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Weekly, Biweekly, Semimonthly, or Month-to-month Payroll

Pay frequency is likely one of the first choices you should make while you rent your first worker. For those who haven’t thought of payroll frequency, now’s the time to start out. Worker satisfaction, authorized compliance, and money move might rely upon it.

For those who’re asking your self what’s pay frequency, no worries. You’re probably already acquainted with it (even in the event you don’t comprehend it by its official time period). Regardless, we’ve acquired you lined. 

Learn on to be taught:

  1. What’s pay frequency?
  2. Pay frequency choices intimately 
  3. How to decide on a cost frequency

What’s pay frequency? 

Pay frequency, or payroll frequency, is how typically you pay staff. Your pay frequency additionally determines how typically you should run payroll. There are 4 common pay frequencies to select from: Weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and month-to-month.

Your frequency determines the variety of paychecks an worker receives in a 12 months. This influences every paycheck’s wage and tax quantities. Nonetheless, pay frequency doesn’t influence an worker’s annual tax legal responsibility or web pay (over time, all of it equals out). 

As a result of it determines how typically you run payroll and pay staff, the frequency you select can even influence your:

  • Time dedication: Working payroll by hand takes time. The extra steadily you pay staff, the extra time you spend operating payroll. 

Cash: Wish to save time operating payroll through the use of software program? Nice! However, some payroll software program corporations cost you based mostly on the variety of payrolls you run every month.

With Patriot Payroll, it can save you your time AND cash!

  • Run payroll in below 3 minutes
  • Run limitless payrolls for a similar low worth
  • Select between all pay frequencies (weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, month-to-month)

Pay frequency choices intimately

Pay frequency that means? Test. Now, it’s time to have a look at every of the 4 choices—weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, and month-to-month—intimately. 


Underneath a weekly pay frequency, staff obtain their wages every week. An worker paid weekly receives 52 paychecks per 12 months.

Every paycheck is much less cash and extra frequent than different frequency choices. It’s essential to run payroll extra typically than with any of the opposite frequencies.

In keeping with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33.3% of staff obtain weekly paychecks, making it the second hottest frequency. 


With a biweekly pay frequency, you pay staff each different week. Workers who get biweekly wages obtain 26 paychecks per 12 months. 

Workers obtain their wages the identical day of the week every pay interval, like on a Friday. Usually, staff obtain two paychecks every month. Nonetheless, there are two months within the 12 months when staff obtain three paychecks as an alternative of two (so plan your price range accordingly!).

In keeping with the BLS, 43% of staff obtain their wages biweekly, making it the most well-liked pay frequency. One purpose for the recognition is that biweekly pay is a cheerful medium between weekly and month-to-month pay frequencies. 


It may be simple to confuse semimonthly pay frequencies with biweekly schedules. Underneath each frequencies, staff obtain wages twice monthly with each (for probably the most half). However, there are a couple of key variations between biweekly vs. semimonthly pay. Underneath semimonthly pay, staff obtain 24 paychecks per 12 months. 

With a semimonthly pay frequency, you pay staff on particular dates, however the days may differ. For instance, you possibly can pay an worker on the fifteenth and thirtieth of every month. These dates can fall on any day of the week.

A semimonthly pay frequency might be troublesome for employers and staff to trace. Workers can obtain their wages on a Tuesday or a Friday, all relying on the day the date falls.

Semimonthly pay frequencies are the third hottest cost possibility. Nineteen p.c of staff obtain their wages on a semimonthly foundation. 


For those who pay staff month-to-month, they obtain one paycheck monthly. An worker paid month-to-month receives 12 paychecks per 12 months.

Month-to-month paychecks are for bigger quantities of cash however are much less frequent than different frequencies. Month-to-month paychecks could make monetary planning troublesome for some staff.

Solely 4.7% of staff are paid month-to-month, making it the least frequent pay frequency. 

pay frequency options: weekly has 52 paychecks per year, and employees receive pay once every week. biweekly has 26 paychecks per year, and employees receive wages once every other week. semimonthly has 24 paychecks per year, and employees receive their wages twice per month. monthly has 12 paychecks per year, and employees receive wages once per month.

How to decide on a cost frequency 

Each enterprise is totally different. Earlier than you create a pay frequency schedule, think about the next 4 components:

  1. Pay frequency legal guidelines
  2. Your staff
  3. Your business
  4. The way you run payroll

1. Pay frequency legal guidelines

Are there pay frequency legal guidelines you must observe? Sure—and no. 

There isn’t a federal legislation that claims what frequency you should select. Nonetheless, you should preserve a constant frequency. You can’t change up an worker’s frequency while you really feel prefer it.

Pay frequency necessities by state decide what pay frequencies you possibly can and may’t use. Most states set a minimal frequency you should observe. For instance, Arizona requires that employers pay staff two or extra days monthly, no more than 16 days aside. 

So earlier than deciding on frequency, test along with your state legal guidelines.

2. Your staff

What number of staff do you might have? Are your staff salaried or hourly? These employee-related components might influence the frequency you go together with.

Variety of staff: In keeping with the BLS, employer measurement can decide pay frequency. For instance, 70% of companies with 1,000+ staff use biweekly, in comparison with 34.9% for companies with one to 9 staff. 

Hourly vs. wage: The kind of employees you use can even have an effect on your enterprise’s payroll frequency. You’ll be able to set up totally different pay frequencies for wage vs. hourly staff (though this may get complicated in the event you run payroll by hand).

3. Your business

What business is your enterprise in? For some corporations, business determines your frequency. Sure industries are likely to pay weekly, whereas others are likely to pay month-to-month. 

In keeping with the BLS, 73.9% of building employers pay staff utilizing a weekly schedule. However, solely 7.1% of employers within the monetary actions business run weekly payroll. 

4. The way you run payroll

How do you run payroll? By hand? Utilizing software program? 

For those who run payroll by hand, shorter pay frequencies (i.e., weekly) require extra payroll runs, which takes up extra time and power. 

Payroll software program can considerably in the reduction of the time you spend operating payroll. However once more, some corporations have extra charges and cost per payroll run. You may find yourself paying extra to run weekly payrolls than operating biweekly, semimonthly, or month-to-month payrolls. 

Want a approach to preserve your payroll below management? With Patriot’s on-line payroll, you pay per worker, not per paycheck. So go forward and run limitless payrolls—we received’t cost extra! Get your free trial right now.

This text has been up to date from its authentic publication date of October 30, 2014. 

This isn’t meant as authorized recommendation; for extra data, please click on right here.



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