What is a pay period?

Pay periods are the time that passes between one payroll run and the next. When calculating a paycheck, a pay period is the period of time for which you pay them in that paycheck.

What’s the typical length of a pay period?

The typical length of a pay period vary, or pay schedule, can vary. The most common pay schedules used in the US are:

  • Weekly;
  • Bi-weekly (every other week);
  • Semi-monthly (twice a month); and
  • Monthly.

Am I required to use one pay period over another?

Many states have requirements on which pay schedules you can use.

For a full rundown of all state pay period and pay schedule laws, visit this US Department of Labor page.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as tax advice. Since tax rules may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a CPA or tax advisor for advice specific to your business.