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Free Payroll Software for Small Business Canada

We offer payroll services in Canada that allow you to start, save, and store your records information online without any fees. We will print out your payroll reports as often as you need. You can even get a live number to speak with one of our payroll software consultants. 

Ready to get everything in order? Are you looking for free small business payroll software? How about free payroll software Canada? Do you want to process your payroll online and on your computer? This article will help you find the right solution.

Best calculator-only: eSmart Paycheck

Best calculator-only softwareeSmart Paycheck

2.9 out of 5 stars


  • How it’s free: Paid payroll plan options
  • CheckPayslip printing (no employee self-service access)
  • CheckPaycheck printing (no direct deposit)
  • XNo pre-filled end-of-year tax forms
  • XNo PTO or vacation time tracking

See Plans

eSmart Paycheck isn’t a comprehensive online payroll software solution. Instead, the platform primarily calculates your employees’ net pay, including the amount of taxes to withhold for all 50 US states. It also prints payroll checks and generates pay stubs for free.

However, most other functions cost cold hard cash. This includes access to a library of pre-populated tax forms. As a result, if you want to stick only to freebies, you’ll have to manually transfer the platform’s calculations to your own paperwork stored elsewhere.

Also, eSmart Paycheck doesn’t save your payroll data or help you track year-to-date payroll taxes. With all of these limitations in mind, the title works best for small-business owners who want an easier way to make free pay stubs online and quickly print real payroll checks.

Best for Office 360 users: ExcelPayroll

Best for Microsoft Office usersExcelPayroll

3 out of 5 stars


  • How it’s free: Integrates with paid Excel software
  • CheckPayslip printing (no employee self-service access)
  • CheckPaycheck printing (no direct deposit)
  • CheckPre-filled end-of-year tax forms
  • XLimited PTO or vacation time tracking

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ExcelPayroll is a free third-party payroll software and pay stub creator that integrates directly with Microsoft Excel’s spreadsheet software. Along with calculating paycheck amounts and payroll tax withholdings, ExcelPayroll lets you tackle these tasks in Excel:

  • Creating pre-filled tax forms, including W-2s
  • Printing checks
  • Generating workers compensation reports
  • Logging bookkeeping journal entries

Keep in mind that although ExcelPayroll is free, Excel itself isn’t. The Microsoft Office suite (known as Office 365) now operates largely as a cloud-based service instead of desktop software. This means you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use it, instead of a one-time upfront charge.

Still, Microsoft Office 365 is worth considering since it starts at an affordable $5 monthly fee and includes PowerPoint and Word, as well.

Payroll4Free: Best for Companies With 25 or Fewer Employees Logo

Overall Score: 3.55 OUT OF 5

What We Like

  • Free-forever payroll services with essential online tools (including an employee portal)
  • Email and phone support with access to payroll and tax experts
  • Tax filings and direct deposits (not using own bank) are affordable add-ons

  • Free only for 25 or fewer employees
  • Limited system compatibility (Windows only)
  • Payroll software comes with ads; interface looks outdated

Payroll4Free Pricing

  • Free version: Payroll software free for those with 25 or fewer workers
  • Add-ons:
    • Payroll tax payments and filings: $15 monthly
    • Direct deposit transfers using Payroll4Free’s bank account: $15 monthly

Read Full ReviewVisit Payroll4Free

Payroll4Free is a popular free payroll software for businesses with 25 or fewer employees. It calculates payroll and taxes, tracks PTO accruals, prints paychecks, and provides free direct deposits if you use your own bank. The software can also handle year-end tax reports (W-2s and 1099s), providing you with pre-formatted forms to send to the government. If you want to file your tax forms, you have to pay $15 per month.

In our evaluation, Payroll4Free earned a score of 3.55 out of 5. It would have ranked higher if it didn’t have an employee limit (for 25 and fewer employees only) and if it offered tax filings for free. Some users even said that its platform is unintuitive, often taking extra steps to complete what a paid program can do in a single click. They also don’t appreciate the ads that appear while using the tool.

Payroll4Free Pricing is free to use—if your business has 25 or fewer employees. While it earns money through small ads placed inside the software, it also collects fees from the following payroll services that you can purchase as add-ons.

  • Payroll tax deposits and filings, including year-end reporting: $15 per month
  • Direct deposits using’s bank*: $15 per month

*This requires a security deposit equal to the highest estimated net payroll you plan to process in a seven-day period.

Payroll4Free Features

  • Efficient pay processing: In addition to paying employees and calculating taxes (federal, state, and local) for free, it allows you to set up any kind of deduction, contribution, and earning. will automatically compute it—provided you have specified how these items should be calculated. Note that it doesn’t have the integrated time tracking tools that both TimeTrex and provide for free. You have to manually import time data into its system before you can run payroll.
  • Check printing setup assistance: If you prefer to pay employees via checks, can help set up its software to add any data you want to appear on the check. You won’t get the said free service with both and TimeTrex.
  • Access to payroll and tax experts: Aside from unlimited customer support, has a team of experienced payroll and tax specialists that you can contact if you have queries or need payroll advice. However, it doesn’t have the community forum that TimeTrex and offer, which allows you to get input from other business owners and HR professionals.
  • Custom reporting: You get custom and detailed reports, enabling you to stay up-to-date with payroll information, tax details, PTO accruals, and employee deductions. It has several reporting options, but the choices aren’t as robust as and TimeTrex—simply because these two providers’ free packages include other HR solutions, so you may run non-payroll reports.

Payroll4Free’s Drawbacks

  • 25 employee limit: Unless you have a workforce that doesn’t exceed Payroll4Free’s limit, you can continue using its software for free. For companies that have more than 25 staff, consider either TimeTrex and—both allow you to process payroll for unlimited employees at no cost.
  • Paid payroll tax filings: Payroll4Free only calculates taxes and provides filled-out tax forms that you can use to file taxes. While it can remit the payments and file the forms (including year-end tax forms) for you, this service costs $15 per month.

TimeTrex: Best time tracking and scheduling features


Open-source Community Edition is free. Quote-based plans that include a mobile app, facial recognition capabilities, job costing, applicant tracking and more are also available.

Calculates federal, state and local taxes.Calculates direct deposit.Can set up benefits deductions.Track employees’ hours, attendance, overtime and vacation time.Employee portal provides access to sick day and vacation time accruals, as well as pay stubs.Automatic scheduling capability.HR management.No cap on the number of employees.Cloud-based.Does not file payroll taxes.Does not file direct deposit.Customer service limited to support forum.

Feature overview

Compared to Payroll4Free, TimeTrex’s community edition payroll software offers more time-tracking, scheduling and HR features, and it’s cloud-based. On the downside, it falls short on tax filing. While it will generate tax reports, business owners should be comfortable filing their own payroll taxes. Likewise, TimeTrex will calculate and prepare your direct deposit, but it’s up to the business to remit the file to the bank. The software also works alongside other popular payroll software products in case you’d only like to use it for, say, time-tracking. Best multilingual capabilities



Time tracking features let employees clock in, clock out and record their locations.Employee portal provides access to time-off requests, PTO balances, personal info and discussion forums.Expense claim management.Multi-user HR management system.Cloud-based.No cap on the number of employees.Supports 65 languages in addition to English.No direct deposit.No dedicated customer support aside from the forum.Ads.Does not calculate or file payroll taxes.

Feature overview earns a spot on this list for its multilingual capabilities and HR features. In addition to letting employers track their mobile workforce by collecting geolocation data, the platform lets them assign employees different levels of access to the employer account. This is especially useful for businesses that have an HR staff or administrators. Employers can also set up claim approval workflows to ensure documents get sent to the right person the first time around. The product’s biggest drawback is its lack of tax calculation and filing services. If the business owner doesn’t have prior experience calculating and filing payroll taxes on their own, this is not the right product for them.

eSmart Paycheck: Best payroll calculator



Calculate federal and state payroll taxes.Generate payroll tax forms.Option to e-file taxes for a fee.Print paychecks.Limited functionality.May require more manual data entry than the alternatives.

Feature overview

The online payroll calculator eSmart Paycheck lets you create paychecks, print them and calculate federal and state payroll taxes. Generating tax forms, like W-2s, is free and users can pay a fee to file them through a service called eSmart Payroll. The site says private information is not saved, which may require more manual data entry from one payroll period to the next. This tool can be used on its own or paired with another free payroll software. It’s especially useful if your current payroll software doesn’t automatically calculate taxes.


Small Business Canada is proud to offer this free payroll software to you. We understand that small business owners are also busy professionals, and keeping track of your payroll data is time-consuming and a huge task if you have to manually calculate it all.

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