Business Central Essentials vs. Premium

If you’re thinking about getting Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for your business,   congratulations, that’s a great choice – Microsoft’s next-generation ERP solution tailored to meet today’s emerging challenges. But sometimes the licensing can be a bit confusing, even to the pros. We get a lot of questions about the difference of Business Central Essentials vs Premium package, so we thought we’d put together a quick breakdown that should help you navigate the differences at a glance.

Business Central Essentials vs Premium – License Overview

As you may have surmised, there are two main license types for Dynamics 365 Business Central: Essentials and Premium. Essentials covers all the core functions a business needs to run, such as accounting, inventory, purchasing, sales, and project management. Premium adds two additional modules: service management and manufacturing. These extra modules enable businesses to manage service orders, contracts, and items, production orders, bills of materials, and machine centers.

This table  compares the licensing cost and features of Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials and Premium:

Business Central Essentials vs. Premium Licensing

Benefits of the Essentials License

The Essentials license is suitable for most businesses that do not require service or manufacturing capabilities. It offers the following benefits:

  • Affordable and scalable: The Essentials license can cost as low as $70 per Named user per month, which is lower than the Premium license. It also allows businesses to add or remove users as needed, depending on their growth and demand.
  • Comprehensive and flexible: The Essential license covers a wide range of functionalities that can support various business processes and scenarios. It also allows businesses to customize and extend the software to fit their specific needs and preferences.
  • Seamless and secure: The Essential license enables businesses to access their data and applications from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It also ensures data security and compliance with Microsoft’s cloud platform and services.

Benefits of the Premium License

The Premium license is ideal for businesses that need to manage service or manufacturing operations. It offers everything in the essential area plus the following benefits:

  • Advanced and specialized: The Premium license provides additional functionalities that are designed for service and manufacturing businesses. It helps you plan and dispatch service orders, manage service contracts and items, create and track production orders, manage bills of materials and machine centers, and more.
  • Competitive and profitable: The Premium license helps businesses gain a competitive edge and increase their profitability by improving their service and production efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. It also helps you optimize  resources and costs and reduce waste and errors.

Determining Which License is Right for You

Business Central Essentials vs. Premium

The choice of Business Central Essentials vs Premium license depends on your business needs and goals, the best question to answer is what are your core business functions and processes? If you only need to manage basic functions, such as accounting, inventory, purchasing, sales, and project management, then the Essentials license may be enough for you. If you also need to manage service or manufacturing operations, then you may need the Premium license.

Making Every Dollar Count with Your Licensing Decision

Choosing the right license for your business is not only a matter of cost, but also a matter of value. You want to make sure that you get the most out of your investment and that you can achieve your business objectives and outcomes. Here are some tips to help you make every dollar count with your licensing decision:

  • Assess your current and future needs: Before you buy a license, you should evaluate your current and future business needs and goals. You should identify the gaps and opportunities in your business processes and performance and determine how Dynamics 365 Business Central can help you address them. You should also consider your budget and timeline, and how they may affect your licensing decision.
  • Consult a partner: If you are not sure which license is right for you, ask a Dynamics partner like CAL Business Solutions. With CAL Business Solutions, we can help you choose the best license for your business and provide you with the necessary services and support to ensure a successful deployment and adoption of the software.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is a versatile ERP system that can help you manage your business more efficiently and profitably. Either version will serve you well, but it makes a lot of sense to do your homework before buying.

To learn more about Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing, you can read the 61-page licensing guide (have some coffee first) or make it easy and contact us at CAL Business Solutions  and we can help you decide what you need.


By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP / 365 BC & Acumatica Partner,