Microsoft 365 is a suite of apps that help you stay connected and get things done. The main focuses are easier collaboration, comprehensive security and flexible remote working. What licenses does Microsoft offer and how do you choose the right one for your business?

Not all businesses have the same needs and none of us want to pay for features we don't use. Microsoft offers a variety of licenses to choose from.

Among business users, three most popular licenses are Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

All licenses include powerful features that make up a comprehensive set of productivity and security solutions – email service, messaging, video calls, storage, collaboration features, and security.

Business Basic includes functions that cover the basic needs of a company – Microsoft Teams for communication, secure cloud-based storage, and Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote) for daily tasks. However, Business Basic does not include desktop versions of Office apps, so they can only be used online.

Business Standard is a step up from Business Basic. Standard allows users to install Office apps on their devices and use both desktop and web versions.

The most comprehensive features are offered by the Business Premium license. Productivity and efficient communication are ensured for both remote and hybrid work. Compared to the Business Standard and Basic licenses, Premium includes the widest range of features and provides the highest level of security. 

Most companies prefer the Business Premium license because it offers powerful cloud-based tools and security features to protect company data, all at an affordable price.

We'll help you choose a suitable license

What functions different Microsoft licenses include?

Microsoft 365 Business Basic
  • Chats, meetings, collaboration; instant messaging, calls, video calls, presence information, and more are integrated into one powerful application – Microsoft Teams.
  • Web and mobile versions of Office applications. Collaborate in real-time and work with the same document.
  • Outlook business-class email service and calendar – 50 GB mailbox and custom email domain.
  • 1 TB of secure cloud storage space for storing files.
  • Collaboration sites to keep employees up to date and involve them in activities – SharePoint.
  • Standard security service.
Includes web versions of the following Office products (usable through a web browser):
Microsoft 365 Business Basic

Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Everything that Business Basic offers, plus:

  • Desktop versions of Office apps and their monthly updates that allow you to use the latest features and capabilities – Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access, Publisher (PC only).
  • Easily create engaging, interactive, web-based reports, presentations, newsletters, trainings and more with Microsoft Sway.
  • Intelligent search and discovery – Discover content and expertise across your organization with intelligent search across all your data sources including SharePoint, Delve and Office apps.
  • Build custom business apps for web and mobile with Microsoft Power Apps. Choose from templates or start from scratch. No coding required.
  • Workflow automation – Microsoft Power Automate.
  • You can install Office applications on multiple computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • Host webinars in Teams that include attendee registration pages, email confirmations and reporting.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard

Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Everything that Business Standard offers, plus:

  • Protection against advanced cyber threats.
  • Protection against threats hidden in email attachments and links, zero-day threats, ransomware, and other attacks – Microsoft Defender for Business.
  • Remotely wipe company data from lost or stolen devices – Intune.
  • Option to restrict copying and saving of company information to unauthorized applications and locations.
  • Control who has access to company information by applying restrictions like do not copy and do not forward with Information Rights Management.
  • Keep your devices safe from viruses, ransomware and other malicious software – Microsoft Defender Antivirus.
  • Conditional access policies, Windows Hello for Business, and more – Identity and access management.
Microsoft 365 Business Premium

Companies that need an even higher level of security may consider using Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 licenses.

Frontline workers who may not need such rich functionality, as their work does not involve working with documents, can use Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft 365 F3 licenses.

Not sure which license is right for your business?

We can help. Our years of experience and in-depth knowledge of Microsoft products can help you find the right solution.

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