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Which Business Central license should I choose?

Whether you are upgrading from an older solution such as Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV or Navision, or whether you are coming from a completely different accounting solution, you should familiarize yourself with the licensing structure of Business Central and understand the potential financial commitment. On this page, we provide an overview of the different user subscription plans for Business Central that will hopefully help you decide which license best suits your business requirements.

Comprehensive enterprise management solution

Dynamics 365 Business Central distinguishes itself by being much more than just an accounting solution. It is a far-reaching enterprise management solution (ERP solution) that consists of a large number of functions that span financial management, project management, supply chain management (SCM), logistics and CRM.

Despite the wide-ranging and advanced functionality, however, Business Central is available to all companies, which makes the solution the obvious choice for everything from very small one-person companies with growth ambitions to very large organizations belonging to any industry.

Best ERP in 2024
Thanks to Microsoft's emphasis on long-term cost savings and constant introduction of new and technologically ground-breaking functionality, Dynamics 365 Business Central was also in 2024 the best ERP solution in 2023, according to the impartial financial advisory platform Forbes Advisor.

Easy integration to other Microsoft apps

A significant advantage of Business Central is also that the solution can be seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft Cloud apps, including the business applications that make up Dynamics 365, the well-known office apps in Microsoft 365 (Office 365), Power Automate, Power BI and Power Apps. This means that, for example, you can easily improve your reporting with Power BI or automate business processes with Power Automate, which gives Business Central a unique advantage compared to competing solutions on the market.

Which license?

The choice of Business Central license depends on several factors, including the size of your company, your specific needs and budget.

Here are some considerations to help you make the right choice:

  • Size and complexity of your business:
    Smaller companies with few users and simple business structures and business processes may benefit from considering an Essentials license, while larger companies with more users and more complex business requirements may in many cases benefit from a Premium license.
  • Functionality:
    Consider what specific features your business needs. Business Central provides functions within a wide range of different business areas such as financial management, accounting, logistics, supply chain (SCM), project management, etc. It is of course important that you choose the license that includes the functional areas that cover your business needs.
  • User needs:
    The number of employees in your company who must have access to Business Central also has an impact on the choice of license. For example, if you have many employees who must have access to Business Central, it can in many cases be more cost-effective to choose a license that allows a larger number of users at no extra cost.
  • Integrations and adaptations:
    If the business processes of your company require advanced customizations or integrations with other apps or systems, make sure that the license you choose supports these business needs.

Of course, we always recommend that you speak with an authorized Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner or consultant who can help you review your specific business needs and help you choose the most appropriate Business Central license for your business.

Overview of Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses

Business Central is sold and implemented exclusively by a global network of Dynamics 365 partners who have deep knowledge and experience with the solution.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Team Members

From $8 per user/month (+ services)

The Dynamics 365 Team Members license is intended for those of the company's users who do not have a specific company role linked to a function, but whose work tasks still require access to basic functions of the system.

This license is suitable for business scenarios where users need to be able to:

  • Consume data or reports from LOB (line of business) systems
  • Use Power Apps for Dynamics 365
  • Carry out light work tasks such as expense or time registration
  • Participate in workflows by approving or rejecting tasks
  • Create, edit or delete specific information, for example offers
  • Update HR records, but without the need for full user functionality
  • Enter timesheets for jobs

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

From $70 per user/month (+ services)

For companies that simply need access to the broad core functionality of Business Central, the Essentials license is suitable. This license is intended for those of the Company's employees whose business roles and responsibilities include the following areas:

  • Financial management and accounting tasks
  • Supply chain (SCM) and inventory management
  • Project management
  • Purchases and debts
  • Forecasting (make predictions based on past and current data)
  • CRM functionality
  • HR functions
  • Warehouse management / logistics
  • General reporting requirements

The Business Central Essentials license is ideal for employees who need:

  • Financial management
    Streamline and optimize financial closing, gain real-time visibility into the company's operational efficiency and securely share information with your accountant.
  • Inventory management
    Increase inventory visibility and transparency, reduce inventory-related operating costs and predict replenishment needs, so you avoid shortages in your inventory and thus lost sales.
  • Sales
    Connect the company's sales and accounting, respond to inquiries directly from Microsoft Outlook and manage multiple addresses per customer.
  • Purchase management
    Manage your purchasing processes with automated workflows, dynamic inventory updates and approvals that help prevent unnecessary mistaken purchases.
  • Reporting and analysis
    Centralize data into an end-to-end business view, enabling faster, informed decisions.
  • Project management
    Manage tasks efficiently, monitor budgets, track project hours and access real-time data on available resources.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

From $100 per user/month (+ services)

If your company requires additional and more specialized functionality such as service and production, then the Premium license is probably the right choice for you. This plan is for employees who are involved in:

  • All functional areas covered in the Essentials license
  • Service management functionality
  • Production administration
  • Comprehensive reporting and in-depth analysis based on an informed foundation

Business roles that can benefit from the Premium plan:

Microsoft has tailored the Premium license for enterprise roles that require advanced functionalities and industry-specific business opportunities not covered by the features of the Essentials license. This means that the Premium license is particularly suitable for:

  • The person responsible for service administration
  • The person responsible for production
  • Decision makers and analysts

Here are specific scenarios where choosing the Premium plan is most beneficial:

Need for advanced service management:

If your company relies heavily on service management, which involves planning, resource optimization and detailed handling of service tasks, then the Premium license includes a wide range of functionality for service management. This license allows you to streamline and improve service operations, optimize customer support, and effectively organize and manage your field service tasks.

Complex production processes:

For manufacturing companies with complex production processes that require specific requirements for production planning, scheduling, quality assurance and demand planning, the Premium license's production functionality gives you comprehensive control over production operations. In this way, you ensure that the overall production process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible, so that expensive production stoppages are minimized as much as possible while quality and industry standards are met.

Enhanced reporting and analysis

If managers, decision makers and analysts in your company need advanced analysis and reporting tools to derive actionable insights from your business data, the extended reporting and analysis capabilities of the Premium license will be beneficial. This allows your team to access in-depth insights, create business-specific reports and make decisions and determine strategic planning based on data and insights.

Different user roles with different needs:

If your company has a mix of a number of business roles, for example service managers, production managers, decision makers, warehouse and logistics managers and analysts, who all require their own business-specific functionality, then the Premium license is ideal, as this license covers a wide range of different business roles.

The Premium license ensures that business users with different areas of responsibility have access to all the tools and functions they need to run and develop their specific business areas.

It should also be noted that the Premium license can provide more cost savings when compared to purchasing several Essential licenses together with additional modules for specific functionalities, especially if your company is heavily dependent on service operations or has complicated and business-specific production processes.

No two businesses are the same, and it's important to assess your specific business requirements and user roles to determine the most cost-effective licensing strategy for your business.

Please note
The stated monthly price per user only covers the license costs. If you are a new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central customer, you must choose between the Essentials license and the Premium license, as the Team Members license only allows reading/viewing. When you have chosen either the Essentials or Premium license, you can subsequently decide how many Team Members licenses you need.

The right Business Central partner

A thorough review of the business processes in your company is essential for a successful Business Central implementation.

Therefore, it is important that you partner with a licensed Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner such as Active Business Solutions, who can help you with a thorough assessment of your business that takes into account factors such as specific business needs, data transfer requirements, the scope of your workforce and the overall ambitions and goals of your company. This also ensures that the implementation is carried out within budget and on time.

Your Challenge. Our Passion
Dynamics 365 Business Central partner