Software Review: Deel for Canadian Businesses

This is a review of DEEL and how it works for Canadian companies.

What is Deel?

Deel is a company that hires contractors and/or employees anywhere in the world for your business.

It allows your contractor or employee to manage their own payment preferences, profile and invoicing so you can be more organized, transparent and compliant.

What problem does Deel solve?

For contractors: Onboarding, generating localized contracts (including collecting all rights to work documents), performing background checks, offering health insurance, collecting invoices and making payments has always been a manual process. Deel wants to put this all in one dashboard for you.

For employees: Hiring in another country usually involves a lot of research, limited access to health insurance, legal fees to navigate employment contracts and possibly setting up a company in order to adhere to legal payroll requirements. You could also hire an external payroll company, but that usually comes with larger set up fees and less than desirable technology.

Why should Canadians care?

Canadians don't usually have great systems for managing contractors around the globe.

Most of the companies we see at LiveCA use a standard "receive invoice, pay invoice" system with contracts managed behind the scenes. This tool has the potential to streamline a lot of admin when hiring and managing contracts consistently.

How much does Deel cost?

Deel pricing is US$35 a month, per contractor.

No sales tax (GST/HST/PST/QST) is charged on their services to Canadians.

There are no setup fees and no cancellation fees if you leave within the first year.

How does a Canadian company send money to Deel?

As of today, the only option to fund Deel as a Canadian company is to send a USD wire to a bank based in the USA.

One way to do this without paying large wire fees is to hold USD funds in a Transferwise Borderless account and send an ACH to them that way. If you only have CAD bank accounts, see this article on how to send CAD to TransferWise using an EFT.

They are working on building out the Canadian collections components inside of their app right now, but it's not live.

What's better; employee or contractor?

This is a good conversation to have both with your accountant and Deel as there can be lots of factors to consider.

For example, is it better to have an employer of record as Deel in the USA or to incorporate a subsidiary for investment, tax or other reasons? One provider won't have all the answers for your situation, so it's good to explore your options and make an informed decision.

Deel will most likely encourage you to set up a contractor in the country they live in, will set up a contractor agreement and manage the invoices and payments all while keeping compliant with local regulations both initially and on a yearly basis (ie. 1099s in the USA).

If you choose to switch from one option to another, Deel can do this too (but when going from employee to contractor, please ask your accountant or legal about the consequences and risks of doing that).

Given Deel offers health insurance for both employees and contractors, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of companies choose the contractor method for hiring people globally.

What are some potential issues?

  • Deel does not bill in CAD
  • You can only send USD to Deel via wire to fund your payments. This means that you may receive an FX rate that is sub-optimal. For example, if someone wants to be paid in Swedish Krona in a local bank account, the contract is in Krona, but Deel asks you to send USD, what rate will be used? They use TransferWise behind the scenes, so keep that in mind when making your decision to use them. TransferWise may have great FX rates, but their fees increase the total amount paid which can be deceiving.
  • If a billing address on your payout method doesn't match the billing address of the contract or profile, your recipient may have issues receiving funds.

What are some unique features?

  • Milestone projects (set up payments based on progress) 
  • Contract end dates
  • Pay-as-you-go contracts (ie. for hourly contracts)
  • 1099-MISC filings in the USA, through Intuit.
  • Payouts using bank transfer, PayPal, Revolut, TransferWise, Payoneer, etc.
  • Getting paid early for 1% or up to $15 for VIP users (a nice feature for contractors with extenuating circumstances that need a hand)
  • Access to a library of contract templates for each country that are automatically generated based on both parties local labour laws and infrastructure
  • Background checks

Does Deel work in all countries?


However, certain payment methods such as bank transfers may be limited in some countries. You can check out their website FAQ for a current list of countries with those issues.

Does Deel work in all US States as an employer of record?


Currently only SD, NY, CA and TX are active with the rest coming online over the next two months.

Can contractors or employees receive Workers Compensation in Canada or the US?


But this is being built out currently.

Can I offer health insurance to contractors and employees?

Yes, but only after the end of June 2020.

Why should companies care about accurate local contractor agreements?

New regulations are popping up around the world that require companies to keep accurate records. These exist in California, France, Germany, Serbia and other countries such as IR35 in the UK.

It also helps increase the chances that your contractors are not evading taxes. Through Deel you get an understanding of local laws and requirements, annual filing requirements, etc that you may not get otherwise.

On that note, can they be paid in crypto currency?

Yes, however that integration will be with CoinBase in the future. CoinBase is known for their stricter KYC measures.

Are there any accounting integrations?


But you can get a CSV to import into Xero, Netsuite, etc.

If you're a LiveCA customer, we'll take care of all that for you to make sure the accounting records are kept straight.


Current LiveCA customers that are interested in a service like this should reach out to their Manager. However, we'll likely bring this up if the situation calls for it during our normal course of working together.

For non-LiveCA customers, feel free to read more about Deel on their website here.