What is an Employer of Record

5 min read

What is an Employer of Record and when is it the right option for your business?

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, companies often find themselves facing complex challenges when expanding into new markets or hiring talent abroad. As CEOs, HR Directors, and Senior Recruiters, you are well aware of the intricate web of compliance, legal, and administrative responsibilities that come with global expansion or hiring remote talent. One solution that can simplify this process and align with your business strategy is partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR).

In this article, we ask Annita Kolia, International Services Director at LMW, to explain in simple terms what is an Employer of Record, when it’s the right option for your business, and how it can benefit both your company and employees.

What is an Employer of Record (EOR)?

An Employer of Record, often abbreviated as EOR, is a specialized service provider that takes on the responsibility of becoming the legal employer of your workers, handling payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance matters. Essentially, they serve as an intermediary between your business and the employees you hire in a foreign country or even within your own country, offering a seamless and compliant solution for your global workforce needs.

The key distinction between an EOR and traditional employment models is that an EOR manages all employment-related obligations, allowing your organization to focus on its core operations. As an example, at LMW we take care of all related complexities such as payroll, employment contracts, legal and tax issues on behalf of our clients and their employees. And we do that with expert professionals, ensuring everything is handled in a timely manner and in full compliance with the respective legal and regulatory frameworks, while our customers maintain the full line management of their employees.

When is an EOR the right choice for a business?

1. Entering New Markets

Expanding into new international markets is a promising growth strategy, but it comes with a slew of regulatory and compliance challenges. An EOR can provide invaluable support by ensuring that a company complies with local labor laws, tax regulations, and employment standards. This can be particularly advantageous in regions known for their intricate legal frameworks, such as the European Union.

To give an example, we recently started a partnership with a tech company based in the US looking to tap into the talent pool of Greece. By partnering with LMW, they were able to navigate the complexities of Greek labor laws, payroll taxes, and benefits, enabling them to focus on building their Greek-based team without worrying about compliance hurdles.

2. Remote and Global Talent Acquisition

In today’s digital age, accessing top talent from across the globe is easier than ever. However, managing a remote workforce dispersed across multiple countries can be daunting. An EOR streamlines this process by handling payroll, HR administration, and compliance on your behalf, regardless of your remote workers’ location.

According to a survey conducted by Statista, remote work has increased significantly since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 88% of organizations worldwide encouraging or mandating remote work. I expect this trend is expected to continue, making EOR services even more relevant.

3. Risk Mitigation

Navigating employment laws and regulations, especially in unfamiliar territories, carries a significant amount of risk. Non-compliance can result in significant fines, legal complications, and reputational damage. EORs like LMW act as a protective shield by ensuring that your business adheres to all relevant employment laws, reducing the risk of costly legal disputes.

Moreover, what we’ve seen at LMW from our EOR engagements, is that the assurance of legal compliance and adherence to labor standards provides employees peace of mind. They can focus on their roles without worrying about payroll issues, benefits discrepancies, or unfair labor practices.

4. Cost Efficiency

Employing an EOR can lead to significant cost savings. Handling global payroll, tax filings, and benefits administration in-house can be prohibitively expensive, requiring extensive HR infrastructure and expertise. EORs already possess the necessary knowledge, processes, and technology, allowing you to save both time and resources.

In fact, according to a report by Globalization Partners, businesses can save up to 60% on expansion costs by using EOR services instead of setting up legal entities in foreign countries.

5. Speed to Market

In today’s fast-paced business environment, speed is often a decisive factor for success. Establishing legal entities and HR infrastructure in new countries can take months, delaying market entry. EORs, on the other hand, can expedite the hiring process, allowing you to access global markets and top talent with no delays.

You mentioned earlier that the benefits of EoR extend to the employees as well as their employers. What would be some of the most important benefits of EoR for the employees?

While the advantages of partnering with an EOR are evident for businesses, it’s equally important to understand how this model can benefit your employees:

  • Local Employment Benefits: Employees hired through an EOR can enjoy the same benefits and protections as locally hired workers, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. This ensures a fair and competitive compensation package, contributing to higher employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Compliance and Security: Employees can have peace of mind knowing that their employer is compliant with local labor laws and regulations. This provides job security and reduces the risk of wage disputes or unlawful terminations.
  • Streamlined Administration: EORs handle administrative tasks such as payroll processing, tax deductions, and benefits management. This simplifies employees’ financial matters and allows them to focus on their work.
  • Global Opportunities: For employees, working with a company that utilizes an EOR can open up opportunities to work on international projects or even relocate to other countries, fostering career growth and development.

Any final thoughts?

Partnering with an Employer of Record can be a game-changer, enabling you to expand into new markets, access global talent, reduce risk, cut costs, and accelerate your time to market. By simplifying compliance and administration, EORs like LMW not only benefit your business but also provide a more secure and streamlined employment experience for your valuable employees. As the business world continues to evolve, embracing innovative solutions like EOR services can be a strategic move that sets your company up for long-term success.


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