-depth reporting. Gusto’s time tracking and PTO management features then sync directly with payroll to ensure your calculations are accurate. 

Employee Benefits

Gusto supports a wide range of employee benefits. It can help you compare and shop for health insurance plans that fit your company’s needs and budget, or you can integrate your existing health insurance broker and plans within Gusto. Health savings accounts (HSAs) let your employees save for future medical expenses, and it’s simple to set up and manage 401(k) retirement plans. 

A range of financial wellness tools are available through the Gusto Wallet app — including paycheck splitters, budgeting tools, and spending insights — helping employees better manage their money.

Gusto pricing structures and tiers

The Gusto pricing structure is relatively straightforward. It’s split into three core subscription tiers with a base monthly price for each, plus an additional fee for each active employee. There are no long-term contracts — you’re free to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your subscription at any time. Here’s a breakdown of each plan.

Gusto pricing – Simple

Price: $40 per month plus $6 per person

Gusto’s cheapest tier is the Simple plan. It offers unlimited payroll runs for a single state, including bonus and off-cycle. With two-day and four-day direct deposit, you can run payroll two or four days before your employees need to be paid. 

Outside of the main payroll functionality, Gusto can automatically handle new hire paperwork and background checks. There are tools for provisioning and deprovisioning Gmail and Microsoft 365 accounts, plus e-signing and storage of digital I-9s and W-4s. In terms of insights, you can generate payroll, time-off, and custom reports. 

Gusto Simple offers a few benefits for your employees too. It can handle health insurance administration, acting as a broker where you only pay for the premium. It also offers spending and savings accounts which enable your employees to access their paychecks up to two days early. 

Gusto pricing – Plus

Price: $80 per month plus $12 per person

The intermediate Gusto pricing tier is Plus, which caters more towards mid-sized and growing businesses with in-person, remote, or hybrid workforces. It includes everything in the Simple plan, but lets you run payroll across multiple states rather than just one. You can also run payroll just a single day before your employees need to be paid with next-day direct deposit. 

The Plus plan includes a greater range of time tracking tools for both hourly and salaried employees and contractors, along with the Time Kiosk tool which lets your workforce clock in and out with any connected device. Functionality is added for expenses and automatic reimbursement too.

For hiring and onboarding, Plus customers get the ability to create job postings and manage applicants, along with tools for software provisioning. There are more insights features too, such as workforce cost reporting and anonymous survey creation.

Gusto pricing – Premium

Price: contact sales

Gusto Premium is broadly similar to Plus in terms of functionality, but it offers exclusive pricing for organizations with larger teams. There’s also a greater degree of white-glove service available, and customers can benefit from:

  • Priority support via direct phone and email lines;
  • A dedicated customer success manager;
  • Federal and state compliance alerts;
  • Payroll migration services;
  • Access to certified HR experts.

Pricing is available via the Gusto sales team. 

Gusto pricing – Contractor only

Price: $35 per month plus $6 per contractor

If your business is contractor-only, there’s a separate plan available that’s slightly cheaper. It includes unlimited contractor payments across all 50 states, four-day direct deposit, 1099-NECs at the end of the year, and new hire reporting functionality if your state requires it.

Additional Gusto costs to consider

Gusto provides several benefits on top of its core plans, split into a number of categories. The various add-ons are very much on-top services that enhance the base functionality of the solution — if you require a lot of them, it might drive up the price beyond more all-in-one competitors. Conversely, this pricing model means Gusto can keep the cost of its core product lean for smaller organizations with less complex needs.

Payroll and HR tools

Add-on tools and services around payroll and HR for Gusto include:

  • International contractor payments to over 120 countries;
  • State tax registration;
  • R&D tax credits;
  • Gusto Global EOR services for onboarding and paying employees around the world.

Health benefits

Gusto works with licensed brokers to help you pick medical, dental, and vision plans for your organization, or offer your employees life and disability insurance. You can also integrate most existing brokers and plans with Gusto for $6 per employee per month.

Financial benefits

Integrate your 401(k) plan with Gusto and sync it directly to your payroll to help your team save for the future.

Tax-advantaged benefits

Gusto offers a range of pre-tax accounts for an annual $200 service charge plus monthly fees per participant, including:

  • Health savings accounts (HSAs);
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs); 
  • Dependent care FSAs;
  • Pre-tax spending accounts for commuting costs.

Other vendors offering payroll and HR

Considering alternative vendors is essential as part of a strong procurement process. Here’s a look at three more cloud-based payroll and HR solutions and how they compare to Gusto.

Gusto pricing vs Paylocity

While Gusto caters primarily towards SMBs and startups, Paylocity offers a strong degree of flexibility for organizations of all sizes. Its solution leans more heavily towards those with complex HR and payroll requirements, and there’s additional functionality around talent management and employee experience that’s not available with Gusto. There’s also greater extensibility via third-party integrations. Paylocity pricing is available on request, so it’s hard to compare directly. Generally speaking, Paylocity is more expensive than Gusto but can be granularly tailored to your specific needs.

Gusto pricing vs HiBob

HiBob offers an all-in-one HRIS platform with an emphasis on ease of use for smaller businesses. It particularly excels in the areas of employee experience and performance management, with a large number of social tools to engage your workforce, while also offering similar payroll functionality to Gusto. HiBob pricing is not directly published but is typically close to the cost of Gusto. It follows a modular structure, so you’ll only pay for the functionality you need. Of course, that does mean costs add up if your organization’s requirements are more complex. 

Gusto pricing vs BambooHR

As you might guess from the name, the spotlight is focused on human resources with BambooHR and its platform is more powerful than Gusto’s in this regard. Payroll and benefits administration are available as add-on costs, although only for US employees — so if your organization has a global workforce, it may not be the right choice. BambooHR pricing is a fixed monthly rate for 25 employees or fewer, and per employee per month for more than 25 employees.

Gusto pricing vs Xero

Xero is a cloud-based solution that focuses more purely on accounting, including invoicing, bill payments, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting. Xero itself is not payroll software; instead, it works alongside Gusto by connecting directly with the platform. By combining these two products, businesses get a comprehensive accounting solution with a tightly integrated payroll provider.

Xero pricing starts from $15 per month, but it’s worth keeping in mind Gusto payroll is an additional cost, so this approach could be more expensive. Ultimately, it depends on your needs — are you better served by two best-of-breed solutions, or an all-in-one suite that handles both accounting and payroll? The latter may make most sense for smaller businesses, although Xero’s relatively cheap pricing means it remains a feasible option when paired with Gusto for payroll. 

Gusto pricing vs Paychex

For medium and large businesses, Paychex may be a suitable alternative, offering a comprehensive suite of payroll, HR, and benefits capabilities. Paychex is also known for its professional employer organization (PEO) service offering, which offloads certain HR responsibilities for an additional fee. 

Paychex pricing is not publicly disclosed for the most part. For basic payroll capabilities for small businesses, pricing is similar to Gusto, although costs can quickly add up if you require more advanced features. While Paychex offers solutions from the self-employed to enterprise levels, it’s particularly well suited to larger businesses with more complex HR needs alongside payroll, or those considering PEO services for additional HR support. For smaller companies, Gusto is easier to use and likely more affordable. 

Gusto pricing vs QuickBooks

Another solution geared towards SMBs is Intuit QuickBooks. Compared to Gusto, the platform offers much more in the way of accounting features — it can handle all aspects of financial management, including invoicing, inventory tracking, bill payments, bank reconciliation, and reporting. However, it doesn’t offer as much in the way of HR functionality.

Like Gusto, Intuit QuickBooks pricing is accessible for smaller businesses, but it’s important to note that payroll functionality is an add-on cost. The cheapest QuickBooks tier is $30 per month, with the Payroll Core add-on costing $45 per month plus $6 per employee. Whether this makes sense for you depends on whether you need a full accounting solution in addition to payroll. Equally, QuickBooks offers a native Gusto integration so you can leverage both products if you wish.

Gusto pricing vs Rippling

Rippling offers an array of features under three cloud-based platforms for HR, IT, and finance. The solution is known for its intuitive design and strong focus on automation, minimizing the manual burden of many HR and IT tasks out of the box. It also integrates with more than 500 other business applications. 

Rippling pricing starts from $8 per user per month, but the cost ultimately depends on the functionality and services you choose to enable. As a result, it can be more or less expensive than Gusto according to your requirements. If you consider Rippling’s IT Cloud product alongside its HR and payroll services — offering capabilities like IAM and device management — it could potentially replace three disparate vendors with a single solution, which may ultimately be more cost-effective and easier to manage.

Gusto pricing – the Vertice verdict

Ultimately, we think Gusto is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a payroll-first solution with additional HR functions layered on top. The pricing structure is simple and there are no hidden fees. If you’re looking for extensibility or have more complex needs, there may be other vendors better suited, but Gusto certainly suits many SMB use cases.

When it comes to procuring Gusto and other SaaS solutions, why not let Vertice give you a helping hand? Alongside our purchasing platform, we’ll negotiate on your behalf using our market intel to get you the best price while also saving you time. Get in touch below to find out more.

Gusto pricing FAQs

Gusto Company Profile


Gusto is a modern, online people platform that helps small businesses take care of their teams.

San Francisco, California
Josh Reeves

Gusto Pricing Insights

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