Office 365 Business vs Enterprise

If you are a company, Office 365 has long been offered in two types of packages: Office 365 Business (for “Small Business”), and Office 365 Enterprise (for “Enterprise”). Even though both of these types of offerings give you access to basic functionality, there are some big — and small — differences between Office 365 Business and Office 365 Enterprise.

In this blog article, I’m going to explain the major factors that will help you decide between using an O365 Enterprise plan vs an O365 Business plan. For an overview, check out the comparison table.

Keep in mind that there are several sub-options within each type (Enterprise and Business), so there will be some further evaluation to do. We’ve written blog articles that will help you make your choice within the specific Business and Enterprise products.

You may also have heard about Microsoft 365 Business, which is the new naming for the Office 365 Business offers. However, most customers and consultants still call it Office 365.

Also, the names for Office 365 Enterprise plans have not changed.

Office 365 Business Versions

There are three versions of Office 365 for small businesses. You might be attracted to these plans because they tend to be a little bit less expensive, while still offering basic functionality.

The most important thing to remember about Office 365 Business is that you can only purchase one of these plans if you’re going to be getting 300 seats or less. If that’s you, there is a plan of Office 365 Business that covers most basic needs. The particular plan you choose will mostly depend on whether or not you need email, and whether or not you want to install the applications on your computer. You can read more here.

Office 365 Enterprise Versions

There are also three versions of Office 365 for enterprise companies. These plans tend to be a little more expensive, but they do offer some additional functionality.

Importantly, these plans allow you an unlimited number of seats.

Depending on your business requirements, Office 365 Enterprise plans can also provide the following features:

  • Unlimited OneDrive storage
  • Analytics tools, including Power BI Pro
  • Huge Skype Meetings: 250 – 10,000 people (this functionality is part of Teams)
  • Using Skype/Teams as a phone system
  • Phone numbers for dial-in Skype/Teams meetings

Office 365 Enterprise plans are also known for their additional security, compliance, and administration features:

  • Custom retention policies
  • Data loss prevention
  • Advanced search and legal hold abilities
  • Advanced threat protection (for example, against malware and phishing attacks)
  • Advanced information protection (for sensitive emails, documents, and other data you need to share outside your company)
  • Advanced data privacy agreements

Those capabilities are why leaders in finance, health care, and other companies often choose Enterprise even if they are well below 300 users.

To see which of these features are included in which Enterprise plans, read our Office 365 Enterprise plan comparison. Or ask us any licensing questions.

O365 Business vs Enterprise: Comparison Table

Feature Business Enterprise
Maximum Seat Count 300 Unlimited
Email/Calendars Some Plans All Plans
Online Office Apps All Plans All Plans
Install Office Apps Some Plans Some Plans
Advanced Admin and Security Features Some Plans
Advanced Skype Features (within Teams) Some Plans
Price ($/User/Month) $5 – $12.50* $8 – $35


Which One Is Right For You?

Once you establish how many seats you need (more or less than 300), and you decide on your budget, your options can narrow down pretty quick.

Most companies that need to enable remote work end up going with Office 365 Business Premium (now called Microsoft 365 Business Standard) or Office 365 E3, depending on their seat count or budget.

Also, take a look at the extra features available in the Office 365 Enterprise plans, and decide if the additional functionality is worth the extra cost. Most companies that need enhanced security & data protection features choose E3 or E5.

There is a lot to consider, so if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

* All pricing is subject to change without notice. Contact Encore for the most current pricing.

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