Dynamics 365 Business Central | Licensing and Pricing Answers

If you’re considering a transition from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central, getting answers to licensing and pricing information is an important component to that decision. This blog will discuss Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing options, different types of users, deployment with software as a service, and some ongoing benefits. If you would prefer to see a presentation about this topic, please see the video at the end of the blog.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing

With Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing, there are subscription licensing options. We will discuss the difference between Business Central Essentials, Premium, and Teams licensing, as well as Full Users versus Additional Users.

Three types of Dynamics 365 Business Central licensing:

  • Business Central Essentials (Full user)
  • Business Central Premium (Full user)
  • Team Members (Additional user)

Customers must license at least one Business Central Essentials or Business Central Premium, meaning that there has to be at least one license.

Full User vs. Additional User

Full User

Full users are those that require the feature-rich business application functionality. Examples of full users are salespeople, customer service representatives, finance employees, controllers, or supply chain managers. These users have also been referred to in the past as professional users or full-use users. Essentials and Premium are both full-use users and are licensed with a Dynamics 365 Business Central subscription.

Additional User

Additional users often represent a significant percentage of users in an organization and they consume data reports from lines of business systems, complete light tasks such as time or expense entry, or HR record updates. Additional users may be heavier users of the system, but do not require full user capability. Additional users are licensed with Team Members.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials

What’s included in Essentials?

  • Financial Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Project Management
  • Warehouse Management

The functionality outlined in the screenshots below is what is available out of the box:

Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials Out of the BoxDynamics 365 Business Central Essentials Out of the Box

The functionality in Dynamics 365 Business Central Essentials is similar to Dynamics GP, but in certain areas it goes a little deeper. There are benefits of having dimensional accounting in Business Central rather than a segmented chart of accounts.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium

The Premium license has everything in the Essentials license plus service management and manufacturing.

What’s included in Premium?

  • Includes Essentials capabilities
  • Service Order Management
  • Manufacturing
Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium Features

In Dynamics GP, the core manufacturing is finite not process, so manufacturing in Dynamics 365 Business Central is very attractive to those clients that have process manufacturing.

Team Members

The Team Members license gives some basic Dynamics 365 Business Central functionality. There are certain things that users with a Team license can write to, but they can read everything within Business Central. A Team license is similar to a light user or a self-service user in Dynamics GP.

For example, Team Member license users can:

  • Approve or reject tasks in the workflow assigned to a user
  • Create, edit and delete a quote
  • Create, edit, delete personal information
  • Enter timesheets for Jobs
  • Use the Power Apps or Power Automate Use Rights with the Dynamics 365 license

To share a report, does the recipient need a Team Member license?

No, they would not require a Team Member license. This is a common scenario we’ve received questions about from Dynamics GP users that use management reporter to share reports with directors through email or in a shared drive. This capability is also in Dynamics 365 Business Central through account schedules or Jet Reports, you can generate reports and put them in a shared place without the directors needing a Team license.

Named Users

Subscriptions are named users which means that customers may not mix and match Essentials and Premium users. Customers must license either Essentials or Premium, not both. It is possible to move from one to the other, so if you’re on Essentials and you’d like to move to Premium, then that change can happen.

If your business hires a new employee, it’s easy to add an addition license for them in Business Central. In this case, you would email us and very shortly afterwards it would be available.

Deployment through Software as a Service

With Dynamics 365 Business Central software as a service (SaaS), there are advantages such as having the latest cloud-powered capabilities, including deep integration with Office 365 (now called Microsoft 365) and the Power Platform to ensure optimal business efficiency and employee empowerment. Additionally, there are improvements with IT productivity by reducing complexity associated with managing hardware, software, and providing support.

 Software as a Service Benefits:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Stay current on the latest technology
  • Reduce costs and free up resources
  • Improve security, privacy, and reliability

The SaaS deployment is in Microsoft Azure. This means that you’re always current on the latest technology, which helps reduce those costs and frees up resources. Another important component, especially today, is the improved security, privacy and reliability. Your business can gain that peace of mind knowing your sensitive business data is stored in a highly secure state of the art datacenter managed by Microsoft. This is important as your data will be there when you need it thanks to a 99.9% uptime SLA. Microsoft has two data centers in Canada, one in Quebec and one in Ontario. There are currently eight data centers in the United States, with a ninth one coming in 2021. To see the full Microsoft Azure data center geographies, please see the Azure global infrastructure map.

With Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS, everything is included in one fee. The software, cloud hosting, and management services are combined into one price, they are not separate components. To deploy on Azure, there is no additional Azure fee. In a Dynamics 365 Business Central license, there is one production environment and three sandbox environments at no extra charge. The license includes 80 GB of data storage capacity across the environments, but if additional storage is needed there are options to purchase additional data storage.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Pricing

The Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing is on a per user per month basis. There is a list price and there is a promotional price for clients who are current on their annual maintenance, which gives a 40% discount that goes on in perpetuity.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Pricing Table

All pricing is subject to change without notice. Always contact Encore for the most current product pricing.

A change from the Dynamics GP licenses perspective is that Dynamics 365 Business Central licenses are named users, not concurrent. If you are on perpetual licensing in Dynamics GP, then you are used to concurrent.

Total Cost of Ownership

There are many components to look at when thinking about a transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central. We have a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Excel spreadsheet that allows you to enter your data to see the cost of ownership of your current software and hosting versus moving to a SaaS solution such as Dynamics 365 Business Central.

There are some costs that are not noted in the spreadsheet that we encourage you to add, such as some soft costs that would be going away in a transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central. For example, currently you have the square footage to house the infrastructure and it consumes energy. Adding in costs like that to this tool will help you see some cost savings some of the benefits over the long term.

Another cost that goes away is upgrades and applying service packs. There are many human resources that are involved in that process, ordering a server, preparing a server, doing the update, etc. Some companies experience downtime from a security or a disaster recovery perspective. Those again are costs, and with a Cloud solution the team at Microsoft is supporting and protecting your business, which is incorporated into that per user per month fee.

Encore can work with you or guide you through the TCO spreadsheet, adding in those different variables and helping you choose how many licenses your business would need going forward.

Ongoing Benefits

Some of the ongoing benefits of a SaaS solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central include:

  • Always on current technology
  • Peace of mind with sensitive business data is stored in a highly secure state of the art data center
  • Data will be there when you need it
  • Never have to upgrade, patch or back up your ERP solution
  • Never have to purchase new infrastructure
  • Never have to manage infrastructure
  • Never have to upgrade or patch infrastructure

Transitioning to Software as a Service is a change, but there are long term benefits and cost savings. Another way of looking at it is no more capital expenditures, it’s an operational expense, and there’s cost certainty that is smoothed out over time and you know exactly what’s going to happen.

Transitioning from Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 Business Central

We created a transition Price Calculator tool where you can select the capabilities you’d like in Dynamics 365 Business Central and it will instantly build your fixed price transition package. Try it out now!


With your annual maintenance in Dynamics GP there are different offerings or packages to pay for to get support, but Microsoft does not offer that with Dynamics 365 Business Central. All the support is through the Partner channel. Encore can support you in Dynamics 365 Business Central with our dedicated team of specialists. We have Encore Care support packages that we can discuss in more detail with you.

To hear the original presentation about Licensing and Pricing Answers in Dynamics 365 Business Central, please see the video below:

If you’re ready to discuss what a transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central looks like or if you have questions about licensing and pricing, please contact us or reach out to your Encore Account Manager.

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