Square wants to make benefits a no-brainer for small businesses

  • Payments business Square announced Wednesday it would add benefit offerings to its payroll platform.
  • This will allow small businesses to give employees access to benefits like health insurance and retirement savings.
  • This can reduce businesses’ payroll tax burden, and after one-time enrollment, it will automatically factor benefits into the payroll.

For small businesses, it can be difficult to offer employees benefits, but now Square is making it easier.

On Wednesday, Square announced employee benefit offerings with Square Payroll, which allows small businesses to give their employees access to benefits like health insurance, retirement savings, pre-tax spending, and workers’ compensation.

“We believe everyone should have access to great benefits and the financial security that comes with it,” said Caroline Hollis, head of Square Payroll.

Square surveyed businesses on what to add the Square Payroll, and businesses agreed that adding benefits is one of the most difficult parts. Businesses can face some red tape when it comes to benefits, but by offering benefits, this can help reduce businesses’ payroll tax burden.

“We’ve heard again and again from sellers what a pain point payroll is,” said Alyssa Henry, seller lead at Square. “We’ve heard many of them are doing it on paper or even paying under the table — not necessarily to avoid taxes — but because of the complexity.”

On Square Payroll, business owners can select benefits that fit their budgets, and after they enroll, the benefits will automatically sync with the payroll. And they can access payroll information such as benefits enrollments and contributions on a dashboard.

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To make these benefits possible, Square Payroll partnered with companies like SimplyInsured, Guideline 401(k), Alice, and AP Intego.

Square Payroll, which includes features such as tax calculations, payments, and filings, became available nationwide earlier this month. Square launched Payroll after surveying businesses and hearing that managing payroll is one of the most complicated and stressful parts of running a business.

Just last month, Square also launched the Square Terminal, a portable, all-in-one card processing device also designed for small businesses.