PEO in West Virginia [2024]


Feb 20, 2024

When businesses need to lessen the burden administrative HR tasks place on their team, they often turn to a professional employer organization (PEO) for help. PEOs allow companies, especially small to mid-sized ones, to provide their employees with access to more affordable, higher-quality benefits while streamlining and automating manual HR functions like benefits administration, compliance management, payroll services, and workers’ compensation insurance.

Whether you’re in a city like Charleston or out in the beautiful, tree-covered Appalachian Mountains, there are many reasons your West Virginia business may benefit from using a PEO provider. The Mountain State is known for being one of the most affordable places in the US to do business, and a PEO can help make owning and operating a company even more affordable by providing access to lower-cost benefits and HR cost savings.

As with any other business decision, it’s important to evaluate your choices carefully before settling on one PEO over another. From automatic state tax registration to remote laptop management, Rippling PEO makes it easy to hire and onboard people not only in West Virginia but across the US.

Benefits of using a PEO in West Virginia

The advantages of using a West Virginia PEO are numerous. Working with one doesn’t just mean access to cost-effective benefits: You can also reduce administrative HR work and gain the support of a team of experts who will help you streamline your small or mid-sized business.

Offload administrative HR work

First, a quick primer on how PEOs work. When you join one, it co-employs your workforce, meaning you and the PEO divide employer responsibilities. In a co-employment arrangement, you become the worksite employer. You retain control over who you hire and how much you pay them, your company's business operations—such as marketing, research and development, and sales—and the business strategies you employ. 

The PEO becomes the administrative employer, re-employing your workforce under its own federal tax identification number or EIN. This allows the PEO to assume all employment-related human resources tasks, like benefits management, HR compliance, payroll, and so on.

PEOs are HR specialists. They utilize technology, established processes, and expertise to streamline human resources management. And since a trusted expert is now handling HR administration, your team is free to focus on higher-level tasks that drive business outcomes and add value for your company.

Better employee benefits, at a lower price

Did you know there are over 500 PEOs in the United States co-employing over 4.5 million workers at 200,000 businesses? The size of the workforce they “employ” gives PEO companies the bargaining power they need to negotiate with insurance providers to ensure the client companies they work with have access to cost-effective employee benefits.

In addition to helping businesses and startups alike save money, PEOs also help companies attract and retain top talent by providing access to comprehensive benefits packages. Many PEOs offer access to health insurance, worksite benefits, workers’ comp, mental health care, retirement plans, life and disability insurance, commuter benefits, dependent care, and more.

The affordable benefits plans offered by PEOs also help West Virginia businesses stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires businesses that have 50 or more full-time employees to provide them with healthcare.

Worry-free compliance with West Virginia laws

The ACA isn’t the only law a PEO will ensure you remain in compliance with. Federal, state, and local West Virginia laws are complex and can change without warning. Take the Mountain State’s minimum wage, for instance. It was recently increased from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour, and as of December 31, 2024, it will go up again to $11.00 per hour. These dollar increases will continue until the end of 2028 when the state legislature mandates employers pay $15.00 per hour.

Keeping up with these changes can be a challenge, and the complexity only increases if you have remote employees in states outside of West Virginia. However, a PEO like Rippling will make sure you never violate local laws by automatically flagging minimum wage violations based on employees’ locations.

And West Virginia PEO services can offer legal and compliance support extending far beyond minimum wage regulations. Here are some other compliance areas they can assist you with: 

  • Benefits laws, including federal laws like the ACA, COBRA, HSA, and FSA, as well as any state-level regulations in West Virginia that go into effect 
  • Payroll regulations, including issuing and filing tax forms; classifying employees and contractors correctly; reporting, collecting, and depositing payroll taxes with the correct authorities at the right times; and complying with other wage laws, such as overtime requirements
  • Labor laws, including helping business owners follow Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws and providing employees with workers’ compensation insurance, as well as ensuring you display all state-required labor posters

If you violate any of these laws, you could find yourself facing expensive fines and other penalties. In fact, according to the IRS, a whopping 40% of small businesses pay payroll penalties each year. The bottom line? Compliance support is a significant benefit of using a PEO service.

Dedicated support team

Joining a PEO gives you access to more than employee benefits: It also gives you access to their team of dedicated administrative services experts. This can be a real boon for small businesses and startups, which may not have similar resources internally. In addition to helping you save time and money, a PEO service can provide guidance to help you streamline benefits administration, train managers effectively, review your safety practices and suggest ways to improve them, and more.

What to consider when evaluating a PEO service in West Virginia

West Virginia employers who are seeking a PEO have many options to choose from. Keep the following criteria in mind when evaluating PEO service providers:

  • Your business needs. Start by thinking about what services you need from a PEO. Typical offerings include:
    • Benefits administration
    • Recruiting and onboarding
    • Safety compliance and risk management
    • Time and attendance tracking
    • Payroll processing
    • Regulatory compliance
    • HR outsourcing
    • Tax filing and compliance
  • Your budget. Consider both your current budget and future costs. PEOs usually use one of two pricing structures: They tend to charge either a percentage of each payroll run or a monthly, per-employee fee. If your headcount increases, the cost of using the PEO service likely will, too. 
  • Experience and reputation. Be sure to check review websites like G2 and Capterra to read what both past and current clients of a PEO say about their experience. Additionally, find out if they’ve worked with other West Virginia businesses before. 
  • Benefits. Benefits are one of the most crucial benefits of working with a PEO. Make sure you carefully review the range, quality, and cost of the benefits plans a PEO can help you access and ensure that they align with your employees’ wants and needs.
  • Benefits renewal rates. Find out whether the PEO is transparent about how much the cost of its benefits plans will go up after the first year. This is an important differentiator between service providers, as some PEOs unexpectedly raise renewal rates and leave businesses to deal with the fallout. A reputable PEO will be candid about how its rates change so you can factor potential increases into your budget decisions.
  • Integrations. Think about how the PEO’s systems and tools will integrate with yours.
  • Does the PEO specialize in certain industries? West Virginia is home to many niche businesses, such as those that cater to the coal-mining industry. For companies like these, a PEO with experience in the field can be helpful.
  • Does the PEO specialize in certain legal or compliance issues? Similarly, some businesses have specific federal or state regulations they have to follow or unique legal issues. If one of these scenarios describes your West Virginia business, it may be helpful to look for a PEO with specialized experience.
  • Your exit strategy. True, you’ve only just started looking, but one day, you might decide to part ways with the PEO. When that day comes, many PEO services make it hard for client companies to leave them by requiring you to remove all their systems and start over again. Consider this eventuality before you join a PEO to avoid a painful parting.

Why Rippling PEO is the right choice for your West Virginia business

For a PEO that handles all your critical compliance tasks—such as automatically flagging minimum wage and overtime violations and setting up state and local tax accounts—and provides you with access to Fortune 500-quality benefits at affordable rates, look no further than Rippling PEO. It’s the first PEO to sync HR, IT, and Finance in one platform, so all your busy work becomes simple and streamlined—from 90-second onboarding to remote IT management. While most PEOs run on software built in the 1980s, Rippling runs on fast and easy-to-use modern software.

With Rippling, you get:

  • HR, IT, and Finance in one platform
  • Access to superior benefits plans, plus below-average, predictable renewal rates
  • Automatic flagging for federal, state, and local compliance infractions, along with recommended plans of action
  • Powerful and customizable employee data reporting 
  • Remote team management tools, including state and local tax registration, digital onboarding, and complete IT management
  • Automated risk management processes, including ACA and COBRA administration, harassment prevention training, and distributing digital labor law posters
  • Access to a range of HR resources, guides, and templates

And if a day comes when you decide you’re ready to bring HR in-house, Rippling makes moving on and off the PEO easy. There’s no painful switching process, like with other PEOs. Just switch off Rippling and move to our all-in-one workforce management platform. It’s seamless, and your HR, payroll, and employee data stays stored in your account. Better still, your integrations with other systems remain intact, and your employees keep the same logins—so they can keep using Rippling the same way they know how.

FAQs about PEOs in West Virginia

What is a PEO, and how does it work?

PEOs partner with companies to provide comprehensive HR services, such as benefits administration, payroll, compliance assistance, and HR management. They act as the co-employer of the client company’s workforce and legally employ the company’s workers for tax purposes.

How does a PEO arrangement affect control over my employees?

While the thought of having another company be the legal employer of your workforce might initially sound daunting, it’s a beneficial arrangement for your business. It allows you to retain control over your business’s daily operations and the management of your employees. For its part, the PEO handles HR functions and employment-related HR work. They don’t have any say over things like who you hire and fire.

What is a Certified PEO?

As you research, you may come across PEOs that say they’re certified. Simply put, a Certified PEO (CPEO) has passed a series of voluntary assessments to demonstrate it satisfies certain IRS criteria related to its expertise, finances, background, and reporting. The certification in no way represents an endorsement by the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, while getting certified used to provide tax benefits to businesses, today, the main advantages of obtaining a PEO certification are pretty much obsolete. 

What size company can benefit from a PEO?

PEOs serve and benefit companies of all sizes, but small and medium-sized businesses often reap the most advantages. That’s because PEOs can really help them save on administrative costs by outsourcing HR management tasks, freeing up their small teams and limited resources for higher-level strategic work. Furthermore, PEOs provide these businesses with access to high-quality, cost-effective employee benefits plans they might not have been able to provide on their own.

How does a PEO charge for its services?

Typically, PEOs charge either a per-employee fee or a percentage of the total payroll. The final cost may vary based on the services you need and the number of employees you have.

What is the implementation process, and how long does it take to go live?

It’s hard to determine an exact timeline since the length of the implementation process varies based on a business's size and the complexity of the services the PEO will provide, but typically, it takes anywhere from several weeks to a few months. 

Here’s how it normally works: The PEO will gather information about your employees, including employment records, payroll data, and benefits information. They’ll also prepare their systems to take on your HR management work and integrate their technology with yours. They might also conduct onboarding sessions with your employees, explain the new process and benefits to your team, and train your employees to use their systems.

Are PEOs regulated?

Yes. PEOs are regulated by both federal and state governments.

Are PEOs in West Virginia required to have special certifications or licenses?

Yes. PEOs in the Mountain State are required to obtain a special “employee leasing” license from the West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner and renew that license annually to remain in good standing.

What happens if I want to terminate my relationship with a PEO?

When you decide to leave most PEOs, you’ll have to remove their systems from your business entirely. Not only is this painful and inefficient, but it often disrupts a company’s daily operations until you can find your own systems for the processes the PEO handled for you. 

With Rippling PEO, moving off the PEO is simple: Just switch it off and move to our all-in-one workforce management platform. All your systems, data, and integrations are left intact.

In what states is Rippling PEO available?

Rippling PEO is available in all US states.

Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting, or legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide or be relied on for tax, accounting, or legal advice. You should consult your own tax, accounting, and legal advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.

last edited: February 20, 2024

The Author

Carrie Stemke

A freelance writer and editor based in New York City, Carrie writes about HR trends and global workforce management and is the Rippling content team’s expert on hiring know-how in Western Europe.