Zenefits seeks to eliminate the frustration of human resources. The company started as a California insurance broker for small businesses, providing group coverage quotes for medical, dental, and vision. Zenefits made two announcements this week: a new payroll processing service and also expansion to New York.
By offering its own payroll processing solution, Zenefits allows companies to manage employee compensation and benefits all through one central interface. This new service is 100% paperless, electronically organizing all legally-required disclosures and withholdings. Zenefits’ new payroll service also handles details like templates for offers of employment and per-employee stock option vesting schedules. In addition to its own payroll service, Zenefits also provides a synchronization option that works with third-party services like ADP, Intuit Payroll, and Zen Payroll.
Expanding to New York is significant for a company like Zenefits. As an insurance broker, doing business in a new state means that Zenefits must be properly licensed. Tax-related issues are another concern. New York, like California, levies a personal income tax. By offering payroll services in multiple states, Zenefits must fully understand and responsibly manage the regulatory requirements and income withholdings on both a federal and state-by-state basis.
Zenefits, from YC W13, is completely free. The company makes its money entirely from commissions paid by insurance companies. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, co-founder Parker Conrad states that insurance commissions are a market that annually generates between $30 billion dollars to $50 billion dollars. Zenefits hopes that disrupting human resource management will allow it to earn as much of that $50 billion dollars as possible.