An Employer’s Guide To Paying International Employees

If you’re considering expanding your business internationally or hiring talent abroad, you must be ready for a steep learning curve. The work culture is changing due to technological advancements, and you’ll have to deal with different government regulations regarding labour acquisition. 

Locally, you must consider the available payment avenues to keep the operating costs low. For instance, if your company is based in America, you might have to open a US business bank account for non residents to manage your international payroll. Therefore, research is vital before you outsource labour from a foreign country. It’ll save you the headache of converting currencies to pay your overseas staff.

This guide teaches you how to pay international employees without violating government regulations.

Establish A Partnership With An Employer Of Record

The underlying processes and requirements for setting up offices or operations in a foreign country can be capital-intensive and time-consuming for a start-up company. This approach can be a perfect solution for established businesses with long-term operational plans. But you must consider the new territory’s laws and regulations for running your business. In addition, managing the payroll might be challenging as you try to monitor time and attendance.

If you want to avoid investing in a multi-country payroll solution, you can look for an employer of record to partner with for your international staff remuneration. It can streamline hiring on behalf of your company, manage the payroll, including benefits, and ensure compliance with the foreign country’s laws. 

Considerations For Paying International Employees

Expect the following when paying overseas staff:

Foreign Currency Exchange Rate

Cross-border payments rely on foreign currency price fluctuations. It can affect the amount you send to your staff abroad or what they receive on the other side. It’s crucial to negotiate a flat rate before employing your overseas team. It’ll help you budget appropriately for your payroll and avoid extra costs in forex rates.

Taxation Laws On Payroll

Taxation is perhaps one of the toughest challenges international companies face when working overseas. The government can pronounce different revenue collection laws affecting salaries and remunerations abroad. You must also be mindful of the tax obligations in your home country.   

Staff Classification

Decide on the job description of your international workforce. It’ll help you to develop terms of engagement and staff classification. You have two options – contractor or full-time – for your overseas staff recruitment plan.

Salary Research

Salary trends are one of the primary determinants of paying international employees. You could be looking to recruit talent at a lower cost, but the market in developed countries offers competitive pay. The alternative can be researching developing countries willing to work within your budget. 

How To Pay Your International Employees

There are several ways to disburse payments to your international staff. You need to decide which one is suitable for your budget. Consider the following channels:

Use Local Currency

Paying your staff in their local currency is the best way to save money while keeping your payroll within your budget. But you must deal with the local labour laws and tax regimes to avoid government penalties for international payroll mistakes. It’s crucial also to consider getting the details of your workforce correctly for transparency when filing your tax returns and remitting payments to the workforce accounts. 

Engage A Third-Party Company To Handle Your Payroll

Payroll vendors exist in the overseas job market. They help you handle the disbursement of funds to your international workforce accounts, a risk-free option. A third-party payment service provider is responsible for maintaining the workforce, dealing with compliance issues, handling labour laws, and updating government pronouncements concerning remunerations. 

Of note, it’s crucial to research the payroll vendors you’d like to collaborate with in your overseas payment. They must sign a contract that binds them to the services they propose to offer your company. It can affect how much you spend and the labour turnover in your company.

Use E-Pay Platforms

The world is shifting to a cashless way of doing business. It follows the digital economy revolution to reduce intermediaries in financial transactions. You can leverage e-pay platforms. However, you must consider the costs of running your payroll through digital payment systems and if they’re compatible with your company. 

Consider Overseas Employees As Contractors

As mentioned earlier, staff classification is a critical exercise you must do from the start. It’ll enable you to roll out an appropriate payroll for your company. You’ll also find it easy to comply with your home country’s labour laws and regulations and where your workforce resides.

If the agreement between you and the international employees is short-term, pay them as overseas contractors. It’s their responsibility to handle taxes and benefits as required by the government. You’ll avoid cases of compliance with labour laws and country taxation regimes. 

For a full-time workforce, you must be mindful of the international labour rules and regulations coupled with taxation in your country. You’ll be taking full responsibility for hiring overseas talent, which has complications, such as misclassification of the job title. America, as an example, is a country that has many employment considerations that you can challenge how you pay overseas staff. You must provide benefits, such as insurance for your team, in your payroll package.

Possible Challenges Of Running An Overseas Payroll

Challenges and risks exist when paying international employees. You must decide which payment channel is viable for your company. The following are possible issues you can expect:

Misclassification of your international paymentComplex international labour lawsMultiple payroll options and requirementsCapital-intensive business setup Strict immigration laws International money transfer challenges

If you cannot fulfil the requirements of running an international payroll, it’s crucial to consider working with an employer of record. It’ll help you to navigate through the challenges mentioned above.


Before you decide to outsource talent abroad, you must prepare to deal with international employment laws and that of your home country. There are underlying demands that you must fulfil to ensure that you’re compliant with the regulations. Also, check the mode of payment you can use to run your company payroll and find viable platforms to disburse the salaries.

The post An Employer’s Guide To Paying International Employees appeared first on HR News.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy